Mindwarp Chamber
Delusional Reality

Formed in 2006, Chicago-based Progressive Power Metal quintet Mindwarp Chamber meditates upon the imperfection of the world we live in, treating the everlasting subjects of hatred, stupidity, greed, vengeance and hopelessness in their vivid metaphorical lyrics. Rarely does a metal album’s verbal content manage to divert my attention but Delusional Reality did just this, for its quaint phrases like “toxic waste of our time”, “absorbing another shock that the paper man has tossed”, or “douse the fire, drain the pool, get void of useless information” cannot but help make me ponder a little deeper to better understand their meaning.

The effect of inevitability caused by the lyrics is also firmly fortified by the intensive, rather gloomy musical ornamentation, and the somewhat strenuous baritone of Scott Huffman, whose standard hard-rockish performance would have perhaps been more remarkable if he would have more frequently hit the wailing Halford-esque registers such as to be found in the chorus of “Precious Time”. Whilst the 7-minute track “Through Crimson Shores” sounds like something that wouldn’t be out of place on Symphony X’s The Odyssey, the rest of the album strikes a happy medium between the better representatives of American Progressive Metal school (Fates Warning, Queensryche, Dream Theater) and some of their European counterparts (Vanden Plas, Poverty’s No Crime, Balance Of Power).

What’s more, there is a notable share of classic metal and hard rock influence found in many of the songs, and I’m sure I can feel the distant breath of Deep Purple’s Perfect Strangers or the firm tread of Iron Maiden’s Killers while listening to tracks like “Snowdevil Sleeps” or “Against The Wish”, respectively. Albeit, in the case of Mindwarp Chamber these influences are mostly disguised with a more contemporary production, as well as the bands progressive direction.

Not only are the musicianship and arrangements on Delusional Reality equally demonstrative of the band’s talents, but the very good songwriting also rises to the forefront. I can’t say that this album is a solid mass of metal hits, yet most of the tracks hardly show any shortfall of solid melodies and hooks. Nevertheless, the already mentioned “Precious Time” sounds so captivating it would make an ideal fit for a metal compilation. Not so progressively tinged as the other pieces, it features one of the most fascinating refrains I have heard all this year. Among some other highlights are “Saboteur” with its murky introductory cellos and quite unexpected mood change in the chorus part, as well as the album’s longest track “Return To Dust” which features over its ten-minute duration everything from half-bluesy hard rock themes, to Eastern sounding heftier lead-based sections, to playful jazzy interludes.

In spite of being a debut release, Delusional Reality doesn’t leave the impression of wanting for anything. It’s quite understandable as all of the members also take part in accomplished metal acts like Twelfth Gate, Cage, David Shankle Group and Spirit Web. So I think most fans of the Prog Metal genre as well as those into the old school metal and hard rock will find this release a very good sign of things to come.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Igor Stakh
November 30th, 2008

Comments

  1. Commented by: Cynicgods

    You had me at Perfect Strangers and Killers. Now I need to hear this!


  2. Commented by: axiom

    Hell yeah, if this is only 75% as good as your review suggests ceno, I’ll be enjoying it.


  3. Commented by: Paul Kilkenny

    Hello,

    This is Paul Kilkenny drummer for Mindwarp Chamber, and i just wanted to say thank you for the kind words about the band in your review of Dilusional Reality ! I would also like to thank all the people who have either listened to it, or have an interest in hearing us as well. It means a lot to the band and i and we are looking forward to what’s next and we are writing new music now ! Rock On !


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