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Album Reviews

MyndSnare: Conditioned: Human

By Azeem Banatwalla | March 7, 2009

Split Magazine: MyndSnareFormed in 2004, Myndsnare are a three-piece technical/progressive death metal band from Bangalore, and at the risk of providing an early spoiler, a bloody good band, at that.

Strictly speaking, one might struggle to call the music technical, in the true sense, as it borders on a kind of melodic death/thrash metal hybrid, with the only major technical variations coming in the form of drum patterns. That being said, the music on the band’s debut album ‘Conditioned: Human’ is absolutely fabulous. With great production values, strong vocals, powerful riffs, and a stellar performance by Yasmin Claire on drums, this is one to add to your essential Indian metal collection.

Influences from the likes of Cynic, Death, and at times even Arch Enemy, are evident throughout the album, as it gets going with a power-packed “Changing Skins”. This is followed by, to my mind, the best track on the album, titled “Use the Pain”, a song that is seemingly about monotony and being stuck in a rut, which ensnares you (for lack of a better word) with an extremely catchy melodic hook, some fantastic guitar work on the whole.

People may say that a lot of death metal sounds generic, but you would be hard-pressed to put MyndSnare in that category, as each song has a uniquely derived riff and progression pattern, as is evident from “Alter Ego”, the title track, and “Temporal Movements”. The lyrical content is apt and well written, with passing references to the likes of The Lord of the Rings. K P Krishnamoorthy on vocals and lead guitars is pretty much flawless all throughout.

“Layers of Hypocrisy” has riffs that sound oddly familiar to Dark Tranquillity, but could probably pass as the most ‘technical’ track on the album, and brings the fantastic ability of the lady on the drums to the fore. “Visionary Realism”, on the other hand, is more melodic, and is testament, yet again, to the variation MyndSnare have incorporated in their album. “Within a Mind: Mis-shapen” is something of a satire on humanity, and delivers some serious power, while keeping with that melodic tone.

The band maintains the quality of music right to the very end, with “Mirror of Nothingness”, which is pretty much completely thrash metal, but again, rather amazingly, manages to sound like nothing else on the album.

‘Conditioned: Human’ is an album like no other, and is, without a doubt, one of (if not the best) things, to come out of the Indian death metal scene in recent times. The album was an absolute pleasure to listen to and review, and is a certified must-hear for all those who call themselves metal fans. With the right blend of variety, technicality, and downright quality, ‘Conditioned: Human’ and MyndSnare deserve as many thumbs-up as you can muster.

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