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The Soulful Enterprise - 77%

A_Dreamer_In_The_Theater, January 20th, 2013

"A Work Of Art" is Mind's Eye's baby steps into the house of genius. The record that follows this one is a defining masterpiece and the one after, simply one of the best prog metal albums. "A Work Of Art" itself possesses a strong center, but alas there's some moments that fell rather far off the mark. Still, it is worth hearing; the band clearly has a firm grasp on designing abstract melody and marrying metal with progression in the ultra sense to create a union that is all the more entertaining for its over zealousness.

Songs like "Courage Within", "A Moment of Honor" and "Hands of Time" attack the listener with soulful vocal harmonies and a strong melodic core. Frederik Gr├╝nberger's guitar playing is much nastier this time round, too. Daniel Flores' keyboards occupy themselves with the task of crafting atmosphere than with handling every bit of the melodic movements and give incredible lift to the stories being woven. The lyrics continue to deal with the emotional and the personal and Andreas Novak's impassioned delivery is beyond reproach.

"My Kindred Soul" and "The Shape of Salvation", on the other hand, sound like they were taken during the "...Waiting For The Tide" sessions because they bear the characteristic features of that shameful work. They are disjointed and lumbering, taking forever to make their point, both lyrically and musically. A song like "Your World" pays homage to the Queensryche of the "Promised Land" era while another like "These Open Arms" is a journey through Journey. These little nods place Mind's Eye within a referential context, drawing them closer to the melodic hard rock world, but also setting them apart because of the sheer willingness to push the envelope in terms of crafting unconventional song structures.
Perhaps most visible of their nods or steals is "Room With A View", which dourly recalls Dream Theater's "Through Her Eyes" replete with female vocal accompaniment and haunting piano.

Most people who cared enough to check out the album before this were doubtful the band would ever awaken from their dull, self indulgent slumber and craft memorable music. I was among the doubtful, but I also recognized the potential so starkly inherent in Mind's Eye and after listening to "A Work Of Art" thoroughly, I am happy to report that my disappointment will severely lessen with every spin I give this record.