MINDMAZE — Back from the Edge

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MINDMAZE - Back from the Edge cover
4.52 | 11 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 2014

Filed under Power Metal


1. Back from the Edge (4:50)
2. Through the Open Door (4:48)
3. Moment of Flight (5:28)
4. Dreamwalker (4:35)
5. The Machine Stops (10:27)
6. Consequence of Choice (5:54)
7. End of Eternity (4:41)
8. Onward (Destiny Calls II) (8:54)

Total Time 49:37


- Sarah Teets / Vocals, Flute
- Jeff Teets / Guitars, Keyboards, Backing Vocals
- Mike LePond / Bass
- Kalin Schweizerhof / Drums

Guest/Session Musicians:

- Chris Piaquadio / Backing Vocals
- Sean Loughead / Backing Vocals
- Tom Kerrigan / Backing Vocals
- Chad Barnes / Backing Vocals
- Roman Palasiuk / Backing Vocals
- Matt Johnsen / Guitar Solo (#5)
- Jeff Pouring / Guitar Solo (#7)
- Lord Tim / Guitar Solo (#8)
- Jens Johansson / Keyboard Solo (#3)

Release Staff:

- Brian Anthony / Engineering, Mixing, Recording
- Jeff Teets / Producer

About this release

Release History:

October 24th, 2014 (Europe) / October 28th, 2014 (US), by Inner Wound Recordings.

Thanks to adg211288 for the addition


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Time Signature
The machine never stops...

Genre: traditional heavy metal / power metal

Released in 2014, "Back from the Edge" is the sophomore album of the power metal band Mindmaze. They say that it is always difficult to make a second album that lives up to the standard set on the first album. I have not heard Mindmaze's debut, so I do not know how well this one holds up to the debut.

But one thing's for sure. This album is a damn good one, and nobody needs to have heard the debut to know that. Fronted by Sarah Teets on vocals, Mindmaze delivers one strong metal tune after the other. Strongly rooted in traditional metal, the band treats the listener to galloping guitars and layered twin guitar leads. There are even progressive elements scattered across the album which just makes it a further enjoyable experience to listen to the album.

The musicianship is top notch, and fans of Symphony X may be interested to know that Mike LePond plays the bass on this one. Sarah Teets opts for a hard edged, yet melodic, vocal style, which definitely suits the music much better than the operating style that some female vocalists in the power metal genre adopt.

Fans of Symphony X, Iced Earth, Tiger Alpha, Harrow and the like should definitely check this fine album out.
Back From the Edge (2014) is the second full-length album by US metal act MindMaze. Having released their debut album Mask of Lies (2013) independently the band have moved up in the world and Back From the Edge is released through Inner Wound Recordings. The band have also added bassist Mike LePond to the line-up, a notable musician best known for none other than the mighty Symphony X among others. Additionally the band has garnered some high profile guest appearances such as Jens Johansson of Stratovarius adding a keyboard solo to Moment of Flight and Matt Johnsen of Pharaoh adding a guitar solo on The Machine Stops.

I'm going to take a little time out from my usual review structure to apologise to my readers, as I had made the promise to try and cover some other genres for a time after realising that a good majority of my current group of 2014 release reviews were for power metal albums. A follow-up to the excellent MindMaze debut Mask of Lies was always high on my personal hype list for the rest of this year, but I thought I'd be safe with my promise when a promo for the album came my way, as in my opinion Mask of Lies was mainly a traditional heavy metal album with power metal and progressive metal leanings, more so the latter than power metal. Turns out though that Back From the Edge is not a heavy metal album, but a progressive power metal album. So sorry readers, the promise is going briefly on hold.

Wait...I'm really not all that sorry about that, for in Back From the Edge MindMaze have produced an album that is possibly the best case of genre evolution I've ever heard, changing the band from a good heavy metal band to an excellent power metal band.

While there are some moments on Back From the Edge that are more like straight-forward power metal songs, such as the lead single Dreamwalker, the album is mostly made up a perfect blend of power and progressive metal ideas so while you'll be getting plenty of those speedy power metal riffs to propel the music along the guitar playing by Jeff Teets in particular has a tendency to veer off into more complex ideas, with the occasional use of keyboards adding another layer to the sound, though the band usually stick to a typical song structure, with most on the album clocking between the four and six minute marks.

At the other end of the spectrum though there are a couple of longer tracks, namely The Machine Stops and Onward (Destiny Calls II). The latter is obviously a follow-up to the closing track from Mask of Lies. It's these longer songs of course that really bring the progressive side of the music out, and Onward (Destiny Calls II) is especially impressive, even including some flute usage that gives the song a very slight folksy vibe. This is the most progressive song on the album and is probably the only one here that I'd call a progressive metal song over a power metal song and despite being the power metal maniac I am, it's also my favourite.

Back From the Edge is quickly impressive for the same reasons that made Mask of Lies such an great debut, but the difference is where Mask of Lies seemed a little unsure about what the band wanted to be, Back From the Edge is a focussed piece of work with strong musicianship all round, amazing energy, and powerful vocals by Sarah Teets. MindMaze have been a pretty unknown entity on the metal scene up until this point, but Back From the Edge is the album that sets out to change that, and will if there is any justice in the world.

I mentioned earlier about trying to leave off power metal reviews for a while because of the large amount I've done this year, but what I neglected to say is that only one of those albums was awarded a top tier score, and folk-power metal albums like that one (Elvenking) are nearly always more recognisable as folk metal releases so really Back From the Edge is the first power metal from 2014 that is a power metal album before it is something else (in this case progressive metal) that I've felt the need to go up to the top tier for. Back From the Edge is really everything fans of female voiced power metal could want, and I don't feel like I'm overhyping it by putting up a 5 star rating. Consider me blown away by the massive progress MindMaze has made in such a short time since their debut.

Members reviews

This is a really great power metal album with everything I love in it. Epic, melodic, well written... MindMaze is a unknown band but it's also a good. I love The Machine Stops, a ten minutes epic. Onward and Through The Open Door are also great tracks. After their first album called Mask Of Lies (released in 2013) which is also great, the band publish another power masterpiece. For all the fans of melodic heavy or power, just go and buy this album. I think that it will become a classic album of power metal later. Deserves a 5 on 5 rating. Best metal album of 2014.

Ratings only

  • Anster
  • MorniumGoatahl
  • Alex
  • TheHeavyMetalCat
  • Fant0mas
  • Unitron
  • 666sharon666
  • DippoMagoo

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