Review: “Q1” EP by Mind Power

Hailing from Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania and featuring former members of A Life Once LostDead End Path, Ligeia and Bring The Heat are Mind Power. They’re more easily found via any search using the abrevated Mnd Pwr form of their name! Very much an Underground Metal Supergroup, the band have ambitious plans to release 4x EPs in 2019 and wrap them up into a double album release, presumably on vinyl at the end of the year. The first release “Q1” has dropped today, 1st January to bring our New Year’s Day to a riff-tastic start!

First point of note is that none of the four tracks that make up “Q1” appear on the bands debut release “Depopulation” in 2017 or a full set recorded on 15th May 2018 and available via Bandcamp. The second point of note is that the EP is done with a little help with their friends. John Henry of Darkest Hour and Rob Fusco of One King Down and Most Precious Blood both lend their talents to the making of this one. A trio of bands that Mind Power frontman Robert Meadows would have toured with in his A Life Once Lost days.

Opening with a slow building atmospheric riff of Arabian promise over a slow and spacious drum fill, “Influence” kicks in properly with a gutteral roar from Robert Meadows and bursting into the sort of sound that made Lamb of God successful. The drum sound is huge in the mix, driven energetic groove metal riffage with a chunky bass adding weight. It’s the kind of tune that was typical of A Life Once Lost in their finer moments and Meadows vocals have lost none of their brutal edge in that time. Lyrically it’s anvil heavy while being subtle and indirect. Introducing the first of the pair of guest appearances “Thin Skin” features Rob Fusco of One King Down and Most Precious Blood. There is more pace and energy to this cut with some inpressive kit work and an increase in the viciousness of the vocals. That may well be a nod to their guest. Slowing things up for a downtempo breakdown pummelling before spoken word closing verse adds a darkness and menace to the proceedings.

“Safe Haven” features John Henry of Darkest Hour with the second of the EPs guest vocal appearances and it’s longest cut. Laying down the groove metal of the opening track in styling it takes a slower approach, allowing more space for the vocal delivery. A mid-tune atmospheric break builds into swirling guitars as the bass and kit deliver a gradually increasingly heavy and visceral powerhouse build over the crushing vocals. It’s an absolute gem. “Conflicted” builds through 93 seconds of howled and unrecognisable vocal sounds with some dark chugging riffs before bursting into life. The vocals are brutal in the verse before slowing to a savage almost spoken word around some atmospheric instrumentation. If you’re looking for a mid 2000’s Metalcore sound or are a fan of any of the bands comprising the line-up you’re not going to be disappointed. It’s angst ridden, dark and savagely good. [7.5/10]

“Q1” by Mind Power is available over at Bandcamp.

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