MINDLESS SINNER – “Keeping It True”

By Colonel Angus

I remember hearing MINDLESS SINNER at a friend’s house back in the day and thinking these guys were destined for the big time. I though the same for Arizona’s ICON but just goes to show you that some bands don’t catch the break they deserve.  MINDLESS SINNER released an E.P. and a full length album before changing their name to just MINDLESS and going a more melodic rock direction.  I bring up ICON because they did the same thing with “Night of the Crime”.  

Luckily, MINDLESS SINNER went back to their old moniker and sound with “The New Messiah”.  Now, before that release, they hit the stage at the Keep It True festival in April 2015 and put in an energetic set with material culled from the first E.P. and record.  I’m a little surprised they didn’t pepper the set with a couple of newer numbers since I’m sure they were already written and they could have tested them out in from of an audience.  I feel it was a lost opportunity but ultimately, this live record doesn’t suffer one bit.  The guys in the band picked the cream of the crop off those two releases and quite frankly, it is as if time stood still for almost three decades because they sound just like they did on those records. 

Christer Goransson’s vocals have aged remarkably well and still have the range and power of his recorded efforts from the mid-eighties.  In fact, the whole band sounds fresh and energized during the entire performance.  Guitarists Magnus Danneblad and Jerker Edman both riff and solo making them a very under-rated guitar duo from the era.  Bassist  Christer Carlson and drummer Tommy Viktorsson (is this Tommy Johansson?) keep the pace throughout which ranges from fast–paced metal like “We Go Together” and “Live and Die” to slower material like “Turn On the Power” and “Voice of the Doomed”.  Some of the standouts of this concert recording are the aforementioned tracks along with “Standing on the Stage”, “Broken Freedom” and my personal favorite “Master of Evil”.  The latter track just captures all the things that were great about the NWOBHM; melodic riffs, energetic performance, and dramatic vocals.

“Keeping It True” is a great live record by a very overlooked band from Sweden who should have been bigger.  Based on the songs performed, it could have been easily been recorded back in 1987 instead of 2015 plus the band sounds just as energized as they did on those earlier recordings.  My only complaint would be that there is too much echo on the vocals which is very noticeable during the between song banter.  This is just a minor quibble as it really doesn’t detract from the performance or my ability to enjoy this whole album.  This is a release I would recommend to anyone who enjoys early NWOBHM and wants to hear a band that pays respect to that sound.