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Mindmaze: Resolve
Mindmaze Resolve CD Album Review

Mindmaze: Resolve

Progressive Power Metal

Resolve marks the return of Allentown's Mindmaze, after a three year hiatus from the studio. Their third album offers a new and stable line up with new drummer Mark Bennett assisting bassist Rich Pasqualone and founding members and siblings vocalist Sarah Teets and guitarist Jeff Teets. Also, the album is Mindmaze's first concept album. According to the press release, "Resolve deals with the universal concepts of loss and the coping mechanisms people use in the face of guilt, blame, absence, and the road that must be traveled in order to gain perspective."

Mindmaze Resolve Band Photo


Musically then, Resolve is simply another return to form for Mindmaze. The short description of their heavy metal style is: highly guitar centered progressive power metal wrapped in very strong arrangements. To break that down a little more, Mr Teets' arrangements revolve around around his wall of riffage and then his breathtaking solos. Sure, he drops in some keyboards, even some sweet piano lines here and there with One More Moment a good example. But his guitar lines reign supreme. That's not to say the compositions sacrifice other important elements. Melody, harmony, and groove are abundant, with rhythm adding the gallop to the power metal edge. Ms Teets for her part rises above this fray with a classic hard rock and heavy metal style to her voice. Thankfully, she's neither the piercing operatic singer nor the grating screamo singer. Additionally, as far as I can tell, over two albums, Teets doesn't wander into the death vocal scene, which would tank this album quickly. No, her voice adds to the harmony and melody inherent in the arrangements, and her phrasing is more for clarity.

To highlight a few song then within this 68 minute concept album. Resolve starts, appropriately, with a rush power metal and guitar fury. Reverie is an instrumental powerhouse that turns, with no momentary stoppage, into the blazing Fight The Future. That's 10 minutes roaring power metal. An instrumental follows, In This Void follows a delicate piano line. Drown Me, a song with mixed pacing, drops in a piano line just past the midpoint and leads to some gentle acoustic guitar. The aforementioned One More Moment is similar with with piano segues juxtaposed against some brisk and heavy riffage. For the later solo in the song, Ms Teets sets it up with her rising voice, then her brother fills in with his guitar solo crescendo. Some more pure power metal comes with Shattered Self, which begins with thundering drumming and quickly jumps to light speed pacing. Yet it ends slowly, diminishing with synths and turning, again without pause, into Release, which is likely the quietest song here. The same ethereal synths, from the end of the previous song, are joined by acoustic guitar with Ms Teets voice lilting above. But fret not, a crescendo of riffage and a fiery guitar solo finish the song. I'll stop there, not wanting to give everything away.

Suffice to say, with Resolve, Pennsylvania's Mindmaze delivers another exceptional and intriguing album of American, thoroughly guitar-soaked, progressive power metal. Easily recommended. - New fiction, crime fiction by Craig Hartranft

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The Bottom Line

Suffice to say, with Resolve, Pennsylvania's Mindmaze delivers another exceptional and intriguing album of American, thoroughly guitar-soaked, progressive power metal. Easily recommended.

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