Review: Mindslip “Reproduced” CD

This is the third demo from this Swedish act, and based on the professional quality displayed all around I'm pretty stunned that these guys haven't gotten signed yet. Admittedly what they're doing is nothing particularly new, it's basically an intense brand of death/thrash with ample tempo changes and brief hints of melody, but whatever the case, the songwriting is strong, the recording quality is really nice, and the visual presentation looks far better than average for a demo as well. The title track kicks things off with a focused and energetic blast of high speed thrash that's probably my favorite overall as the song's nice and short with just enough variety to keep things interesting; "Sado-consumism" follows with some ragingly thick staccato power chords and extremely solid midpaced crunch; "Dead Silence" opens with a searing wave of tremolo picking speeds and blasting drum patterns that have much more of a black metal sound, but the deeper vocal growls still keep the general feel more in line with the death metal realm; and closer "Lashing Out" takes a more creative approach to transitioning between riffs with lots of obscure little dissonance runs and cool picking patterns, but some of the shouting vocals in this one seem ineffective and unnecessary to me since the usual vocal approach is really strong throughout the rest of the demo. There are only minor suggestions I'd make to improve the recording, and they all basically involve trying to achieve a greater sense of clarity in the mix. I'm not really making out any basslines at all, and the vocals sound excellent, but the guitars and drums are often fighting for the same space, where the crushing density of the guitars can cloud up some of the drumming, and the overly rigid kick drums can blur some of the guitar work during the more intense blasts. However, I'll be quick to mention that this demo basically sounds like a proper full-length from a sizeable label in terms of overall quality, so they're doing quite alright for themselves in that department already. No lyrics are included, so I have no idea what's going on there, but the full color sleeve that houses the CD-R looks great in terms of general design and such, so... again, this band should more than likely end up signed based on their efforts here. I really am surprised they've been releasing demos for the last four or five years without getting picked up for a full-length. Hopefully that will all change soon enough. Nice work.

Running time - 13:29, Tracks: 4
[Notable tracks: Reproduced, Sado-consumism]
Mindslip -