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Sown in Weakness, Raised in Power
Reviewed by John Sant
3 stars

This is a decent album. Don't let the fact that it's being released on Bulletproof records throw you off. True, Bulletproof isn't known for their hardcore releases, but this album definitely puts a solid addition on their roster.

Musically, Mindrage does some of the most insane hardcore, combining old school chugga-chugga riffs, with the new school styles of ZAO and Living Sacrifice. The one problem is, they don't know when not to do that. Every song goes at the same pace, never going in for a breakdown or changing up the song too much. As good as the album is, it suffers from the tracks bleeding together. Every song moves straight ahead with the same tempo for three minutes plus, then onto the next track. With music like this, you need to throw stuff at the listener that will keep his attention and make him go, "Wow, that sounds awesome!" instead of, "Wow. They've played this for five minutes and don't show any sign of stopping."

The positive side of this is that all of the songs are very well written, musically and lyrically. It's not like the songs are completely boring, not at all. The hooks that are used are often amazing and will keep you listening, but overall the CD doesn't hold much replay value.

The mix on the CD is above average. The guitars do not overpower the rest of the band but still remain a solid force. Drums are well mixed, just prominent enough to allow you to hear Justin Carder's insane skills on the double bass pedal. The vocals are awesome, a sort of cross between NIV and Earth Crisis, extremely commanding and powerful. Still, there's something strangely boring about the mix; it's an odd limbo between average and great. It doesn't carry enough punch during the heavy riffs. You can hear the guitars lumber around in the low-end, but you don't feel it at all.

The album definitely has its moments, but not nearly enough of them. They'll play with an awesome riff but then never really follow it up, forgetting it and going back to whatever chugga-chugga riff they were doing before. All in all, I do enjoy this album. I don't regret the purchase, but I can think of a couple other CDs I would have rather bought in place of this.

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