MINDPATROL - Downfall Theatre

Mindpatrol - Downfall Theatre

15 songs
62:21 minutes
***** ***
(self-released)

Bandpage

It happened late last year that all of a sudden a new Luxembourgish metal band surfaced on Facebook to announce that soon their debut album would be released on their Bandcamp page, and best of all, with the currently so customer-friendly pay-what-you-want tag.

Digging a little deeper, I found out that at that time the band consisted of Luc FranÁois (vocals) and Xavier Hoffmann (instruments). The latter has garnered quite a lot of experience in local metalcore band We Knew John Doe, who will apparently cease to exist this year. The former hasnít any previous band experience but should be known as the guy who three years ago, at the age of seventeen, released his first fantasy novel Der Dšmon der Monde to critical acclaim. His second novel Dorns Schlaf already had a lot of references to heavy metal music, so it was the logical step to get involved in the heavy metal scene.

Downfall Theatre is of course a concept album, dealing with the life of an actor who finds love and then loses it all. Luc FranÁois also wrote an accompanying novel that delves deeper into the story that can be heard on the songs. Just like the story which begins hopeful and then turns ever more darker, the album follows in that direction. The first half of the album is still rather melodic, especially the very beginning, where the intro A Story From Beyond is followed by the semi-ballad Forever Mine. The next two regular tracks, Golden Light and To Heaven Again, show the band from a quite traditional - in the good sense of the word - heavy metal side, reminding me especially of early Helloween when Kai Hansen wasnít really a good but still quite charismatic vocalist.

Itís with the eight minute long The Void where slowly but surely thrash metal influences find their way into the songwriting, and from Depulsoris Ira onwards, we get finally a true thrash fest, with highlights being King Of Existence, Masquerade and the concluding, ultraviolent My Final Sin whose fierceness touches black metal sensibilities.

Conceptually speaking, Downfall Theatre is a very ambitious work, and considering the involved artists, this is what was to be expected. The execution of this debut record is already very promising, even though I am certain that Mindpatrol havenít quite reached their zenith yet. First of all, they havenít been a regular band yet, and things might become even more dynamic once they have found a stable line-up. The drums for instance are programmed, but in such a professional way that probably only drummers might notice. The only slight complaint that remains is how the album starts with the more melodic material and then becomes more and more violent. While I enjoy both sides of the band, it is a bit unfortunate to open the album with a ballad, and there could have been more suspense if the different facets had been mixed up more randomly. I am positive that this can be remedied in the future.

Until then, I am glad to have discovered Mindpatrol, a still very young but already incredibly ambitious heavy metal band that is a welcome new arrival in the local metal scene. I wish them a lot of success and a long future ahead!

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