"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Mindflow - "With Bare Hands" (CD)

Mindflow - "With Bare Hands" CD cover image

"With Bare Hands" track listing:

1. Break Me Out
2. Reset The Future
3. Breakthrough
4. Walking Tall
5. With Bare Hands
6. Corrupted
7. Under An Alias
8. Shuffle Up And Deal
9. Lethal
10. Thrust Into This Game
11. The Ride
12. Destructive Desire
13. Instinct
14. Fragile State Of Peace

Reviewed by on September 16, 2011

"On one hand, it's easy to praise Herbert's spectacular vocals and the best moments of Hidalgo's ax-work. On the other, the songwriting tends toward the generic side, and plenty of the tracks are plagued by over-production."

There's no denying Mindflow's considerable chops, musically speaking. That said, the Brazilian band's latest album, "With Bare Hands," is a little too glossy, with songwriting that feels a tad generic.

Still, you've got to admire a band that leads with its strengths. In this case, that's the vocals of Danilo Herbert, which feature front and center on tracks like the soaring "Thrust Into This Game" and the blues-infused "Break Me Out." He's got the Geoff Tate thing going on, with considerable range.

Guitarist Rodrigo Hidalgo contributes scorching solos to "Break Me Out," "Instinct" and "Thrust Into This Game." It's too bad that feeling isn't replicated in the riffs which, other than the bluesy "Break Me Out" and the speedy opening to "Lethal," aren't particularly memorable, fitting into the Disturbed radio-rock mold.

Amplifying the problem is the fact that the album feels over-produced. The electronic sounds that accompany the verses in "Walking Tall" and "The Ride" and the obvious work done on Herbert's vocals on parts of "Fragile State Of Peace" take away from the impact of the vocals.

Mindflow's "With Bare Hands" is a bit of a 50/50 proposition. On one hand, it's easy to praise Herbert's spectacular vocals and the best moments of Hidalgo's ax-work. On the other, the songwriting tends toward the generic side, and plenty of the tracks are plagued by over-production.

Highs: "Break Me Out" and "Thrust Into This Game."

Lows: A little too much going on production-wise and some generic songwriting.

Bottom line: Mindflow shows off plenty of playing ability, but the disc is over-produced and few of the songs stand out.

Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls
2.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)