State of Mind – State of Mind EP (2021)

Heavy metal proves hit-or-miss for most death metal fans; it too easily slips into what pop and rock are, which is a musical utilitarianism that likes color notes, melodic minor slips, and bouncy rhythms. The rare band captures both a mood and a transition through contrast.

State of Mind combines the deadpan churning rhythm of Witchfinder General, the atmospheric repetition of later Saint Vitus, and the spacious melodic twists of early Queensrÿche. Perhaps a Pantera and Metallica influence creeps in through the leads, which are both oddball variations on known standards and creative tangents that work enough to add a subtone of weirdness to these foot-tapping anthems.

Expect verse-chorus composition with a turnaround here, inspirational choruses in the older style before religious music and emo swallowed them up in the power metal style, bluesy riffs that somehow creep toward a chromatic angularity, and vocals that push the limits of the technical abilities of this vocalist but add Iggy Pop style color and grunting emphatic timbre.

Although this band seems like they are lagging behind the crowd and possibly stranded in 1989 and 1979 simultaneously, State of Mind presents something that is complete as a concept: a style that is all their own, bringing together the best of Americanized NWOBHM and mid-paced doom metal.

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10 thoughts on “State of Mind – State of Mind EP (2021)”

  1. ignominious says:

    This thing is drowning in Metallica influence. And it doesn’t help that they put the worst track up front (not that the others are that much better).

    1. Spaniard says:

      Not just Metallica, black album Metallica. 95 really was the year metal crossed the Rubicon; sure there has been some good albums put out since then, but nothing that compares to the prior output. I’ve been waiting for the next groundbreaking cycle like a junkie chasing the dragon. It seems like my fix will remain elusive indefinitely.

      1. I agree. By 1994 the momentum had been lost, and great releases slowed to a trickle, with great new bands being fewer. At this point, a handful of good releases in a year makes that a good year.

        Much of it has to do with the fact that metal has not really upgraded its techniques or symbolism. Ranting about Satan scares no one now except for evangelicals. Everyone does death vocals, including Miley Cyrus.

        In my view, music starts as people humming along with someone rhythmically bashing rocks, evolves to something like Early Music, then simplifies into rock, blues, jazz, and so on, but those quickly die because they are too simple to be really distinct, so then it heads toward classical or it dies.

        Metal needs to inherit the legacy of “Orion” and “My Journey to the Stars” or it will be doomed to plunge back into verse-chorus hell and be assimilated by rock. Oh wait, that already happened. Well, those are thoughts for its rebirth.

        1. Slayer Player says:

          Metal needs to inherit the legacy of “Orion” and “My Journey to the Stars”

          And “Apocalyptic Warriors”, IMHO.

          Seems to me quite a few underground bands actually have attempted to follow those leads, but have completely lacked the talent, inspiration and vision of the earlier bands. They are thinkers only, not artists, putting metal in the same situation as both the visual arts and art music did during the 20th century, with people racking their brains over how to make something new and profound, producing the equivalent of a obscure thesis rather than art.

          1. I agree. Big point also: they are trying to work from style inward, instead of from mental state outward.

            People are too mentally scrambled now to see the power of intense imaginative idealistic realism (IIIR) anymore.

            Also, most of them are miscegenated, even if by trace, and caste-mixed, even if within the same ethné.

            Then, they come from broken homes, and are constantly distracted by gadgets, and spend all their time dodging the outrage bus while waiting for the money boat to come around.

            In the 1980s, you could move to Florida, rent a room in a house, and live for a few hundred bucks a month. Now you will learn to say “my ass hurts” in seventeen third world languages, and then the cops arrest you for having an unlicensed refrigerator.

            1. Spaniard says:

              You’re correct in three of your five points. The two erroneous points are: 1) “Also, most of them are miscegenated, even if by trace, and caste-mixed, even if within the same ethné.” This is negated by the existence of Black Sabbath, Deicide, Entombed, Graveland, Incantation, Immolation, Iron Maiden, Mayhem, Megadeth, Metallica, Morbid Angel, Profanatica, Rotting Christ, early Sepultura, Slayer, Suffocation, Time Ghoul, and Von. 2) “Then, they come from broken homes” Metal has always been a refuge for dysfunctional misfits to channel their inner turmoil. Dave Mustaine, James Hetfield, Igor and Max Cavalera, Per Yngve Ohlin, Tom G Warrior, and Varg Vikernes all came from broken homes. In Varg’s case, the ink hadn’t dried on his mom’s divorce papers before she was getting impaled by brown Cypriots while on holiday in Cyprus. The seeds of Varg’s disdain for Southern Euros more than likely stems from the loads dropped in mommy’s snatch by the aforementioned Southrons.
              Every other point was spot on. As a matter of fact, between an obscenely inflated cost of living and neurotic gadget fiddling, it’s no wonder the quality of life has taken a hit across the boards. Compound this with an increasingly polluted environment resulting in less nutrient rich nourishment and the entropy of traditional societal conventions, it’s hardly surprising suicide rates are through the roof. I don’t think most people realize how devastating the inevitable crash is going to be. We haven’t even gotten through the appetizers yet; just wait ’til we’re served the main course. Bon Appetit!

      2. ignominious says:

        With Death Magnetic vocals. Ugh.

        I too doubt that there’ll be another “cycle”.

        I’m interested to see how technique and symbolism evolve (if they do). ‘Cause at this point I’m at a loss as to where metal can go when death and black are two sides of a realistically perfect coin.

        1. There is nowhere to go but upward.

          1. ignominious says:

            That almost sounds optimistic.

            1. It is.

              Everything that must fall, is falling.

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