Mind in a Box


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After taking a brief detour with 2010's Commodore 64-inspired slice of nostalgia R.E.T.R.O., experimental Austrian quartet Mind.In.A.Box get back to their sci-fi/fantasy concept series with its fourth installment, Revelations. Picking up where 2007 predecessor Crossroads left off, its ten tracks further develop the mysterious tale of an amnesiac corporate agent's quest to find the truth, although even those who have followed the story from day one will find it hard to keep up with its slightly incoherent plot. However, while its Bourne Identity-style story line isn't likely to be adapted into a Hollywood blockbuster any time soon, there's still plenty of its soundtrack worthy of hitting the big screen, particularly the rippling analog synths and detached ghostly vocals of "Fragments," and the dreamy, proggy ambience of "Transitions," both of which echo the atmospheric sci-fi electronica of Vangelis' iconic Blade Runner score. While the rest of the album doesn't reach the same cinematic heights, the '80s influence remains strong throughout, whether it's the dramatic Ultravox vibe of "Not Afraid," the early New Order-esque, whispery synth pop of "Doubt," or the Depeche Mode-ish industrial electro-rock of opener "Remember," all are lent a suitably brooding air thanks to Stefan Poiss' heavily processed gothic tones. But it's also the frontman's deadpan mechanical delivery which occasionally steers the album into parody territory, particularly on "Second Reality," which sounds like an Auto-Tuned YouTube spoof, and the extraterrestrial vocals, which spoil the otherwise emphatic indie electro of "Unknown." If Poiss' claims that Revelations is the final chapter of the series turn out to be true, there'll be plenty of listeners left scratching their heads over what it was all about, but this suitably futuristic accompaniment ensures that the journey has at least in some way been worthwhile.

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