Mindration, formed in '06 by the now approximately 17-year old guys, present us with their pithily titled second demo "Dominate". The demo consists of four songs of heavy thrash metal, with some subtle death metal influences.

The band is influenced such acts as Slayer and Morbid Angel, and even though it can be heard in their music it's clear that the band has it's own vision. The songs are not nearly as technical, but rely more on aggression, compactness, catchiness and some small hooks here and there. Even though the tempo is kept high for most of the time, the band has understood to leave some calmer parts here and there so that the songs don't lose their power. Even though the songs are not that technical, the band has imbued their songs with surprisingly high-quality mid-parts, mosh-parts, tempo changes and other twists that keep the demo interesting for a good while. The songs could've partly been executed in a tighter vein, but it's nothing too distracting - especially for a demo band.

Musically the band leaves just a little to complain about. First off, the guitar execution could be just a bit tighter. Secondly, it seems that the vocalist tried to achieve a level of heaviness and credibility that he isn't yet capable of, causing the vocals to sound somewhat lame. Luckily the occasional background shouting choirs even it out a bit; the vocals could still be more back in the mix, though. Sound-wise the demo is good, using such quite heavy sounds was a good choice, as it fits the songs and makes the demo sound more original. I wouldn't have minded if the bass riffs were just a bit more audible, but the bass nonetheless adds it's heaviness to the songs, which is the main thing. The drums are played well and sound really good, except for the cymbals which sound a bit too noisy... but this is thrash metal, so what the heck! At least the sound is organic, live-like. The overall sound is somewhat demo-like, but still more than good enough.

The band has truly gone forward in comparison to their previous demo: the songs are more catchy and dynamic, which is partly due to the band having gone towards a more aggressive form of thrash metal. The sounds are also better, and the annoying clean vocals have luckily gone.

Mindration present their attitude, ideas, style and talent well on the demo. There are parts which still need refinement, such as the vocals, tightening the bands overall output and putting a lot more time on the lyrics. Still, based on this demo I think that the band will go forward big time in the future.

4 / 5