Disarmonia Mundi - Mind Tricks
In Flames, Soilwork and Dark Tranquillity have been driving the melodic death-train for quite a long time now, and influenced many of its passengers in the process. The Swedish success has unfortunately spawned countless mediocre copycats, but once in a lifetime (!) something new shows up and actually tries to re-invent the genre. Italy's Disarmonia Mundi is one of the better followers of later years.
Perhaps it's not that strange, since Soilwork's experienced front man Björn "Speed" Strid is on vocal duties. He joined the band after they had recorded the previous album Fragments Of D-Generation, and is now onboard as a permanent member. That album reflected the band as an Italian hybrid of In Flames and Soilwork, but on Mind Tricks the sound leans more towards In Flames, and their latest offering Come Clarity in particular. Last Breed is a good example of Disarmonia Mundi's new direction, while the intro of the title track is clearly similar to In Flames' Take This Life.
What separates this constellation from most of their colleagues is that Speed shares the microphone with another vocalist, Claudio Ravinale. While Speed provides darker and deeper growls, Ravinale's angry snarls remind of a hissing cobra, which makes for nice interplay and alternation. On top of that, Speed's soaring vocals in the choruses are the icing on the cake. Better yet is that the multi-talented Ettore Rigotti has written even stronger songs on Mind Tricks than on the previous album. The drumming is faster, the guitars heavier and even the keyboard-melodies are intact. The peak is reached on the opener Resurrection Code; which actually is one of the sharpest melodeath-efforts of later years, and the video track Celestial Furnace (which is a metaphor for "sun") is pure Mundi-joy. Credit must also be given to Ravinale for his dark lyrics, which all seem to revolve around fire in one or another way.
Mind Tricks might not have that certain little extra to be called a future classic, but since Disarmonia Mundi are improving with each album, who knows what this will lead to? Most of all; this album is better than its predecessor as a whole. While Fragments Of D-Generation was struggling for air during the last miles of the race, Mind Tricks goes all the distance without showing any signs of exhaustion.