Exposé Online banner

Mastermind — Insomnia
(Lion Music LMC279, 2010, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2010-07-01

Insomnia Cover art

In 2005, five years after their previous, Angels of the Apocalypse, a Mastermind single called “Broken” appeared, featuring three new songs, an extended mix of the title cut, and four great live cuts – close to 45 minutes in all, featuring their new singer Tracy McShane, plus a mention that the full length, all-new Insomnia album would be coming in 2006. Well, so it took a bit more time than expected, but the album is finally here. Two cuts from the single are here along with eight new tracks, and after half a dozen listens I think it’s safe to say this is exactly the kind of record that Mastermind fans would be expecting – a tight-as-a-nut performance from brothers Bill and Rich Berends (guitar / vox and drums respectively), keyboardist Jens Johansson, and McShane’s powerful voice out front guiding the proceedings, with an assortment of different bassists, track depending. The sound is a solid hard-rock oriented progressive, but avoids the clichés of ‘prog metal,’ instead calling muses from an earlier time, before metal, and forming it into a blistering attack that is at once forceful, effective and satisfying. Unlike some of the earlier discs, there is only one instrumental here, but I’m not complaining. Guitarist Berends handles nearly all the songwriting and lyrics, as was the case on the six previous studio albums (all revisited in preparation for this review), but the result here tops all of those; that’s correct – I’m saying this is Mastermind’s best album to date.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 38, 2010 releases

Related artist(s): Mastermind, Bill Berends

More info
http://mastermind.bandcamp.com/album/insomnia

Latest news

2018-09-05
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Steve Tibbetts - Natural Causes – On first listen, one could easily be forgiven for thinking that Natural Causes might be a collection of out-takes from Tibbetts' 1982 album Northern Song, his very first LP for ECM. Indeed, the...  (2011) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues