New Jersey based progressive metal/fusion veterans Mastermind return after a hiatus with a brand new EP called Broken. Actually, it's not only a EP itís also a CD single of the song Broken. The CD is nearly 45 minutes long so in essence itís almost a full release. This album is a teaser of whatís to come on their next album, Insomnia, which hopefully will be released sometime in mid-2006.
The band has undergone a line-up change for this album and brings them more into a gothic metal vibe with retaining their progressive roots . Joining the brothers Bill and Rich Berends this time are lead vocalist Tracy McShane (who has actually been with the band a few years now but this is her first recorded appearance) and bassist Laura Johnson.
This EP consists of 8 tracks, the first two being the CD single "Broken" and the B side "Break Me Down", both to be featured on the forthcoming album Insomnia. These two songs showcase the afore mentioned gothic metal vibe. The remainder of the songs make up the EP section are some cover songs "Weak and Powerless" (A Perfect Circle song), a live rehearsal version of the bandís classic"The Queen of Sheba", the instrumental classic "William Tell Overture" (which pumped up Mastermind style), a metallic ballad "A Million Miles Away", another cover song "I'm So Glad" originally by Cream and finally an extended version of the song "Broken".
After hearing this EP, itís obvious that Mastermind is not staying in the past and is in fact moving forward and bridging the gap between the metal and progressive genres. If youíre a fan of the afore mentioned genres or of the bandís talent, I canít recommend this enough. The band even has joined the ranks of MySpace.com, where you can hear full songs from this EP.
Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on March 14th, 2006