Album Reviews

Myndsnare – Conditioned Human

  • Review by: Vilasini Muralidhar

They’ve always been one of the more popular metal bands around, whether in their hometown of Bangalore or in India. Whether it’s the ‘wow’ factor of having a female drummer, or just the sheer power of sound that just the three of them create, Myndsnare has built up a name over the years. And finally, they’ve brought out an album as well.

It’s called ‘Conditioned: Human’ and was released by Demonstealer Records in late 2008.

Review Starters:

The album has some killer production quality. Which is a blessing after all those pathetic compromises the band has had to make in terms of sound at live shows. You can finally hear them well on the CD. Hurray!

‘Conditioned: Human’ has real high intensity music. All nine tracks are heavy, and of course, best heard when loud.

The album’s also got the look. It’s got brilliant art work (by Pratik Kamat and Prasad Bhat). The artistic side of the CD is dark and partly incomprehensible (which is the trend of most metal bands today). The cover doesn’t even need the ‘Parental Advisory’ label on it. I guess kids will automatically stay away!

The Main Course:

“The centre of a tornado” begins here. The first track, titled ‘Changing Skins’ opens the album. It makes a fair opening, though it may take getting used to, with its variable and somewhat unpredictable pattern. The distortion patch used in the lead seems a little mismatched in tone from the rest of the song. Overall however, it is a good piece.

Track two, ‘Use the Pain’ gets the tempo started, the Myndsnare way. This song combines slow melody along with speed and the repetitive riffing that is an immediate appeal factor to most headbangers. An easy favourite, and well done.

Evil has a sound, and it’s called ‘Altar Ego’. It is followed by the title track, ‘Conditioned: Human’ – the icing on the cake. The four minutes-forty seconds odd song is packed with anger, in true metal style, combined with a catchy pattern and the occasional stops- the Myndsnare trademark.

‘Temporal Movements’ is another piece of victory. Short and heavy, the guitars decide to make an entry now and then to contribute to the melodic-parts of the song.

I remember having a badly recorded version of ‘Layers of Hypocrisy’. It was probably recorded in a not-so-professional studio or on a mobile phone or something. That recording was pure distortion, in every sense. When I heard the song on the album, it was such a relief! Well crafted. I’d recommend that you give the lyrics a read once too.

This is followed by ‘Visionary Realism’ which sounds like a sequel to ‘Altar Ego.’ Unlike most of Myndsnare’s other songs, the track has a follow-able pattern. Not that it’s a bad thing. In this case, it works well.

‘Within A Mind: Mis-shapen’ stands next in queue in the playlist. An album must carry powerful tracks even towards the end to prevent listeners from turning it off. Luckily, this song manages to hold your attention. Best enjoyed when played out loud… really loud.

‘Mirror of Nothingness’ is the last track on the CD, and possibly the heaviest. Feels like the band let their fury unleash in levels, with it reaching the peak on the last song. A special mention to the song’s concept as well. ‘Mirror of Nothingness’ will make sure that the last morsel leaves nothing but a good taste in your mouth.

In conclusion, ‘Conditioned: Human’ is a prize winning result of all the effort Myndsnare has put into their years of keeping the metal scene alive, and more than just kicking-ass. If you love some intense metal in combination with some technicality, you’re sure to love ‘Conditioned: Human’. I’m sure most of Bangalore’s black t-shirt crowd already owns the album. The rest of you must grab one too.