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Das War - "Mindless Contraption" (CD)

Das War - "Mindless Contraption" CD cover image

"Mindless Contraption" track listing:

1. Just When You Thought It Was Safe (2:55)
2. Manifesto (3:56)
3. Reverance (5:07)
4. Mindless Contraption (3:26)
5. Where Eagles Dare (3:47)
6. End of the Matter (5:08)
7. Transparent Nightmare (3:31)
8. Duskiteh (2:58)
9. Sick of It All (3:38)
10. Criteria (4:00)
11. Creation Evolution Destruction (10:43)

Reviewed by on January 9, 2010

"The variation on this album is impressive. Fans of progressive, instrumental music will appreciate 'Mindless Contraption.'"

In the recent past, I have grown to love instrumental metal. While I’ve always loved other types of instrumental music, metal has always had to have vocals for me to enjoy it. I now see that metal can be heavy and/or brutal without a burly dude growling his guts out into the microphone. Das War is a band that plays instrumental metal that is different than most I have heard. With an impressive line-up of guest work from members of Glass Casket, Between The Buried and Me, Vehemence, and newcomers Zero System, “Mindless Contraption” is an album that is progressive and heavy at the same time. Though some of the music gets a little repetitive, this album overall is a good one.

The music on this album is heavy the entire way through, and the riff work is diverse enough to be interesting the whole time. The guitar work ranges from groovy metalcore riffs, to chunky rhythm work, to progressive shredding. The sound, for the most part, is very thick and crunchy, but does occasionally let up for lighter, more progressive parts.

“Just When You Thought It Was Safe” starts the album out very progressively. “Manifesto” has groovy riffs and a shredding solo. “End of the Matter” is probably the most progressive track on the album and definitely contains the most shredding. “Creation Evolution Destruction” is the last track on the album. It contains a lot of great musicianship, but at ten minutes long, it’s not nearly as epic as I expected and the riffs tended to get a little tired.

What I find most impressive about this album is how heavy the band manages to keep it without become incredibly boring. I can hear a span of influences in this album that would, in my opinion, would only be lessened by the addition of vocals.

“Mindless Contraption” is an album that surprised me. What I expected to be a mediocre progressive metal album turned out to be something entirely different. While I wouldn’t call this an album on par with, say, something from Sleep Terror, it definitely is worth a listen. The variation on this album is impressive. Fans of progressive, instrumental music will appreciate “Mindless Contraption.”

Highs: Impressive musicianship with a wide array of influences.

Lows: Final song is somewhat repetitive, considering its length.

Bottom line: Instrumental metal that stays heavy and interesting.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls

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)