The Marble Fall is the debut album of Mindpatrol; a Luxembourgish progressive metal band that only started three years ago in 2012 as a studio project of vocalist Luc François and guitarist Xavier Hofmann. Some line-up changes later Mindpatrol grew to a sextet with the addition of two extra guitar players; Yann Weidig and Frank Laux, bass player Sandy Moschetti and drummer Scott Kutting. This is also the setting The Marble Fall is recorded in.
When I recalled the progressive metal style, I really have to expand the term, Mindpatrol is spanning multiple styles and is never afraid to take some chances. Opener Genesis and the following Where Beauty Lies are nice accessible progressive metal songs with spoken words in the first and normal vocals in the second, although dear Luc has a very distinguished accent in his voice. After these songs the power is turned up and the vocals turn to grunts, screams and deep dark throated sounds. Nice thing about this is the accent doesn't stand out any more, the downer is that the music turns to brutal metal, which I surely can find myself in, but the regular reader of Background Magazine might need a second and third listen. The Fall is equally brutal, but the continuing A Marble Throne is loud trash based metal with death metal influences. I totally like the power and inventive music, even thought the vocals do give me a hard time here. Highlights are the two connected songs Nemesis I: Memento and Nemesis II: Remorse, which combine the power and speed of all the songs 3 to 9, but add some melody and even parts of old Paradise Lost style music. The final composition, Catharsis sees a nice variation of styles when it comes to vocal (ab)use and this eleven minute song grows to the second highlight of the album. Too bad most of the songs are exchangeable, I would have preferred music in the more varied style of the last three songs.
The Marble Fall is basically too far from the progressive metal we normally review and should be reviewed by the true metal fan, who bows his head for the deadliest throat sounds there are and can appreciate them as well. Nevertheless I really like the powerful music, but friend Luc François' voice takes away most of my personal fun, even in the songs where he uses his normal voice.
*** Pedro Bekkers (edited by Astrid de Ronde)
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