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Lineup: Elio Bruno - keyboards Gary Bourgeois - guitars Tracy Gloeckner - drums/percussion Mike Anderson - bass
The album. This is the second album from the underground all-instrumental Canadian band Mind Gallery. Their debut album "The Lemmings Were Pushed" was released in 1991 as self-production. The third album from this exceptionally talented band is to come soon.
1. Industrial Age Messiah begins with a drums/percussion/bass theme with some interesting synthesizer flashes. A bit later to the basic theme electric guitar comes boldly in, that shows several original fluid solos. Lots of industrial noises. Musically this composition quite corresponds with the title.
2. Stop and I'll Shoot begins in the same slow tempo with electric guitar solos at the forefront. Later this composition unexpectedly becomes more rockish, the basic theme however, along with varied arrangements, is accentuated again mostly by electric guitar. Some interesting interplays between all the instrumentalists lead the music into a more adventurous realm, though the composition ends up with the same main theme.
3. Vertigo opens with fluid keyboards chords, then backed by an excellently riffing electric guitar. Two minutes later this piece surprisingly falls into an avantgarde theme abounding with different tempos and moods, many varied guitar solos and interplays. Openly "Eastern" touch.
4. Bushing Around the Beat at first sounds like a light composition with gleeful guitar solos and synthesizer flashes. The composition gains more strength as the endless and extremely varied guitar solos begin to rock. Excellent drumming, fine bass guitar lines, original synthesizer arrangements paint a picture of never-heard instrumental mix of Classic Art Rock and Progressive Hard Rock with rare elements of Jazz Fusion.
5. The Last Drop is a more or less quiet philosophic ballad with some interesting fluid guitar solos. There are no changes of tempos nor moods on that "smooth road" of musical thought.
6. Psychicactive Wind. The almost tangible Eastern touch is back. Lots of synthesizer and guitar solos and interplays between the two instruments. Later the basic theme develops in a more rockish key with bombastic drumming yet very soft and gentle guitar solos. Lots of excellent arrangements from the openly modern synthesizer.
7. The Eighth Sea is the only epic suite on the album, divided into four various parts. The first move (Dreams of Gold) is a quite complex classical/acoustic guitar piece, representing a mix of European passages and Latin rhythms. The second move (Hoist the Black Flag) is structurally a very original piece with lots of varied moods and changes of tempos - from the rock guitar based themes to the arrangements, typical for Classic (Symphonic) Art Rock. The third move (Walking the Plank) begins in the style of Progressive Hard Rock, though guitar and keyboard solos, excellent work of rhythm-machine add here very varied complex moods. The fourth move (Man-O-War) is a light and even optimistic piece with the virtuoso playing of synthesizer (which sounds like accordion). The second part of Man-O-War is heavier, full of original guitar riffs and solos and modern synthesizer arrangements. Nearer to the end the music returns to the same light vein with the same (sorry for tawtology) accordion-like playing of synthesizer and some excellent guitar solos.
8. Square Head Dance. Begins with the constant interplays between a skillful synthesizer and a heavy riffing guitar. The next theme is a real modern dance with a beautiful guitar solo in the foreground. Later the both themes change constantly, though the work of guitar is always very diverse.
9. Thru the Cracks begins with gentle synthesizer passages, but further the intro develops into a twisted theme with lots of varied guitar and keyboards. The next move is simply incredible. There are several wonderful keyboard arrangements supported by extremely original and interesting guitar riffs and (later) solos successfully work until the end.
10. Just Say Yes begins very gently with a light keyboard theme and soft solos by guitar. The addition of rhythm-section cannot change the overall mood and tempo of this structurally rather "philosophic" piece. Somewhere in the middle the basic theme becomes gloomy and slow, though original virtuostic interplays between synthesizer and electric guitar quickly change this theme for the next, more rockish movement. Chaotic simultaneous playing of all instruments successfully completes the album, and the drumming is really bombastic.
Summary. Like their debut work "The Lemmings Were Pushed", this is structurally a work in the same original style. This is Mind Gallery, and there are no comparisons with this band. However, keyboards dominate almost absolutely in the Mind Gallery's first album. Whereas, "Guilty Until Proven Rich" is (almost - sorry to reiterate) a totally guitar based album, and this instrument plays a prominent role in each composition. The music on the whole acquires a harder edge, "rockish" and energetic, though the number of arrangements remains the same. So, it's not easy to rate any Mind Gallery's album as their best. And if I, as a lover of heavy sound in Progressive Rock, can prefer "Guilty Until Proven Rich", any lover of keyboard based instrumental Prog Rock will likely choose "The Lemmings...". The basic dignity of this band rests in their exceptional originality, which is the main trump for any serious Progressive Rock artist.
VM. December 23, 1999
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