Oceans Of Night - Official Website


Mindstorm

United States Country of Origin: United States

Mindstorm
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Buy on: Bandcamp
Type: Full-Length
Release Date: April 8th, 2024
Label: Independent
Genre: Progressive
1. Servants Of Shadow / New Dawn
2. Before The Fall
3. Siren
4. Vast And Infinite
5. Closer To The Edge
6. Obelisk
7. Man Clothed In The Light Of The Sun
8. Mindstorm
9. No Turning Back
10. Mictlantecuhtli
11. Distant
12. Event Horizon


Review by Vladimir on April 15, 2024.

When it comes to progressive metal, I am personally more into oldschool bands like Queensryche, Fates Warning, Crimson Glory and Watchtower, and not really a big fan of bands such as Dream Theater, even though I like some of their earlier albums. It's not a subgenre for everyone, but it definitely has a very strongly established fanbase. However, for this occasion, I was recommended to take a look at the US band Oceans Of Night with their fourth full-length album Mindstorm, released independently on April 8th, 2024.

Mindstorm kicks things off with the opening track 'Servants Of Shadow / New Dawn', a very synthwave style song fused with progressive metal that incorporates the traditional odd-tempo rhythm and guitar melodies, setting the stage for the album's grand journey. Once the turn comes for the second track 'Before The Fall', the vocals join alongside the established instrumentation, making things even more interesting from here on out. There are a lot of those familiar Dream Theater-like moments that express various emotions through multiple stages within the band's performance, while succeeding to constantly stay on track with progression and the dynamic flow. Something you will definitely manage to notice is that the soundtrack has a bit of a soundtrack quality to it, often reminding you of some cult classic Japanese video games where you hear tons of progressive elements in the music, and if it weren't for the vocals, you could easily turn each composition on the album into a soundtrack for a video game level or perhaps a stage of the level. Even the synth work on the album is very much in that same league, as opposed to attempting to completely copy the work of Jordan Rudess. What is also significant about the instrumentation is that next to its overall progression, it's the fact that songs aren't all about the predominant technical moments, maybe apart from the sixth track 'Obelisk' that is much more challenging than the rest. A couple of notable standouts on the album are the tracks 'Mindstorm' and 'Distant', which are the only two tracks on the album that has female lead vocals and it definitely expands the vast musical horizon which was previously established.

As is the tradition with progressive metal, the songwriting is always dynamic and packed with various ideas, with each conveying a vast range of emotions at once, while managing to hold your attention from beginning to end. What I appreciate about Oceans Of Night is that they focus a lot on creating a genuine feeling through their music, unlike many other contemporary progressive metal bands that heavily insist on incorporating technicality in their music, that doesn't necessarily convey emotions or even have a sense of plausible musicality. I really adore the overall musicality on this album, especially because it doesn't feel like a bunch of complex ideas thrown together that can make everything sound like an improvisation rather than than an actual song with a sense of musical progression. Strangely enough, the album has a bigger emphasis on the instrumentality, more-so than the vocal work which probably has the least presence. It's not necessarily a bad thing, but it is a bit underwhelming to hear how the vocals often take a backseat on the majority of the album and just let the instruments be at the forefront of it all. One thing that I didn't quite like about the album is the photoshop style album cover, which although may have a strong philosophical meaning behind it, does comes off as a bit silly and it's not really that stylistically great to look at. On the final note, the album has a very beautiful crystal clear sound production that isn't sterile and it actually manages to maintain a nice balance between the vocals and the instrumentation.

Although I am not a big fan of modern progressive metal, I did actually end up liking this album quite a lot. It's undeniable that Oceans Of Night definitely has a strong background, and with this new album they successfully strengthened the foundation of their music. This album is a fine example of an effective use of superb progression and experienced songwriting, that doesn't make you lose interest and it can definitely mesmerize you as you listen to it. If you are into contemporary progressive metal bands, you should definitely check out Mindstorm by Oceans Of Night.

Rating: 8.6 out of 10

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