Athens (Attica)
Heavy Metal

Dabbling with more or less intricate genre labels is a fun and leisurely activity, but sometimes it’s quite nice to find a band who’s best described as good-old Heavy Metal. Such is the case with the Athenian quintet MINDLAND. Granted, there are a few instances where the band utilize techniques that would under the Power- or even Thrash Metal tag, but at the end of the day, this is nothing but pure Heavy Metal done straight from the heart.

Formed around 1996-97 by a group of friends eager to further explore their passion for Heavy Metal music by picking up instruments themselves, MINDLAND consisted of George Orfanidis (vocals), Dennis Augoustatos (guitars), Panayotis Tsolakoglou (guitars), John Litinakis (bass – REFLECTION, CHAINED AND DESPERATE, FIRE AND STEEL, etc.) and Nikos Anastasiadis (drums – LOST FATE, DREAM WEAVER, etc.). A few years down the road, the band entered the Piraeus-based Reflection Studios (run by Stathis Pavlantis of REFLECTION) to record their debut demo tape under the title “Land of Mind” (1998) with additional contributions made by brothers Panos and Kostas Makris (of CHAINED AND DESPERATE and SWAN CHRISTY, among others).
Being a product of young, spirited musicians still earning their chops, “Land of Mind” shows influence from the all-time classics (IRON MAIDEN and ICED EARTH anyone?), but also features the special kind of energy and musical ideas that only a young band can offer. If you set aside the raw production and focus on the actual tunes, you’ll be rewarded with some honestly catchy material here, includig tracks such as “Godsent” or “For the Freedom” (the latter subsequently included on Metal Invader’s “Warzone IX” sampler CD).

Moving on to 2000, MINDLAND managed to acquire a deal with the Greek NMC Music label, who also were responsible for a string of other excellent CD releases around the turn of the millennium (including the debut album of INNER WISH). The result of the co-operation came in the form of the “Final Frontier” (2000) EP, once again recorded with Stathis P. at Reflection Studios. This release should appeal to every fan of honest, traditional Heavy Metal with moderately epic aspirations. It doesn’t aim to sound “retro” (or modern for that matter), it just emanates a certain timeless-ness which you don’t hear every so often. The songs, which tend to utilize extended verse/chorus structures, gains further in listenability (and re-playability) thanks to the band’s willingness to insert minor “surprises” (an unexpected riff-sequence, tempo shifts, instrumental introductions, bass-lines, etc.) from time to time to keep the listener’s attention. Moreover, the production provided by the Reflection Studios team should not be underestimated. Although it might sound a bit raw by modern standards, the production suits the music perfectly. It literally sounds like you’re in the studio or rehearsal room together with the band and banging your head to oblivion.

Sadly, “Final Frontier” also proved to be the band’s swansong, even though they didn’t split up permanently until 2004. At least two of the members – the rhythm section in this case – went on to play in other bands: Nikos (drums) in DREAM WEAVER and LOST FATE, while John Litinakis joined REFLECTION and several other acts. Lastly, we would suggest you search around for the “Final Frontier” EP as it can still be found for literally peanuts on the second-hand market!

Compilation appearances:
* Warzone IX [CD, Comp: Metal Invader, 1998]

d i s c o g r a p h y :

Land of Mind - Demo (Unknown) 1998 - Private (-)
(Reflection Studio (Piraeus))
Details: -

Intro: The Quest
Land of Mind
For the Freedom and the Power
Dream Awake (Pegasus)
George Orfanidis (vocals)
Dennis Augoustatos (guitars)
Panayotis Tsolakoglou (guitars)
John Litinakis (bass)
Nick Anastasiadis (drums)
Yet to be reviewed.

Final Frontier - EP (CD) 2000 - NMC Music (NMC007)
(Reflexion Studio (Piraeus), Spring-Summer 1999)
Details: -

Chamber of Light
Follow the Sun
Rise of the Sun
Fall of the Sun
Spirit Beyond Centuries
Burning Silence
Final Frontier
George Orfanidis (vocals, backing vocals)
Dennis Augoustatos (guitars, backing vocals)
Panayotis Tsolakoglou (guitars)
John Litinakis (bass)
Nick Anastasiadis (drums, percussion, backing vocals)
Yet to be reviewed.