Tom de Wit has been making music since he was fourteen years old. This talented artist from the Netherlands is a composer, arranger, engineer, producer, singer, and an accomplished guitarist and keyboardist - specializing in the progressive metal field. As a multitasking auteur he has become something of an industry unto himself as founder of Layered Reality Productions, producing both audio and video projects for a variety of up and coming Dutch metal bands including: Sense Vs Sanity, ReSolve, Nyx Aether, Adeia, Dimaeon, and Unforeseen Motion to name a few.
As well as applying all that musical and technical knowledge to solo projects under the moniker 'TDW' (Editor: two albums reviewed here on ProgNaut by Ron Fuchs).
In 2012 Tom de Wit produced the four song EP "Patterns" with his band Mind:Soul. The EP was re-released the following year as "Patterns 1.5" with the inclusion of a live bonus track. And Mind:Soul also released the band's DVD "Breaking The Layers".
The 2013 release, "The Way It Should Be" marks the band's first full length studio album.
Dispensing with the frivolous fantasy or convoluted story lines that populate most ambitious prog/rock concept albums, "The Way It Should Be" deals instead with the reality of a tumultuous relationships between a flawed man and woman. It's the tale of two lovers trying to rekindle a disintegrating relationship, burdened down by the excess baggage of their past. The album plays like a heavy metal soap opera as the storyline is moved along by both lyrics within the songs and narrative bickering by the embattled couple between tracks (provided by 'voice actors' Lorraine Lysen and Rik Mertens).
"The Way It Should Be" is in the vein of similarly polished and proficient metal/prog bands like Dream Theater, Queensryche, Symphony X, and a touch of Rush. It's loud and brash where it needs to be and melodic and introspective during those interludes of melancholia and self-reflection.
There is nothing to distinguish Mind:Soul from the plethora of similar sounding artists who populate the symphonic prog/metal genre, but the quality musicianship and tightly constructed compositions elevate the band to that coveted upper tier where artists like Dream Theater reside.
If you like quality symphonic metal - you'll like this.
The line-up includes: Tom DE Wit (vocals, guitars, synths, orchestration), Roland Le Fever (piano, synths), Jim O.S. Ilden (guitars), Joey Klerkx (bass guitar, vocals), Stefan van Leeuwenstijn (guitars), Raul Tamas (drums).
Reviewed by Joseph Shingler on March 9th, 2014