Out of a Center Which Is Neither Dead Nor Alive

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Minsk lists its influences as ranging from '70s doom metal and prog rock all the way to cutting-edge '80s bands like Dead Can Dance. And on their 2006 release Out of a Center Which Is Neither Dead nor Alive, it all comes together for the band. The group -- which includes Tim Mead (vocals, synthesizers), Chris Bennett (guitar), Sanford Parker (bass, synthesizers), and Anthony Couri (drums) -- certainly brings to mind such challenging bands as Pelican at times. This may not come as much of a surprise when you realize that the group's bassist has also engineered a pair of Pelican EPs (2003's Pelican and Australasia). And like its friends in Pelican, Minsk is certainly a sucker for "the long song," as well as penning albums that are meant to be listened to in one extended sitting due to their influx of ever-shifting moods. Although the group has obvious roots in metal (as evidenced by tracks like "Narcotics and Dissecting Knives"), Minsk has plenty of tricks up its sleeve, such as the sonic hodgepodge "Holy Flower of the North Star" (a track custom-made for listening to on headphones). Unlike the majority of one-dimensional metal bands of the early 21st century, Minsk manages to be moody, atmospheric, and metallic on Out of a Center Which Is Neither Dead nor Alive.

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