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Swedish band Mindfuel is Markus Kinell on guitars/bass, Magnus Westman on vocals and Magnus Göransson on drums. They only got together in 2008 but already have this full length debut to their names. The guys clearly have no intention of taking their time...

The songs on In Your Mind vary in style between hard rock, thrash and typical European melodic power metal. There are hints of Judas Priest (especially Ripper-era), Helloween and myriad other battle metal groups in the rhythms and riffs. Magnus Westman's voice is a touch screechy but comfortably up to the job.

First track 'Angel of Mercy'' bursts into existence with a rapid-fire drum beat that leaves you in no doubt what sort of music you are listening to. If the double-kicks were any more metal you could use them to make spanners. The song itself is a fine effort, although it could do with better production values and a few nips and tucks here and there. It's the aural equivalent of a super model who has let herself go a bit. The quality is there but shrouded in a layer of padding.

'Dead Comes Alive' is a few percentage points better. Again there's some unrealised potential, the song needs to be rawer and heavier on the guitar front, but the basic premise is spot on. The effort Markus puts into his vocals is worthy of note - his passion shakes your speakers. The self titled 'Mindfuel' has a cool chorus and some great lyrics.

'Welcome To insanity' is arguably the best track on the album. It's a catchy effort with a great sing along chorus and some phat drum sections. The main riff is brooding but bright and spunky - it's like a doom metal version of a hot summer disco track. 'Don't Cry in Vain' has another excellent chorus and great guitar/drumming combos. It's a plodding head banger of a track and heavy in a pleasantly melodic way.

The chord-endowed 'Damage' is a mid-tempo number with a buffet of memorable and not-so-memorable sections. The proggy interlude just over 3 minutes in adds an interesting dimension. 'The Real Me' closes the album in bass-led acoustic style. It's a classy track and, although it's not a song you'll prance around to in your leather pajamas, you'll respect the guys for writing and adding it.

Mindfuel have produced a decent album with In Your Mind. Some of the songwriting concepts are great, but the final execution doesn't do them justice. The biggest problems are the foggy production and failing to go balls-out-heavy often enough. It's as if the band were worried they might offend people if they cranked the volume up so they deliberately kept matters in check. As it is, they've produced an album that's good but not quite mind blowing.

*Check out...* 'Welcome To insanity' and 'Don't Cry in Vain', the two best tracks.

Overall Score 77%




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