Exposé Online banner

Mastermind — Volume One
(Cyclops , 1987/1996, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1996-08-01

Volume One Cover art

Ten years after it was recorded and released as a cassette, and about six years after its original CD incarnation on ZNR records, Mastermind's debut is finally available once again. It establishes many of the surviving aspects of Mastermind's current sound, that furious fretted firestorm that can fool the listener into thinking "Hey, that's a great keyboard player," through the use of guitar synths with keyboard-type effects, and the powerhouse "blow out the main transformers" approach to classical-type themes in a rock format. Mastermind's ideals were (and still are) set primarily by a rock base firmly rooted in the late 60s and early 70s, before the heyday of so-called 'progressive rock.' Not constrained by the limitations of such labels, the band moves freely between the poles of the rock idiom. Certain tunes like "Long Distance Love Affair" and "Eye of the Storm" weigh in on the more accessible side of the scale, the latter could be a cross between Van Halen and ELP if it weren't for Berends' tenor crooning. Others, like "Fanfare" dial into a more classical-rock style. "On the Wings of Mercury" is a four-minute hard fusion fireball that incinerates everything in its path, while the closer "War Machine" hints at what was to come on Volume 2. For this reissue, two bonus tracks have been added, both recorded a few years after the other material, both vocal tracks in the four minute range. Is that Billy Idol's voice guesting on "Reach for the Sky"? Mastermind's debut still stands strong today a decade after its original release.


Filed under: Reissues, Issue 10, 1996 releases, 1987 recordings

Related artist(s): Mastermind, Bill Berends

More info
http://mastermind.bandcamp.com/album/mastermind-volume-one

Latest news

2018-02-18
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more

2018-02-15
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more

2018-02-14
Tom Rapp RIP – Singer / songwriter Tom Rapp, best known with the band Pearls Before Swine, passed away on February 12, at the age of 70, after a battle with cancer. » Read more

2018-01-30
Bill Bruford Ventures into Uncharted Territory – Drum master Bill Bruford, veteran of some of the most creative bands in history (King Crimson, Yes, Genese, etc.), is sharing some of what he's learned about being a drummer and a musician in his new book, Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer, out on University of Michigan Press. » Read more

2018-01-18
Christian Burchard RIP – Multi-instrumentalist Christian Burchard, who founded the seminal band Embryo in 1969, has died at the age of 71. His January 17 passing was announced on the band's Facebook page. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Modest Midget - The Great Prophecy of a Small Man – Lionel Ziblat is an Israeli / Argentinean composer and musician based in Holland, and is the visionary and driving force behind Modest Midget, a four-piece touring band, although many more musicians...  (2010) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues