Mind-A-Stray - _Sign of Victory_
by: Pedro Azevedo (3 out of 5)
Initially called Holochaust, changed their name to Darcane, drafted three new members (vocalist, guitar player and drummer), and again changed their name to Mind-A-Stray. (With so many name changes, one would perhaps expect something a bit better than that, but there you go.) In between changes, they have been busy releasing demos (this is the fourth one I'm reviewing), with some rather mixed results. The last one seemed to suggest a recovery though, so I was quite willing to give _Sign of Victory_ a chance in spite of its less than appealing looks. The production is quite decent for a demo and doesn't hamper the music, which has suffered considerable changes with the new members. It isn't so much the focus that has changed, but rather the interpretation of their customary mix of heavy metal and hard rock -- which at least sounds less like Metallica than before. Technically proficient and tight, the band try their all to whip up some enthusiasm, with plenty of guitar leads, rhythmic riffs and anthemic choruses. The new vocalist, while different from the previous, remains within the same gruff clean vocals format, and generally suits the music without excelling or providing much improvement compared to past efforts. Some really poor melodic vocals then come in to prove that bands should stick to what they do best. The worst part: it's the longest track on the demo. The remainder of the demo is quite decent though. The band certainly has some quality, but these guys really need to settle down and focus on their strong points in the future.

Contact: http://www.mind-a-stray.com

(article published 7/4/2005)

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