The over-saturation of visual and aural art that can be found on the internet means that most generous offerings by up and coming bands get lost in obscurity - seldom unheard by any but avid followers of the band. The Mentalist is another one of those free albums that gets sadly overlooked on the vast space that is the internet.
The first offical release of The Reptilians, The Mentalist is a 27 minute album (ep?) that contains only the title track. The music is a little difficult to describe, but it settles between hard rock, black metal and predominantly progressive metal. The opening of the song/album is something that gets everything right for me - kicking off with a slow building rhythm that runs for the first five minutes. It is brooding and dark in tone. It is accompanied by the musings of an atheistic man who muses on the contradictions of the bible in a mocking, quite darkly humorous and cynical tone. The way this beginning has been put together is very effective as an intro.
Next, we move onto the central theme of the piece, which brings us to the eight minute mark, where errie vocals begin to form. One slight issue here is that the music definitely takes the precedence over the vocals, both in execution and in volume. It's quite difficult to pick out what is being said at points. Probably best to check the included lyric book for more information on that.
The story is very much in an existential rut, at least how I see it, as the album starts to build up pace, despite sticking to the catchy base rhythm for the most part. it is never boring, and there is always something to keep you engaged.
The song picks up pace as we get to the 12 minute mark, and the vocals turn aggressive and raspy, under the growing force of the music. There's not too much that jumps out at you along the way, but the song never seems to drag, and this 27 minute journey seems rather short. The lyric that jumps out for me is "the world is going insane".
At the 16th minute mark, there is a guitar solo, then back into the groove we go. Moving to the 20 minute mark, it hits a sustained climax so to speak, where a thrash element jumps out with more heavy riffing. This comes to a head around the 24th minute, where an interesting effect comes back in, an extract of the atheist piece which kicks off the album, looping the word 'seatbelt' on to silence... I thought it was over, but at the 27th minute there is a brief strange jumble of noise that effectively closes the album.
In summary? A strange journey with lots of character and a dash of humor thrown in, that does have its flaws, but seeing as it's a free album as well as the bands debut, you can't hold too much against them. I expect they will improve their style and perhaps the mixing of vocals on their next release, whenever that may be.
3.5, rounded to 4 seeing as it's free. http://thereptilians.bandcamp.com/album/the-mentalist