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Mind Key: MKIII - Aliens In Wonderland
Mind Key - MKIII Aliens In Wonderland Music Review

Mind Key: MKIII - Aliens In Wonderland

Melodic Heavy Power Metal
4.0/5.0

The last we heard from Italy's Mind Key was a decade ago. America elected it's first Black American president, Barack Obama, Russia shut off gas to Europe,and much of the world was in the grip of the worst of recession since the Great Depression. But Mind Key also dropped their second album, Pulse for a Graveheart, and then drifted off into the phantom zone of the heavy metal underground. Now, the only remaining founding member Dario De Cicco (keyboards) has resurrected the MKIII version of Mind Key for a new album, Aliens In Wonderland.

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Mind Key

While I may have one of their albums in the past, my recollection of Mind Key is rather hazy. Suffice to say, Mind Key plays a hybrid of melodic, heavy, and power metal interwoven with some symphonic nuances and undergirded with some classic hard rock rhythm and groove. My initial impression of the songs within Aliens In Wonderland was that the band was after a balanced blend of metal heaviness, strong melody and harmony, and foot-tapping groove to, ultimately, provide the listener songs with accessibility and interest. Spiked within this formula are some fundamental keyboard and guitar solos, and a generous amount of vocal harmony. However, outside of the vocal harmony, I found Aurelio Fierro to have a sometimes raw and rough voice. He became in acquired taste to this listener.

To mention a few songs, most follow the elements and formula above with some interest consequences. With something like Angry Men, Mind Key pulls out all their tricks, offering a song with an acoustic guitar start before leaping into symyphonics, sharp riffs, some speed, a catchy chorus, and rock groove. In this case trying to be all things to all people works out. Conversely, Be Polar turns more upon being heavy and a bit harsh, then contrasting tempos. Yet, at three and a half minutes there's this symphonic breakdown. Go figure. Also, this is one song where Fierro sounds quite raw. Alternatively, Oblivion follows. A lighter metal number, Fierro seems conflicted in his vocal presence, while the song revolves mostly around lilting piano line in its development. With Vertigo, another riff heavy number, Mind Key seems to traverse, lightly, into progressive power metal. If anything, it has a killer guitar solo, and Fierro and the vocal arrangements are at their most quizzical best. Ultimately, to be truly appreciated, this album deserved repeated listens to find all the musical nuances. With that said, Mind Key's MKIII - Aliens In Wonderland marks a significant return for the band, offering an interesting album of melodic heavy power metal with progressive nuances. Check them out and support the band.


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The Bottom Line

Mind Key's MKIII - Aliens In Wonderland marks a significant return for the band, offering an interesting album of melodic heavy power metal with progressive nuances. Check them out and support the band.

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