Review: The Prisoner – Life Of The Mind

A Parisienne so called extreme metal foursome, make a deepeningly (yes I made the word up; everyone else makes stuff up…) darker album than most death metal bands. This reminds me of a metal Tangerine Dream, with good overlays, synth sounding guitars (but not) and excellent playing all around. They have a very old school FB page with lava lamp lookalikes and simple but elegant pictures of their CD and liners. Many songs are longish in the over 6 minute range which again, for me, brings this perilously close to progressive, but, that’s OK! Overall, a very good album that needs to be a part of my collection. I am also due for a trip to Paris for a live show!

The 00:57 work of Emptied reminds me of Rush’s Cygnus X-1. Great work! The tempo change at 2:28 is involving and charismatic. I like this.

The plodding, 9 minute + opus Battling Ego sure sounds like it. A mix of Doper-Speed-Alternative metals makes a tough like for me, but I will give its creativity a 9/10 as a stand-alone for the sheer complexity of it. The writing it must have taken to get this off the ground must have been astounding; full credits here for artistic talent and sheer determination of will!

The title track is long and amazing, with feverish riffing and hammering double beats. The vocals, as always for me, are ok for this genre, but I can only listen to an albums worth at a time, unless I’m looking at liner lyrics. The playing of this track is superb honestly would be more attractive without the vocals for a cool soundtrack.

From the Void to the Void has a good sci fi feel to it and the slow, edgy tempo would make this a favourite for this genre. The slowness was getting to me when a pleasing pickup at about 02:08 made it somewhat listenable for me but not a fan of this track.

The Black Sabbathish Acte Finale is another creeping piece with vocals appearing after the 5 minute mark. Kind of neat as it ends with a death metal flourish I wasn’t expecting. I would like it more had it not the syrup-uphill tones to it, but will generate excitement for lovers of this style. A thoughtful album!

Another Road to Nothingness is a pleasing musical interlude and while not quite ringtone-worthy is a contributing factor in the success of this epic album. These short pieces are necessary both as a break from the longer songs and to see them fit them into a live jam.

8/10

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