MINDFEELS – XXenty (Album Review)

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Mindfeels are an Italian AOR band who started their career as an instrumental tribute to American jazz and AOR rockers Toto. In fact, the band have even gone so far as to name themselves after a Toto album, albeit with a different spelling (“Mindfields” is the name of the album).

It therefore comes as no surprise that the album and music they create is well crafted and melodic, with hints of jazz fusion and heavy rock in places. The quality of musicianship is first class and vocalist Davide Gilardino has a fine voice, which works well with the material.

XXenty is their second album in 20 years of working together and will definitely be enjoyed by anyone who loves quality sounding AOR with hints of prog and jazz, like their heroes Toto. The production is clear, with every instrument easy to hear in the mix. Nothing swamps the album, with both keyboards and guitars taking their fair share of being up front or adding little moments of textures.

One of the things I noticed on repeated listens was how good some of the guitar solos are on the album. Interesting as well as melodic, with some faster work thrown in for good measure. Luca Carlomagno has a really good touch.  On songs like “These Words” and “It’s Not Like Dying”, he really shines for me.

A couple of tracks that are more rocking or heavy are “Speed”, which has a lovely groove and “The Joker”, which, although having a beefier sound, still has a very infectious chorus.

The last track on the album “The Number One” is the most prog sounding, being the longest song on the album at seven minutes. Featuring different voices, sound effects, time changes but still very easy on the ear, this is probably the highlight of the album. Personally, I would love to hear them do more, stretching out musically as they do on this track.

It sounds like a cop out comment, but is not meant in that way, but Mindfeels are very good at what they do. It isn’t quite either heavy or progressive enough for me to completely fall in love with it, but without doubt it is good quality AOR. Anyone who loves melody and great playing are pretty well assured of enjoying this album.

Buy: XXenty

Official Website / Facebook

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