There are some tracks designed for opening all the windows, cranking up the volume and waiting expectantly for someone to come round to your house* (*flat / cardboard box – delete as appropriate) and thank you for introducing them to such cool music. And so it was last weekend I introduced my street to Mindreaper’s Black Head (which I suspect loses something in the translation from the German. From the lyrics, this doesn’t sound like something you can combat with anti-bacterial soap). In the event no one did come round to thank me but Ian and Claire next door have been looking angrier since the weekend so it’s beginning to have the desired effect.
The first track on Mindreaper’s Human Edge (… To The Abyss), is a swaggering statement of intent from a band trying to prove that blistering restraint can impress more than all out speed and dirty distortion. That sort of pacing menace is a great way to kick off an album and I’m happy to say they didn’t stray too far from the formula they indelibly lay down from the outset. This is clinically delivered thrash done with confidence and is a welcome change from some of the, at times, fairly predictable, thrash mainstream. I particularly liked the solos – almost tongue in cheek and like split second, slow-mo versions of the mad thrash fret board shenanigans we’re used to.
Human Edge is the first full Mindreaper release and an opportunity to get some of their work in one place. In fact, it’s almost criminal that this is the first full-length in the 11 years they’ve been active. There’s only the Absolute Zero EP three years ago, a mystery first EP that doesn’t sound like it ever surfaced and a 2006 demo to their name, from what I can gather. We do get a gradual lifting of the pressure towards the end as the speed picks up and the solos get a little longer, more indulgent and less abrupt. But it’s in the stripped down, mid-tempo thrash meets melodic death metal that they thrive the most.
Let’s hope that this serves as a decent springboard for a release that seems to have already gone down reasonably well in Germany helped by a few higher profile live dates this year. Human Edge is far more mature sounding than a debut LP should and a ballsy way to introduce themselves to the wider world. It’s doused in a petrol tank full of personality and I just hope they can now find the extra spark to help them attract some more attention.
(8.5/10 – Reverend Darkstanley)