Saturday 31 March 2012

Mental Architects-Celebrations Review

Mental Architects are an Instrumental Post-rock/math-rock band from Sofia, Bulgaria. They are comprised of the following members.

Tony - guitars
Niki - bass/ keys
Max - drums/ electronics

Mental Architects came to my attention when I learnt Aaron Harris of Isis had produced and mixed this latest album. Harris has a hand in many things and generally the projects he's involved in are high of quality. "Celebrations" is no different, attacking the senses with a barrage of angular riffage and upbeat tempos this is an another to add to the list.  Also Bryant Clifford(Isis, Red Sparowes), contributed additional synths to the album and Joe from Giraffes? Giraffes added guitars on "When Sound Turns into A Person.."

Okay so the first thing that struck me was it sounds an awful lot like And So I Watch You From Afar. No bad thing though as my fellow countrymen ASIWYFA are not only one of my favourite bands but damn nice chaps.

There are other influences here, the relentless off-kilter rhythm of Hella can be heard and the powerful bass driven sound of Isis for example. Mental Architects, give the music their own feel, and are just influenced by some great music however and their passion comes through listening to "Celebrations".

Opener "Spell Shelter" is infectious with its melodic pattern and rhythm. "Here is where, where better?" ,builds momentum before unleashing killer riffs and intricate guitar melodies.
At times I did have to check ASIWYFA hadn't sneaked an album out without me noticing, but the band admit their an influence and it makes me proud a band from my own country are influencing others around the globe.

"Launch The Avalanche" is another highlight with its sprawling drums and spiralling riffs creating a marvellous melodic and heavy track. Lots of bands have started making instrumental music influenced by those I've already mentioned and the likes of Tera Melos, but Mental Architects do it so well its hard to ignore. Tracks are generally kept to under five minutes so there's a flow to the album and nothing out stays its welcome.
One of my favourites though is the longer "Caves of Keys", with its Isis-like opening melody, bass driven it unfolds though atmospheric passages, unleashing some of the best moments of the album, and even a gentle nod to Faith No More half way though. "Meth-rock" brings the riff attack back with a few "Hey Heys" thrown in, a furious adrenaline rush of a track.

This is a band you can tell that will be a joy to see perform live, high energy explosive stuff, crowds will love it. Bulgaria is one of the few places I've been outside of the UK, if I make it back I'll be checking these guys out live. Although with an album this good I expect to see them touring throughout Europe and beyond.

"Celebrations" will be unleashed on April 2nd and will be available through their Bandcamp and website, I highly recommend you give these Bulgarian mentalists a listen.