MIND CONTROL – ELEMENTS
RELEASE: December 1st, 2023
AUTHOR: Matthew McCune
10. The River
13. Blame (feat.Simone Evangelista)
Okay, I get it. Nothing is more annoying in this entire world than some dude with a handle-bar mustache, drinking a 25-dollar old-fashioned and sporting the most obnoxious acid-wash denim vest you’ve ever seen, coming up to you at the bar and spouting the worst sentence to ever be spoken by humankind: “bro, do you like progressive death metal?” It can be pedantic, boring, confusing, and most importantly difficult to stomach. That being said, do you like progressive death metal? If you answered “yes” to this question, or even if you answered “no”, I highly implore you to check out MIND CONTROL’s new album “Elements”, out December 1st.
Formed in Italy in 2014, MIND CONTROL is one of those prog bands that doesn’t feel like a chore to listen to. Fronted by amazing vocalist Stefania Salladini, they present themselves with more of an accessible melodic death metal vibe that is purely just a load of fun. Accompanying Salladini is Massimo Boffa on guitar and programming (the latter being absolutely vital to the comprehensiveness of the album), the explosive Luca Nicolucci on the drums, and the technically sound yet groovy Stefano Tatasciore holding down the backbone of the group on bass.THE ALBUM
So, “Elements” is such an accessible album it’s almost unbelievable. Progressive death metal usually has artificial barriers raised high and tall above its pretentious outer core, but “Elements” feels like an album you could jam to with your (admittedly, super brutal) grandmother while not giving up any of those prog elements (sorry for the pun) that fans have come to know and love.
Monosyllabic titled tracks such as “Rage”, “Wind”, and “Storm” deliver in the most literal ways. Every element on the album feels fits together in the most chaotic way. It feels as like just as each track has moments where it feels like the train is about to come off the tracks, just to be thrust back together at the most satisfying moment.
As a hallmark of the genre, fans should come to expect that frenzied and anarchic nature of progressive death metal. But, these Italian maestro’s of brutality find a way to bring you in close with a super comfortable and groove-laden section, only to throw you into the pits of hell, and somehow it all works in such a beautiful way.
All of the songs on this album flow beautifully and the entire journey is so fun, but no individual track stands out more to me than “Hurricane”. Remember when I mentioned the importance of the programming earlier? Well, it is on full display here. Somehow a perfect cocktail of djenty rhythms come to life, neoclassical runs in the melody lines, and blood-curdling mayhem, this track absolutely rules. It almost transports the listener to different environments throughout the five-minute runtime. There is never a single moment to feel comfortable as you find yourself taking a hectic and unruly adventure through sonic landscapes that conjures images of your entire life in front of your eyes. Simply awesome.
I feel like this album made me find a newfound respect for progressive death metal. It somehow manages to be accessible while finding a way to challenge your brain to make out the landscapes that these absolutely phenomenal musicians’ pain for us. A 10/10 album that this humble reviewer can’t wait to replay for years to come.