M!ndgames are a prog band from Belgium that could have easily been on the Magna Carta record label back in their golden days in the 90s. Their style reminds me a bit of Cairo mixed with IQ and other British prog bands of the 80s. It’s neo-prog with some decided depth.
I am not keen on the way they spell their name but whatever, it’s just me. M!ndgames is harder to type! The key to the success of this band lies with their singer Bart Schram who can really sing! So many bands that I’ve been reviewing lately need a singer with the range and dynamics that Schram has. He reminds me A LOT of Phil Naro of Druckfarben and former Yesman Benoit David. So he is cut from the Jon Anderson cloth. Nothing wrong with that since I love Anderson!
The songs have hooks and melodies that are memorable. It’s nice that a band realizes that even though they are good musicians, the song is the most important. This is not just limited to Schram’s vocal lines but also the synths for example. The main synth line on “The Age of Plenty” is very memorable. I’m reminded of the band Ice Age from back in the 90s, a reference not many will get I guess.
All is not perfect of course. Part of the reason they remind me of the band Cairo is that the drums are a bit too far back in the mix. Thus, they sound almost tentative which, like Cairo, is likely not the case at all. This album is a remix away from being stellar.
The more you listen to “Paradox of Choice,” the more you find yourself humming along with the synth line on “The Whistle-blower” or feeling the bass groove on “Requiem for a Dancing World.” The band are certainly a talented bunch of musicians but never willing to allow their chops detract from allowing the song to shine. More bands could stand to learn this.
Now about that exclamation point…
2. The Whistle-Blower
3. The Age of Plenty
4. Out of Sight
5. Revenge of the Wizard
6. Requiem for a Dancing World
7. Context? Anyone?
8. The Sands of Time
9. From a Drone’s Perspective