MIND’S MIRRORS – Forever Is Not Nearly Long Enough (Album Review)

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Veteran minds mirror an obscure past.

In recent years there has been a healthy fixation among American power metal bands with the divergent take on the sub-genre common to their European cousins, but the flipside of the coin is a less common eventuality. Nevertheless, in the metal underground virtually everything is not only possible but usually tends to happen; as can be gathered by the Mind’s Mirrors, a project conceived in Hungary, but adopting the stylistic template of the opposite side of the Atlantic and including several heavy-hitters of the American scene.

The brainchild of guitarist Daniel Szabo and Pal Purnhauser, whom had previously worked together in the short-lived stoner metal project Charmadynia and a couple other subsequent projects, it all began as a series of stylistically eclectic songs approximating the U.S. power metal sound of decades past, but with no proper band upon which they could be fielded.

With the recruitment of American underground hero and vocal veteran Alan Tecchio (ex-Watchtower and longtime Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins helmsman) and numerous virtuoso instrumentalists to fill out the arrangement, the lofty vision of “Forever Is Not Nearly Long Enough,” this project’s studio debut, would full materialize. Firmly affixing itself in the wild west setting of 90s power/prog, such noteworthy names as Nevermore, Iced Earth, Vicious Rumors, and particularly the brief yet highly consequential Chuck Schuldiner outfit Control Denied are among the most obvious points of comparison, though even more aggressive fair like Testament, Death, and even Morbid Angel could be counted influences.

Much of the extreme element that further enriches this fold’s sonic template owes to the additional harsh vocals provided by friend and frequent Tecchio collaborator Dave Lescinsky, which have become a treasured posthumous keepsake given his tragic passing just over a year ago.

“Forever Is Not Nearly Long Enough” Album Artwork

Clocking in at just below 40 minutes, this is the sort of album that seems a fair bit longer due to all of the elaborate twists and turns bursting at its proverbial seams, but not in a way that could be considered a detriment. Though firmly rooted in the trappings of USPM and the darker side of the 90s progressive metal coin, frequent references to the kinetic character of Bay Area thrash and the loose, jazz/fusion and off-kilter moments of high era Dream Theater further complicate the picture, to speak nothing for a few unsubtle forays into tech death territory.

Whether it be somewhat standard mid-paced anthems like “Mechumanity” and the similarly styled yet more tech-happy and jazzy metallic romp “Counting On Me”, or the slow-burning crescendo from dreary balladry to virtuosic fury “Eternal Spring Shine”, the number of jolting asides into contrasting material and the chops of all involved is kept at the fore, with a brilliant solo display out of six-string surgeon Christian Munzner (best known for past stints with Necrophagist and Paradox).

As is often the case, the longer these songs tend to go, the deeper into the progressive weeds they tend to tread. The moderate-length banger “Deadline” presents one of the most overt dives into riff-happy west coast thrash to ever come out of a progressive project, topped off with a riveting display of gravely aggression out of Tecchio and a raging solo out of his former Watchtower compatriot Ron Jarzombek, coming dangerously close to reprising the magic both originally brought to 1989’s “Control And Resistance.”

The concise slayer “Maenad” lays down the drama factor something fierce, channeling some strong Nevermore vibes, though arguably closer to the recent exploits of Witherfall given Tecchio’s more soaring vocal presentation. But those that want a multifaceted stylistic journey through sound need look no further than the towering cacophony of dark progressive chaos and album closer “The Blur”, which lives up to its name as it not throws everything at the listener but the kitchen sink, but includes a correspondingly blurring and dueling shred display out of ex-Nevermore and Forbidden shredder Steve Smyth opposite Symphony X’s own Michael Romeo.

Suffice it to say, “Forever Is Not Nearly Long Enough” is the sort of album that those who want a bit of everything that metal has to offer in a fairly small package will cleave to with lover-like intensity. It functions less as a tribute to what U.S. power metal, if not the entirety of the American metal underground, was during the 90s and more of a raucous celebration thereof.

Every single musician involved in this two-man idea turned de facto super group brings their A-game to the table, including and particularly the late Dave Lescinsky, who effortlessly challenges the dark, guttural rage that made Cannibal Corpse and Morbid Angel major players in the American death metal scene and also briefly objects of mainstream curiosity.

It is a bittersweet cherry on top of an impressive sonic sundae that this will prove his posthumous swansong to the metal faithful, but as Tecchio himself noted a year ago when announcing his longtime friend’s passing, we ought to mark the occasion by appreciating all that we have and spreading love where we can, and this album could be seen as the musical fulfillment of that very dictum. 

Released By: Independent
Release Date: March 29th, 2024
Genre: Melodic Progressive Metal

Musicians:

  • Daniel Szabo  / Guitars
  • Pal Purnhauser / Bass
  • Alan Tecchio  / Clean vocals
  • Dave Lescinsky  / Harsh vocals
  • Adam Marko  / Drums

Forever Is Not Nearly Long Enough” Track List:

  1. Glacial Extinction (instrumental – Featuring Christian Münzner
  2. Mechumanity (Featuring Christian Münzner
  3. Counting On Me
  4. Deadline (Featuring Ron Jarzombek)
  5. Eternal Spring Shrine 
  6. In Your Room (Depeche Mode cover) 
  7. Maenad 
  8. The Blur (Featuring Michael J. Romeo and Steve Smyth)
  9. Mortal Eyes
  10. Lost Dreams
  11. Lean Into It
  12. No More

Order Forever Is Not Nearly Long EnoughHERE

8.4 Great

An auspicious union of the U.S. and Hungarian metal underground begets a highly eclectic and progressive take on the former nation’s approach to power metal, culminating in a dark horse 2024 debut that recalls nearly every stylistic angle that defined the genre prior to the mid-1990s in a decidedly modern package

  • Songwriting 8
  • Musicianship 9
  • Originality 8.5
  • Production 8
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