Album Title: Omnipresence
Label: TriTech Music
Date of Release: 13 March 2020
A Norwegian power/progressive metal band is always worth checking out, right? When the country is responsible for the likes of Circus Maximus, Pagan’s Mind, Conception, Leprous and oodles more, the track record is pretty impressive to say the least. So when the latest band professing to be of that ilk arrived in my inbox, I didn’t hesitate.
Mindtech are a quintet comprised of vocalist Mathias Moland Indergård, guitarists Marius Belseth and Thor Axel Eriksen, bassist Ola A Øverli and drummer Ole Devold. ‘Omnipresence’ is their sophomore full-length following their debut in 2013 and a couple of singles and EPs since.
The first thing I’ll say about ‘Omnipresence’ is that it sounds very professional and well-produced. There is clarity throughout as well as some much-needed grunt especially via the guitars which are strong and powerful when in full-on riff mode. The bass has a really nice low end rumble too and the drums offer a decent punch. Following on from this, it is fair to say that the five musicians are proficient with their chosen instruments and I have no qualms whatsoever with the delivery of the music; it is tight, honed and slick enough for sure. Vocalist Mathias Moland Indergård has a solid voice, with a vibrancy that I like, as well as a decent range. He certainly doesn’t let the band down if his delivery is just a tad unremarkable and lacking in an all-important USP.
Unfortunately, having spun this record a few times now, I still struggle to differentiate the material from the masses and if I’m honest, very few of the songs stick in my head. Each time I listen, I find myself nodding along, thinking that what I am listening to is very pleasant, inoffensive and mildly diverting. But very little of the material goes beyond that. And I want more to be perfectly honest. I may be doing the musicians a disservice, but the whole record feels safe and a bit too easy. I get the impression that very few risks have been taken and it ends up delivering an album that’s lacking in urgency and originality. Originality I can forego if the songs are up to a certain standard. Sadly that just isn’t the case here.
If I was asked to pick out a few of the stronger moments on ‘Omnipresence’, I’d start with ‘Brahman’. It begins with a nice chugging riff and some double-pedal drumming before reverting to something much lighter and melodic. The chorus is the brightest moment, blending AOR-like melodies with something more classically prog, vaguely reminiscent of Lost In Thought for example, and the musicianship within this composition, including the lead breaks and djenty riffs is noteworthy.
The final track, ‘Through The Veil’ has a clever and catchy groove in places too, blending this with a doom façade, heavy riffs and plenty of lead flamboyance. Then there’s the fast-paced and energetic opener, ‘The Big Question’ with its machine-like precision and effervescent chorus. The gruff vocals that duet with the chunky riffs suggest a more aggressive edge which I enjoy and, credit where it’s due, it is a positive start to the album.
But in terms of highlights, that’s about it as the middle five songs fly past in a blur that I’m hard-pressed to remember once over and done.
I don’t wish to be too critical and I will say that Mindtech do possess enough in their armoury to break through and deliver an album next time that’s more befitting their talents and enthusiasm. And I’ll reiterate that ‘Omnipresence’ isn’t bad, it just needed something extra to lift it above the masses. As such, some may find it a more engaging experience than I do. Regardless, I will personally be keeping an eye on Mindtech in the hope that my faith pays off and album number three makes me utter ‘Pagan’s who?’!
The Score of Much Metal: 68%
Check out my reviews from 2020 right here:
Dark Fortress – Spectres From The Old World
The Oneira – Injection
Night Crowned – Impius Viam
Dead Serenity – Beginnings EP
The Night Flight Orchestra – Aeromantic
Deadrisen – Deadrisen
Blaze Of Perdition – The Harrowing Of Hearts
Godsticks – Inescapable
Isle Of The Cross – Excelsis
Demons & Wizards – III
Vredehammer – Viperous
H.E.A.T – H.E.A.T II
Psychotic Waltz – The God-Shaped Void
Into The Open – Destination Eternity
Lunarsea – Earthling/Terrestre
Pure Wrath – The Forlorn Soldier EP
Sylosis – Cycle of Suffering
Sepultura – Quadra
Dyscordia – Delete / Rewrite
Godthrymm – Reflections
On Thorns I Lay – Threnos
God Dethroned – Illuminati
Fragment Soul – A Soul Inhabiting Two Bodies
Mariana Semkina – Sleepwalking
Mini Album Reviews: Moloken, The Driftwood Sign & Midnight
Serenity – The Last Knight
Ihsahn – Telemark EP
Temperance – Viridian
Blasphemer – The Sixth Hour
Deathwhite – Grave Image
Marko Hietala – Pyre Of The Black Heart
SWMM – Trail Of The Fallen
Into Pandemonium – Darkest Rise EP
Bonded – Rest In Violence
Serious Black – Suite 226
Darktribe – Voici L’Homme
Brothers Of Metal – Emblas Saga
A Life Divided – Echoes
Thoughts Factory – Elements
You can also check out my other reviews from previous years right here: