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Mastermind IV:Until Eternity

MASTERMIND/Mastermind IV:Until Eternity (Prozone PRO896-2)

This, the fourth Mastermind release, features a Bill Berends who's seemingly more confident about his lyric-writing, and vocal, abilities. The vocals are more prominent in the mix then they have been on the previous Mastermind efforts. The songs are also structured more with the vocals in mind. Make no mistakes, the instrumental fire is still here as well, it's just sharing some of the spotlight this time. The disc begins with the brooding, spoken lyrics of "Under The Wheels" which really sets the mood for the entire disc. We're treated to a rollercoaster ride that begins as crushing pessimism, grows into soaring optimism, and then seems to question all of it. "Too Much To Ask For" features some magnificent drumming by Rich Berends, who's quietly proving himself to belong among the drumming elite. Bill Berends continues to amaze with his guitar prowess throughout. The amount of talent that these guys have holed up in a small studio in New Jersey is really getting scary. In my opinion, an explosion is imminent. With each release Mastermind continues to prove that they are one of the shining stars of the modern prog-rock genre. Unfortunately Mastermind's releases are not readily available in most music stores. You can find them at most mail-order houses that handle prog-rock. At the time of this writing Mastermind III & IV are also currently available from CDnow and CD Universe. All of Mastermind's releases can also be ordered direct from their homepage (see "Related Links" at left)