by Scott Hefflon
Judging by sheer magnitude, this album wins points. Almost an hour, packed into seven diverse songs. Some might consider Mindrot too much. After a much-respected friend of mine warned me that, in his not-so-humble opinion, their EP, Forlorn, was a bloated piece of self-important, mundanely “progressive” shit, Dawning had some proving to do. While I can’t speak for others, I find Mindrot’s blend of Goth and grind interesting. By altering the paces, Mindrot trudges through the dreary swamps of ambient noise and eerie instrumentalization and roars battlecries while kicking some serious ass. While the guitar work gets a little muddy in the sludgy parts (and no, that’s not automatically the case), the drumming is always crisp and pounding, like the knuckles of a massive fist knocking angrily on a door.
The beautiful elements of Mindrot offset the Chris Barnes-esque demon roar. Almost Bowie-style in breathiness are the haunting interludes. While Type O does it much more sensually, at least one of Mindrot’s three vocalists has a rich, thoughtful warrior-kinda voice that meshes well with the dramatic Goth metal. While the anguish of the vocals may, to some, seem contrived, it at least adds another variable to all the roaring. While I prefer Tiamat by a long shot, Mindrot is still a reasonably new band, and for fuck’s sake, they’re from California! If they’ve come this far this fast, I can hardly wait to see where they take it from here.