Machines Of Mental Design

Guardians Of Time

It's 8:19 of September 1st and I just realized that summer's fooling around is over... […]
By Eleni Mouratoglou
September 1, 2004
Guardians Of Time - Machines Of Mental Design album cover

It's 8:19 of September 1st and I just realized that summer's fooling around is over... After a sleepless night Machines Of Mental Design seems a good choice for the first review after about a month.
Guardians Of Time, from Norway, had released an album called Edge Of Tomorrow in 2001, the cover of which was created by Derek Riggs, known from his work for Iron Maiden. This new album also has an interesting cover; Leo Hao, a Russian fantasy artist who has already co-operated with bands such as Blind Guardian, Iced Earth, Primal Fear and Nocturnal Rites has come up with a sci-fi landscape. A woman is discerned, in all probability Jeanet Delacroix, the main character of the whole story behind the music.
So, as we are talking about a concept album let me tell you a few words about what is going on before commenting on the music. We are located in Paris in 2099. Jeanet Delacroix works for a company called TriOpticon in a project aiming at creating a half human-half machine super-being that could save the contemporary world. At some point Jeanet decides that she herself should become that being but the Guardians of Time try to stop her. So, they plan to explode her laboratory, in TriOpticon's tower and Jeanet enters a computer system of the company in order to escape.
The album's structure is strictly built. There are four chapters in the story. Quite complicated, don't you think? On the other hand there's no doubt that this concept is original.
When it comes to music everything is really simple though and originality is lost. After a futuristic intro that could easily match any scene of any Star Wars episode Guardians Of Time burst into massive and speedy Power Metal with the lately unavoidable heavy aspects and melodic spots. Even the brutal vocals in the title track (which, in my opinion, is one of the weakest) don't really offer any variation. We have rough and technical guitars and a flexible voice that serves right the whole thing, other times sharp with impressive peaks and others lower and harder.
Vocalist Bernt Fjellstad (ex-Scariot) has worked with consciousness for this album and nobody can accuse the other band members of the opposite. But although I cannot say that Machines Of Mental Design is a totally disappointing piece of work I would be misleading you if I said it is good. The endlessly repeated guitar solos sound indifferent and the songs lack in inspiration and creative details. Faceless Society forms the only exception-a great composition among songs that, heard or not, will make no difference to you.
The sad thing is that at first the whole package allows high expectations. But if you think about it from another point of view life is full of unpleasant surprises. Or maybe a few pleasant ones.

5 / 10


"Machines Of Mental Design" Track-listing:

Logging On
Faceless Society
The Rise Of TriOpticon
More Than Man
Machines Of Mental Design
Puppets Of The Mainframe
War Within
Escaping Time
A Secret Revealed
Point Of No Return
Intervention From Beyond
The Journey

Guardians Of Time Lineup:

Bernt Fjellstad - Vocals
Rune Schellingerhout - Guitar
Paul Olsen - Guitar
Dag-Ove Johnsen - Bass
Vidar Uleberg - Drums

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