MIND KEY – Journey Of A Rough Diamond

MIND KEY - Journey Of A Rough Diamond


Frontiers Records
Release date: July 12, 2004

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Strong debut from Italian Mind Key. But will it become a classic?

Founded in 1999, Mind Key (MK) aims to add a more song-orientated approach to progressive (prog) influences like Symphony X and Dream Theater (DT). With their debut album, I’d say they took a big step in the right direction. Included here are elements from several decades of prog and rock, along with a few refreshing surprises, like in “Lord of the Flies” where suddenly a reggae beat appears! Yo man. Sometimes they come dangerously close to their influences, but they manage to keep their own signature on it, a signature I believe we will see again soon. The band is very tight and you’ll get the vibes of a live performance from the better tracks of the album.

Since the release of the album, singer Mark Basile has been replaced by Aurelio Fierro, Jr. (a.k.a. Elio). Hard to say what this means, since you’ll find Mr Basile’s contribution quite convincing on the album, however, a little weak from time to time. The rest of the band performs with excellence and I understand why Mike Portnoy of DT said, “They’re great!” when MK supported DT on their Italian 2004 tour.

Journey of a Rough Diamond takes you trough 8 songs in a little less than 60 minutes. Apart from the weaker ballad tracks: “Memory Calling” and “Without Ann”, the album really rocks. The first and the fifth tracks provide a lot of similarities to Symphony X and DT, respectively, but they still keep the before mentioned signature of the band intact. “World of Illusion” is a very nice piece of Prog and Heavy Metal with very good solos (especially keyboards). Sadly, the song is faded out just when the guitar solo starts, leaving it unfinished or unfulfilled. The final track, “Waiting for the Answer,” is the probably the best song of the album. It’s a piece proving the band’s quality in music and song writing. Here you will find all the ingredients needed to make a safe Prog Metal journey, truly a solid piece of work and the ending really gets stuck in your mind, even as the singer goes slightly bananas. The kind of song that makes you wanna play the whole thing again. And thank God that this one doesn’t fade out!

What keeps this album from becoming a classic are the lyrics. Singer Basile has a clear and good English voice most of the time, but the words are often inferior to the music (I admit I might be a little biased against songs centered on love topics … after all, what hasn’t been said on the topic so many times before by others?). However, with a little help, and by putting their minds to it, I am confident MK will prevail in eventually elevating their lyrics to the same level as the music!


  • Frode Leirvik

    Frode was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Norway. His headbanging experience started when his brother-in-law gave him Deep Purple’s Fireball at the age of ten. Since then, he has also been a fan of and active in several other musical genres, resulting in a deep and profound interest in music. Some of his favorites, among all of those who have somehow managed to tap into the universal force of Progressive Music are (in no particular order): Thule, Dream Theater, King Crimson,Pink Floyd, Rush, Spock’s Beard, Jan Hammer and Jerry Goodman, Ekseption, Focus, The Beatles, Deep Purple and Frank Zappa.

    View all posts

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.