MENTALIST – Freedom Of Speech

MENTALIST - Freedom Of Speech
  • 8.5/10
    MENTALIST - Freedom Of Speech - 8.5/10


Pride And Joy Music
Release date: August 28, 2020

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Trigger Warning–the title track of Mentalist’s impressive debut album Freedom Of Speech includes some uncredited spoken word material (a speech? a spell? an evil-laden incantation?) from DJT, aka MC Orange Goblin. Not to be confused with England’s standout Stoner Metal act Orange Goblin, the presence of MC Orange Goblin lends an air of menace in direct contrast with the band’s sharp, precise music. Despite MC Orange Goblin’s nonsensical words, “Freedom Of Speech” is one of the all-around best tracks of 2020.

There’s an aura of brightness to the tracks on Freedom of Speech‘s Power Metal approach, not just in the tone of the musicianship and Rob Lundgren’s far-ranging vocals. The brightness comes through in the messaging and the delivery of the lyrics as well. Like many of 2020’s Metal releases, Freedom Of Speech could be termed a political record; unlike many of its contemporaries, it tries to throw out some positivity alongside the trenchant analysis. Punk and Metal have ever been great vehicles to point out the ills and injustices of society; rarely have the genres been as strong at offering solutions or providing hope that real change can occur.

Take “Belief”, the second single from the album, which features guest vocalist Daniel Heiman (ex. Lost Horizon). Clocking at over eight minutes, the songs starts out with some incredible timekeeping from Thomen Stauch (ex. Blind Guardian), moving swiftly into an all-too typical analysis of the failings and flaws of organized religion. But after blistering solos from Peter Moog and Kai Stringer (Starchild), the music drops, letting Lundgren and Heiman impart the real inspirational messages of the song. Believe in yourself, care for each other, and “let nature show you the way.” Nothing particularly revolutionary or insightful is revealed in those words, but the lyrical turn stands out as a breath of fresh air blowing through a social climate charged with gloom and despair.

The two-guitar assault melds well with the Stauch’s flexible drumming, the foundation he creates augmented by Florian Hertel on bass and the keyboard flourishes provided by special guest musician Oliver Palotai of Kamelot. The blend works equally well on the more uplifting shredders like “Life” and “Your Throne”, as well as the more Melodic tracks like “Isolation”. Palotai appears on all of the track except for “Whispering Wind”, which is given the full orchestral treatment as a bonus instrumental track to round out this top-shelf debut album.


  • Daniel Waters

    Daniel was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. Iron Maiden’s Piece Of Mind wasn’t the first Metal album he owned, but it was the one that lifted the lid off his soul when he received the record as a gift on his 15th birthday. He's been a Metal fan ever since. He's probably best known as the author of various Young Adult novels such as the Generation Dead series and the ghost story Break My Heart 1,000 Times, now also a major motion picture entitled I Still See You, starring Bella Thorne. Writing and music, especially Heavy Metal music, has always been inextricably linked in his mind and career. His first paid gig doing any type of writing was for Cemetery Dance, where he wrote a horror-themed music column called Dead Beats, and when he was writing the first Generation Dead novel he had a ritual where he started his writing day with a Metal playlist that kicked off with “Crushing Belial” by Shadows Fall.

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