This is one of those releases that features musicians playing exactly the right kind of guitar riffs, drum lines, and keyboard runs. Much ado has been made over such 1999 releases as Vertú, with its huge monetary backing. Well, Bill Berends on fusion axe, Rich Berends on killer drums, and Jens Johansson on dazzling keys are several notches above the dynamic fusion of even Vertú. These guys give it 110 percent and everything smokes and sizzles, with absolutely no filler, no weak tracks, and no intrusive vocals. For headbanging, spine-tingling, fiery-fused abandon, play these two tracks first -- "On the Road By Noon" and then "Sudden Impulse." Yes, you'll hear the Mahavishnu Orchestra. Excelsior! is one of those releases that is firmly a must-have for fusion folks. Bill Berends, on fiery riffage guitars, is driven by the maddening wall of brother Rich's drumming. This is Mastermind in its prime. But there is much more. Fusion and rock genius Johansson joins the team on explosive keys and synth bass. If you loved the Mahavishnu Orchestra and enjoyed Johansson's fusion projects with Allan Holdsworth, Shawn Lane, and Mike Stern, then find Mastermind's return to the primal roots of killer fusion.
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AllMusic Review by John W. Patterson