MINDCAGE – Chrononaut

MINDCAGE – Chrononaut
Arkeyn Steel Records
Released Year:
1. Back Against The Wall2. Point Of Impact3. Living To Die4. The Seventh Dawning5. The Betrayal6. Labyrinth

Here we are dealing with one of the most important recordings of the US Prog / Power Metal underground. The debut demo by Florida’s MINDCAGE.  Its recordings were started back in spring of 1987 on a period where the band have been relocated to San Francisco, California. Initially it was a demo that was shopped to several record labels. And it actually garnered the interest of Mike Varney, CEO of Shrapnel Records. However, plans were scrapped after creative differences could not be resolved between the band and the label’s producer. Despite this setback, MINDCAGE soldiered on, and in 1992 they did a short run of cassette tapes of their initial recording to make their music more widely available. These tapes were sent to the press and fans far and wide.

Arkeyn Steel Records is reissuing this material on an official CD edition under the “Chrononaut” title. I am going back to those recordings as I am writing this review. And yes, I am blown away by the amazing remastered sound of this particular reissue. Kostas Scandalis has done its magic again.

Kept in its original form without any bonus tracks, the demo consists of six songs that have been remastered and re-pressed on CD format. Six songs that have been recorded back in 1987: a period when many classics of the US Prog / Power Metal where under release or under development: QUEENSRYCHE have delivered “Rage for Order” and were recording “Operation Mindcrime”, CRIMSON GLORY have released their same titled debut and were creating “Transcendence”, FATES WARNING have released “Awaken the Guardian” and basically all their first three classics featuring John Artch. And yes Steve Benito was already in HEIR APPARENT making miracles. So under this ideal background MINDCAGE were capturing their songs as demo recordings trying to establish a record deal. Really what could have happened if those recordings have been released back on the day as an official full length release under the name of a big label? Well I can assure you that the Prog / Power Metal history would be a little different or at list there would be another release included on the list with the classics. Why? Because those recordings are simply pure gold. Nothing more, nothing less.

This is a deep study to the elegant process of progress and power. A great example of the classic mid 80s Ryche sound captured on tape. An outstanding debut release that marked the course of this excellent band.

Six songs are included in here: Six masterpieces of excellent songwriting, and outstanding performance blessed by brilliant vocals. The band have managed to develop a perfect balance between the overall Progressive installment that identifies the songs of this session and the variety of influences that take those compositions to the very next level: and yes I am referring to the Classic Heavy Metal touches and the Power Metal references.

From RUSH to IRON MAIDEN and from QUEENSRYCHE to CRIMSON GLORY the six songs of this demo are sign like thunder.

“Chrononaut” is dedicated to the memory of Tom Williams, the band’s original frontman, whose tragic passing in 2020 was a tremendous loss. His voice and vision were instrumental in carving out MINDCAGE‘s distinctive path in the metal world from the onset. His contributions are celebrated in this early recording, which we are proud to share far and wide.

The reissue follows the well known Arkeyn Steel Records standards: packed with complete lyrics, photos and an extensive biography by band’s guitarist Dietrick Hardwick. Yes an ideal package is shaped doing justice to those outstanding recordings that made available for everyone again.

Demo 1987 by MINDCAGE is considered as a classic to me and is has been place next to the big chapters of the Progressive / Power Metal genre from the United States of America. It is time for you to discover this treasure as well.

Release date: July 26th, 2024 – Pre-order here.

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I breathe for music. And I am more than sure that my mission in this universe is to make everybody agree that "Awaken The Guardian" by FATES WARNING is the best album ever released, yes in all musical genres. My next mission is to feed homeless cats and when I am not busy with all this stuff I listen to US Prog / Power and Epic Doom Metal. And I cast spells in rituals in order to awake the old ones. After my subscription to the "Happy Otters" team on Facebook.
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