A spell-binding introduction gives us a flavour of where we’re going. In fact we go to several different places. Mind Structure are from Ukraine and draw from USA and Scandinavia for their brand of highly technical melodic metal with hardcore and progressive aromas.
“The Time has Come” is in many ways a classic melo-death track with flourishes, changes of pace and disappointingly weak clean vocals to go with the more croaky ones. The progression has a strong air of Mercenary and Killswitch combined but it’s the switching to sublime guitar passages which entrapped me. The beat is irrepressible meanwhile. These tracks are substantial. The melodic heaviness mingles with catchiness and an action-packed drum and guitar line. The hardcore clean vocals are not so great but this can be overlooked as the music is so mobile. Oh wait … it stops … there’s breathtaking tension and we’re transported into a land of lush instrumental emotion and subtlety. The riot restarts and “The Other Way” ends with an imitation of thunderous machine-gun fire.
Epic beginnings mark the start of “When Life and Death Destroy pt I – Bury Me in Lies”. It’s measured before racing off into another irrepressible riff. From rampant hardcore there’s a subtle little interlude and the colourful explosion then restarts. In my view Mind Structure needed to channel those interludes more and make them into something bigger. But this is still a good, catchy song with triggering drums and bags of life and energy. As an album this can be pulsating, and it’s always fluid. Amid the life and energy, another lush passage sweeps in. On “Pt 2 – Infinite Struggle” we are indulged with another lush passage. The drum leads us on an engaging march. This blends smoothly into the fiery cauldron of the third part “Your Salvation”. Thrashing technicality goes with the vocal screams, which bear similarity with Mercenary’s former singer Mikkel Sandager. This is a powerful combination. It cleverly slows down and a shadowy passage follows. Breaking out gradually, a pleasing melodic assault returns. Fast and hard, it’s also deep and dark. Mixing atmospheres is something Mind Structure do well. The ending could have been extended here. And then we go back to the other side of Mind structure: thrashing, heavy melody. Mercenary meets Killswitch once more. “One Step” is a good catchy technical metal song with lots of hooks. Even the clean vocals fit in. It’s mixed in with subtle, ear-catching instrumentals. For the first time Mind Structure step down to a slower delivery. Unsurprisingly on what I’d heard so far, they demonstrate the ability to produce lingering and momentous instrumental sounds. This serves them well on “Searching for the Answers”, as they create an enveloping mood of melancholy and power, culminating in a magnificent controlled solo. So what’s called for now is a rousing end. More deep guitar and drums tell us that this is what we’re likely to get. Subtle and colourful guitar work goes with the ever accelerating drum. “Undone” picks up, then slows down, but always has great force and drive. It is a powerful display of Mind Structure’s technical skills and succeeds in drawing us in with the melody and developing story. A break takes us into imperious darkness. Subtle strains capture emotion and richness, lingering as such quality musicianship should and providing a fitting end to an absorbing and skilful album.
“When Life and Death Destroy” is captivating for the way it takes us from one soundscape to another. Subtlety, aggression, hardcore energy: they’re all here. Here and there I felt a few tweaks were needed to make it even more powerful, but all in all this is a top album from a very accomplished band.
(8/10 Andrew Doherty)