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Course of Fate > Mindweaver > Reviews > Livingwave17
Course of Fate - Mindweaver

Course of Fate - Mindweaver - 80%

Livingwave17, May 24th, 2020

Alright, let’s weave minds. Here’s a band whose music is so much warmer than their country. Norway’s Course of Fate is a six-piece progressive metal act and their “Mindweaver” is a rather compelling progressive debut. Listing influences along the lines of Dream Theater, Queensryche, Devin Townsend and Evergrey, the band approaches a more emotive and melody focused take on the realms of the prog. The bright album art very well depicts the hopeful feeling that comes from the music, one that also seems to embody a narrative component. Dream Theater’s softer tracks such as “Another Day” or “The Bigger Picture” are as close as you’ll get to Course of Fate’s sound on this record. While I’m not sure if the album is a linear story, it does feel that way, and some overheard lyrics as well as the symmetry of titles in the opening and closing tracks hints at that as well.

The 44 minutes of music consist of 6 full tracks and two short instrumental pieces, an intro track and a breather at number 4. This of course means that in classic prog fashion the songs are quite lengthy, yet not in a way where they puzzle a million different ideas per track, more in a way that allows their ideas to have space, to breathe, and to flow cohesively from one to the next. Solos are lengthy and virtuosic yet very melodic, provided both on guitars and keyboards, blending nicely in the songs. Riffs aren’t overly technical or flashy, but some ideas deliver strong infectious grooves (main riff in “Endgame”). Drums don’t play 18/37 time signatures, and verses and choruses are easily distinguishable in the songs, yet Course of Fate can still smoothly embody an intricate rhythmic component in their music, without compromising the atmosphere, which I think is key to their style. So there’s no shortage of ingenious ideas, but everything is wrapped in an elegant expression and atmosphere, allowing the music to become accessible rather quick and not really challenging the listener.

As said the atmosphere and emotive musical ideas make a big part of the band’s sound and the keyboards and clean passages on guitars are often responsible for this delivery. The verses of the songs often rely on clean ideas and keys, also allowing the bass to shine through, and keeping the more riff driven side to the instrumental parts and choruses. Clean guitars offer nice warm chords with cozy reverb driven tones, similar to Petrucci’s clean sound and the keyboards bring piano ideas as well as lots of synth layers and even an industrial tinge at times (intros to “Endgame” and “The Faceless Men Pt II”). Vocally, the style is also very melodic, comfy and warm and also providing some cool layering effects and the occasional higher notes. It matches the instrumental effortlessly and works very well in sync with the overall vibe of the record.

Most prog records tend to focus on highly complex instrumental and usually have a challenging component, but these guys have kept it more user friendly, accessible. Very rarely I felt like the music caught me off guard while listening, which is something I actually like about prog, but the absence of that seems to work in favor of the band. In this way, I felt like Course of Fate’s sound is somewhat similar to that of fellow countrymen Circus Maximus as well. “Mindweaver” marks a promising full length for this band, one that should appeal to fans of the older prog, as well as more throwback classic rock music. The album releases May 15th through Rock of Angels Records.


Originally written for The Metal Observer: