Swedish alternative progressive metal band Mindlane was only formed last year by guitar player Joonas Niskamen, vocalist Reine Svensson and drummer Hannu Mäkelä. All three experienced musicians who have shared the stage with bands like Evergrey, Paradise Lost, Katatonia and more. This year sees the release of Mindlane's debut album; Unspoken Silence, an album that sees the addition of former Amaranthe's Andreas Solveström as guest vocalist.
What totally stands out on this fine powerful album is the very relaxed voice of Reine Svensson. His vocal parts are the perfect contrast for Joonas's down tuned riffs and the powerful drum sound that Hannu displays. Listen to the more than brilliant opening of Beloved Screen or the better half of Said And Done and you will be convinced of the qualities of this vocalist. Together with Joonas's melodic, melancholic melodies and combined with heavy djenty riffs, the music is perfect for a guy like me. Where I do have some doubts, is the use of Andreas brutal screams; I do like a band like Amaranthe, but to me the constant use of a scream feels a bit overdone. I would have tried to delicately use his voice in a functional way, not using his screams in every song. Sure at points a nice rough scream does add something special, but to me Reine's voice is just perfect and I know he is very capable to solely function as a frontman. Listening to the album I came to realize, perhaps a different type of second vocalist would have been more appropriate to Mindlane's music. I think both vocalists are too far apart, style wise to form a true unity. The song Heroes In Denial on the other hand shows how both vocalists do come together an make the dual vocal part work. Musically, Mindlane is beautiful and perhaps even revitalising; blending the best elements of Evergrey with Katatonia and Meshuggah, which creates a very interesting form of progressive melancholic metal.
Unspoken Silence unmistakably is a fine album; both songs as well as sound are amazing. On the other hand it is up to you, what to think of the addition of Andreas's vocal parts. Personally I think they are a bit overdone and to me both vocalists are too far apart, style wise. The intriguing point of this album is, how the album would have been with a different guest vocalist. Unfortunately, their choice costs them one of the granted stars.
***+ Pedro Bekkers (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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