Portugal’s MINDFEEDER play unabashed European power metal, most notably of the German kind. And they do it very well. Inspiration comes from bands such as GAMMA RAY, HELLOWEEN, FREEDOM CALL, EDGUY and IRON SAVIOR. Speaking of the latter, Mindfeeder’s name is actually taken from the song that graces the Germans’ 2002 album, Condition Red. So, it’s only fitting that Iron Savior’s vocalist/guitarist Piet Sielck co-produced Mindfeeder’s debut album, Endless Storm (through Metalodic Records), as well as collaborating on vocals and contributing some guitar solos. The experience was something to be cherished, especially by singer Leonel Silva.
“Piet was the first and natural choice to work with us,” Silva said. “Piet is like the Godfather of our band. After we recorded the album we spoke with Piet and told him what we wanted to achieve and do. Piet was very determined in helping us pulling off the best possible result so he gave us a lot of recommendations and also played and sang a lot of bits here and there and took the songs into a different level. We're very pleased with his work and he is truly an amazing musician and human being.”
Considering the band’s location, Mindfeeder has a surprisingly authentic ’90s European power metal sound down to a T. When the band formed in 2003, these above mentioned influences were very much attached to its DNA.
“We are strongly influenced by the ’90s European power metal sounds,” Silva said. “We all grew up listening to bands like Helloween, Gamma Ray, STRATOVARIUS, Iron Savior, etc. So it's only natural that we had that dream to make a power metal band that follows that line of sound. But we did try to give Mindfeeder’s sound a little twist, giving it a warm South European feeling so that people can sense that we are a new band rather than a copy from the ’90s bands. Our main goal is to wake up the power metal lovers all over again. To have them sing our songs like we used to sing other band’s songs.”
Although Mindfeeder has been around since 2002, they’ve only just released their proper full-length debut album last year. Due to lineup changes, health issues and taking time out to build their own studio, the band’s dreams were finally realized with the release of Endless Storm last May.
“It’s truly a dream come true,” Silva said. “The whole process has been a long hard road. We released our first EP Mind Revolution in 2006 and toured for about two years promoting the EP. We had a lot of problems since we decided to record the new album. First of all, we decided to build our own studio to record the album, giving us the opportunity to pay attention to details and explore new things to our songs. Then we had line up changes. Then I was out of the band for nearly two years because of a rare disease called sarcoidosis, which almost prevented me from singing for the rest of my life. Fortunately, I recovered and recorded my voice the best I could.”
Every track on Endless Storm is loaded with glorious harmonies, strong melodies and catchy choruses. Silva explains that this was a conscious effort while constructing the songs.
“We had this goal to make the best vocal album we could. So we set the aim high regarding the voices on the chorus. We invited the best voices from Portuguese metal (Artur Almeida from ATTICK DEMONS, Hugo Soares from IBERIA and Paulo Gonçalves from SHADOWSPHERE to help us build the best choir possible. But then again, I think that the fact that we are all great QUEEN fans gave us the challenge to try to make something close to the vocal layer work on Queen's songs.”
Speaking of the songs on the album, the telephone melody intro to CD opener ‘The Call’ is a nice touch, and the lyrics about “listening to the call” is an eye-opening experience. It’s the band’s wake up call to the world.
“That was really a weird and original intro to a metal album in my opinion. But in the end, I do think it works out very well. ‘The Call’ is as you say, a call to the people. A wake up call to the hazards of society. A wake up call to the people that seem to be numb, and with a terrible apathy towards the way things are going in the world. The Western world lives in a disguised democracy where people survive submitted by a market tyranny and enslaved to opinion-makers that change and form people’s minds according to their own agenda and removes the ability of thinking for ourselves.”
The band has some upcoming gigs in Portugal and Spain, but their ultimate goal is to tour in Europe and North America. At the moment, Mindfeeder is focused on spreading their music to as many people as they can, and introducing The Call to global power metal fans is a step in the right direction.
“With this album, we’re trying to reach as many people as we can,” Silva concludes. “We have a great fan base in Portugal, but now we want to conquer Europe, North America and Asia. That’s really our goal; to have Mindfeeder be known to every power metal fan. As a power metal fan myself, I would really like to see Mindfeeder. If I take off my singer shoes, and put my fan shoes on, I would love to hear Mindfeeder. I also think that every power metal fan in the world should feel the same. I’m not saying that my work is better than any others. I love to hear all power metal bands, from SYMPHONY X to KAMELOT, because they are really doing a great job and they have great songs. And I think Endless Storm is an album of some great songs. It’s probably not the best ones you’ve ever heard in your life, but it’s melodic, intense; It’s made from the heart. Our main goal is not to sell (albums), it’s not to be the greatest band in the world, but we would really love to have people all around the world know our name. Mindfeeder is a band who are trying to bring some metal melody to the world.”