MIND’S EYE – Walking On H2O

MIND'S EYE - Walking On H2O


Lion Music
Release date: January 27, 2006

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

“Quiet … Calm down … Now welcome children, to today’s science lesson. We are going to speak about us homo-sapiens and our mighty strange evolution, according to Mr. Charles Darwin that is. Let’s start, shall we?”

So opens the latest CD by Mind’s Eye named Walking On H2O. Mind’s Eye is a Progressive Rock band from Sweden, currently consisting of 3 members: Daniel Flores on drums, keyboards, and background vocals, Johan Niemann on guitar and bass guitar, and Andreas Novak on lead vocals. Daniel Flores is credited with producing the album, recording the album in his own studio, Sound vs. Science, and writing the whole album with Johan Niemann co-authoring 2 selections. Mr. Flores is also credited with writing most of the lyrics with co-authoring 2 pieces by his wife Ingrid S. Flores.

Walking on H20 is Mind’s Eye’s 4th full release following in the wake of A Work of Art, … Waiting for the Tide and Into the Unknown. The CD consists of 13 songs and clocks in at almost 1 hour and 15 minutes in length. The music can best be described as a throwback to the Progressive Rock bands of the 1970s, reminiscent mostly of bands like Toto, Kansas, Yes, and Starcastle. There are many good things to be said about Walking on H20, but unfortunately there are also a few not so good things.

First of all, the press release describes the CD as “… a concept piece and confronts the band’s thoughts on human evolution, science, religion, unexplained phenomena, alien abduction, deadly virus, earth pollution, loyalty, marriage, and immortality.” These bases are too wide in scope to have Walking on H20 be considered as a “concept” album. If it has that many “concepts,” it’s not a “concept” album, it’s just an album.

Secondly, there are far too many sound bites and spoken vocal drop-ins throughout the CD. They distract from the music and don’t add anything to the overall “feel” of the CD. The first track is really just sound bites with a musical bed under it. Perhaps they were originally intended to enhance the theme of the CD, but in the end they fall short of that goal.

Lastly and most regrettably, the cadence of the lyrics is sometimes strained to try and keep in time with the music, making it sound as if they’re trying to stick a square peg into a round hole. Perhaps a lot of the problem comes in the translation from Swedish to English, but in any case, the lyrics don’t hold up to the CD’s music.

Musically, the CD is very good and overall played very tight. The production quality is excellent — crisp and clear. The vocals of Andreas Novak and corresponding harmonies are outstanding. His voice is both powerful and pleasant. A standout vocal performance on the CD includes “Equally Immortal,” which features vocal harmonies that will give you goose bumps.

Throughout the CD, Daniel Flores shows why he is such a well-respected session musician. The drumming is excellent, and can border on Metal with some awesome double bass and triplets. The keyboard playing is certainly as good, and it’s amazing to think that in this age of specialization, a musician exists that can play keyboards and drums equally well, not to mention all the other hats he wears in the making of this CD.

Not to exclude Johan Niemann, another well-respected session musician and his contributions to the CD. Although it is common to see guitarists double on bass duties in recording studios, it’s more unusual to see a bassist double on guitar and lead duties and do such a good job of it.

The CD opens with “Earth – The Movie,” which is most akin to Cheech & Chong’s “Sister Mary Elephant” on the Big Bambu album, although probably not intended to be so. Following the classroom portion of the “song,” is John F. Kennedy’s famous speech about landing a man on the moon. The entire track could have been left off of the CD without ill effect.

A NASA countdown sequence leads into “Rabbit In The Hat,” a snappy number with a chorus hook that will stay in your head for a while. “Equally Immortal” is a fantastic song that starts slowly and quietly, then builds to a mid-tempo, AOR rocker. This song will suck you in with exceptional vocals and a catchy melody line that will make you want to listen to it again and again. This song is a hit single if ever there was one. “Mrs Clair Voyance” is an up-tempo song with some nice progressive changes throughout the song.

Middle Eastern themed “Sahara In An Hourglass” is, of course, about the desert, complete with tablas playing in the background. Johan Niemann gets in some heavy bass licks throughout the song. Another good rocker and potential hit single is “Out Of My System,” which has a great chorus hook that will have you singing in the shower. It features some nice vocal harmonies and chord progressions. “Umbrellas Under The Sun” is a happy little ditty that makes you want to tap your feet, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have it’s rocking moments too.

The next song, “Sacred Rules,” is another one of the best songs on the CD. It’s a bit heavier and probably the closest thing to Metal on the disc. It has a stomping crank factor during the chorus, and a cool lead guitar riff, with a tempo change in the middle of the song that goes right back into the cranking chorus. A series of sound bites lead into the next song, “The Nazca Lines,” which is pleasant enough to listen to, but is distracted by the sound bites. There is a part during the song that brings the band Yes to mind, with the bass, guitar, and keyboards playing off of each other.

Yet another sound bite leads into the otherwise fun instrumental “Flight Of The An.Unnaki,” which will remind those old enough to remember, of Kansas. This song leads seamlessly into the next named “Heal My Karma,” which has some unusual progressions that somehow work. The song is a bit too long at 8 minutes, however.

“When I Whisper” is an orchestral arrangement, with Andreas Novak singing corny lyrics that lead into a sound bite of … a wedding!

The final selection on the CD, which is 11 minutes long, is “Poseidon Says,” which is about one person’s fight to survive his cancer, his wish to be immortal, and to walk on water and him sailing off to ask the Greek God Poseidon for help. The song ends on some rapid fire double bass, followed by a sound bite of a radio commercial.

If the idea of a concept album was not stressed, the sound bites removed, and the lyrics tightened up a bit, this could be a classic Progressive Rock CD. It has a lot of potential for greatness, but falls just a little bit short of that mark, yet still grades out overall above average.


  • George Wagemann

    George was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of a town about 35 miles southwest of Chicago, Illinois, USA. His parents bought him his first stereo and some cool music to go along with it including Led Zeppelin II, Foghat, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, and Creedence Clearwater Revival. He took private guitar lessons from the age of 10 through the age of 15. Throughout that time he played in various garage bands both on bass and lead guitars. He had gotten to the point where he was considered a “pretty decent” guitar player. Then, he heard Yngwie play for the first time and realized that “pretty decent” guitar players are a dime a dozen. He sold his guitars and gear not long after that. Of course after getting older and wiser he ended up regretting it. His favorite styles of Metal includes Power, Progressive, Hardcore, Thrash, Melodic Death Metal, and Euro-style Metal, which is far different than American-style Metal, which he also likes.

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