Label : Lion Music

Review by Tony Cannella

Mastermind are a progressive rock/metal band from New Jersey. The band was originally formed in 1986 by the Berends Brothers (Bill & Rich). Their newest release titled “Insomnia” is the bands seventh release, but it is their first new material since 2000’s “Angels of the Apocalypse”. “Insomnia” also marks the debut of new vocalist Tracy McShane. Obviously, 10-years is a long time to go between albums and many long time fans were wondering if Mastermind even existed anymore. Thankfully, with the release of “Insomnia” the band not only still exists, but they are better than ever. From the opening track “Desire”, fans of the band will feel like they are being re-visited by an old friend. The vocals of Tracy McShane are perfect for the band and she is a good fit. “Break Me Down”, “One More Night” and “No Answer” are three more highlights. One of my favorite tracks on the new opus is the aggressive “Piggy World”. This is just a great up-tempo track with lyrics that I think we can all relate to at times. I found myself hitting the ‘replay’ button a few times on this one. The band members are allowed to shine on the instrumental “Night Flier” and the 9-minute closing number “Last Cigarette” is a great way to end things. The band still maintains it’s progressive element that the old fans will love, but the songs on “Insomnia” have a definite accessibility factor that are sure to attract new fans. “Insomnia” is an impressive release from a band that have been away for far too long. The addition of Tracy McShane on vocals was a good one as she definitely adds a new dimension, attitude and swagger to the band. Overall, “Insomnia” is a good release that is a worthy follow-up to “Angels of the Apocalypse”. Fans of quality prog music should definitely give this band a listen.

Rating – 85/100

 

Tracklist

  1. Desire
  2. Break Me Down
  3. One More Night
  4. Meltdown
  5. Piggy World
  6. No Answer
  7. Broken
  8. Night Flier
  9. Nietzsche
  10. Last Cigarette

 

Line Up

  • Tracy McShane – Lead Vocals
  • Bill Berends – Guitars, Synths, Bass & Vocals
  • Jens Johansson – Keyboards & Piano
  • Rich Berends – Drums

 

Links

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