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After the release of By Inheritance in 1990, three members left the band: Flemming (vocals), Michael (guitars) and Carsten (drum). That didn't stop the rest of the band from kicking ass, so they continued with a new line-up. Morten (guitars) and Peter (bass) cooperated with Samir Belmaati (guitars) and John Mathiassen (vocals) for the recording of some new songs. Originally, drummer Henrik Quaade would have provided the drumming, but due to circumstances this didn't happen, so the band sequenced the drums in stead.
The result of this renewed Artillery can be heard on "Mind Factory", a short demo recorded in 1991. Unfortunately, the new line-up proved to be unstable and the demo was never fully promoted. Eventually the band would split up entirely, to reunite later in the nineties. Too bad, because “Mind Factory” contains awesome songs and showed nothing but good for a theoretical upcoming new album. Enough about the background though, let's get talking about the actual music. Essentially, these four songs are basically “By Inheritance Part 2”. Needless to say, that means quality material.
The sound is very clear and punchy, thanks to the excellent production job. It leans most towards the BI album, since the other Artillery albums have more of a raw sound to them. The songwriting also lies closest to BI, although the oriental feeling and extensive layering have mostly disappeared. Out of four songs, there are two thrashers and two semi-ballads. The result is an overkill of slow parts, which is the biggest problem of this demo. I personally love Artillery's ballad-like songs, like Bombfood and Don't Believe, but two out of four is just too much. This style is enjoyable in small doses (read: one or two songs per album) but half of a demo is perhaps not a good idea.
Anyway, the opening song is called Welcome To The Mind Factory, a five minute epic piece, in the vein of the more progressive/technical thrash bands of the late '80s/late '90s. This song is so good that a new version, called Jester, was put on the BACK album as a bonus track. Surprisingly, the demo version slays the album version in all possible ways. The higher tempo enhances the riffs, the hooklines are a lot stronger and the production suits the music a whole lot better. Next up is Delusions Of Grandeur, the first slow song, which basically sounds like Don't Believe #2 (especially in the intro). While overall it's a good and interesting song, it's a bit too long to my liking and not what I would describe as “Artillery at their best”.
The third song, however, has everything to be called “Artillery at their best”: one hell of an amazing bass intro, top-notch riffs popping up behind every corner, extremely catchy vocals, solo's that are criminally good ... the sort of thing that can be described as being the best of heavy metal. Without a doubt one of the best songs this band has ever written, which is saying a hell of a lot. Why this was not on BACK is beyond me, but hopefully they'll include it on their upcoming 2009 album. Ain't Giving In, the second ballad, closes the album. While it has some great parts and lyrics, the song as a whole is the weakest on the demo.
Summing it all up, this demo can be described as By Inheritance 2, something that can't be said about the next album. The major differences between this and BACK are a bit startling, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. The production, while not as good as the album is succeeds, is very good, as are the songwriting and vocals. A must-listen for the fans of this band - especially because of Uniform, which is one of the best songs the band has ever done. Highly recommended to people who enjoy ballads mixed with metal as well, though personally I found that aspect to be overkilled.