A Gentleman’s Hurricane is the 6th studio release from progressive metal trio Mind’s Eye. Band members Andreas Novak (vocals), Johan Niemann (bass, guitars), and Daniel Flores’ (drums, keys, producer) last effort, Walking on H20, was very well received and this follow up album is excellent. A bit heavier than their last work, it’s a concept album centered on a chance meeting between an assassin worn down with guilt over the things that he has done, and a retired priest in a church in a small town in Virginia. The assassin confesses his 12 killings to the priest, who in turn shares his own secrets with the killer. The album is also being released as (according to the band’s press pack) the world’s first triple pack release, with a comic book (illustrated by Mattias Noren) showing the story, a “making of DVD” and the album itself. The album was just released on September 14, 2007 on Lion Music and features 13 tracks of some very well done, heavy yet melodic progressive metal (enough descriptors in there for you?). Unfortunately for me, the promo didn’t include the lyrics, so I’m going to be buying this triple package in the very near future!
I don’t know why I haven’t been into this band before, because I like their sound and think Novak in particular does a killer job on vocals. Starting out with a nice intro track to set the stage, the band leaps right into the heavy song “Seven Days,” where our assassin, Adam Evangelista, begins to tell the priest, Father Di Mori, about his life. This song has some great melodies, a wonderful chorus, and some great songwriting. “I am the wolf and they are sheep” is excellent imagery and all prog-heads love a little intelligence in their songs. “Assassination” features another awesome chorus and some great drumming. The stand out song for the album in my opinion is most certainly “Feed My Revolver” where Evangelista recounts some of his major “hits.” This song blasts out of the barrel of Mind’s Eye’s musical machine gun at 1200 feet per second and rips right through everything in its ear/armor piercing path. Amazing hooks plus catchy lyrics equal a kick ass song here! “The Hour of Need” is a slow song where Novak sings with Mia Coldheart of Swedish metal band Crucified Barbara, and it’s beautifully done. Other notable tracks include “Red Winter Sirens,” “Graveyard Hands,” and “Pandora’s Musical Box.”
I totally picked up on the drumming here, and not because it’s speed demon fast or because it drowns out the other instruments. I think that Flores, as producer, just pumped up their sound. The story flows very well and is pretty easy to understand (even without lyrics). I prefer the first half of the album for some reason, but maybe I’ve just been spinning those songs a bit more. Comparisons will be made to Queensryche’s Operation Mindcrime because both albums talk of assassinations and because that album probably is the benchmark these days. I can tell you that this story easily stands on its own. The album is not overly progressive, nor does it get too narrative story-wise. Fans of melodic and progressive metal and people who just enjoy a cool story will love this one.