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Making The Unknown Known - 80%

A_Dreamer_In_The_Theater, January 7th, 2012

Mind's Eye's first offering in the temple of all things progressive bursts with so much expression that at times it comes across as brazenly self indulgent.There is a lovable disorganized quality about the music that will quickly endear the band to fans of Dream Theater and Fates Warning - and any other players that traverse the landscape of unwieldy but workable sonic phrases.

Mind's Eye, like Fates Warning writes material that is deeply heartfelt and emotionally translucent. The details are not delivered in painstakingly flawless fashion but rather in an expansive style that shows the creative process developing even as the songs play - Mind's Eye is so protean that the music seems to communicates only within its layers of constant motion rather than in clearly defined musical sentences. That doesn't mean however that they will sound like this year's King Crimson.

"Into the Unknown" for all its shifts and dimensions is rather concise. Only eight songs long and none of them at a spectacular Dream Theater- like length. In fact, these songs are quite digestible and of the kind of prog that doesn't leave a metallic taste in your mouth. Songs like "The Other Side Of Me", "In Chase Of Time" and "Without The Sun" are driven as much by singer Johan Persson's powerful vocal delivery as the rest of the band's spirited jazzy playing. The lyrics are drawn from the usual wells of philosophy and warped logic and tinged with nature metaphors of forests, mornings and seas. Indeed, Johan's mentions of "a forest of illusions" and "wishes in the wind" although not the pinnacle of lyrical creation give a wonderful earthy and fragile quality to the music.

The guitars lay down a thunderous and consistent rhythm section on almost all songs but it is Daniel Flores' intricate yet well timed drumming that gives them lift. The man's canny grasp of prog song values is to be admired. "Questions" may be the obvious choice for best song on the album for its chaotic but catchy structure but the band shows feathers elsewhere.

Although not truly unique-you get wafts of Magellan, Dream Theater, Yes and Fates Warning every few seconds-this is not an album to ignore. There's great guitar devoid of wankery, lavish keyboards, awe-inspiring drumming and soaring vocals galore to get engrossed in. And it can easily match any of those aforementioned highly touted names.