February 24, 2023

Mentalist is a heavy melodic rock band from Saarbrücken, Germany having formed in 2018 with Empires Falling now being the band’s third album to date following on from the very impressive A Journey Into The Unknown which came out in 2021. All three albums show a fine, composed and mature band playing a fast and aggressive hard rock with influences of power metal with a harmonious melody throughout.

The group was founded by drummer Tomen Stauch (ex-Blind Guardian) with Peter Moog and Kai Stringer (Starchild) on guitar, Florian Hertel on bass with simply stunning vocals from the Swede Rob Lundgren. As with so many singers these days, Lundgrun came to the attention of Stauch through YouTube and if it connects musicians then why not use this route? The first album showed a band with some influences from NWOBHM especially Iron Maiden and Diamond Head but also combining themes from the giants of Helloween, Blind Guardian, Freedom Call and Accept. Combined, this gave a powerful and intoxicating power metal derivative that demands to be played at maximum volume and very frequently too. Bassist Florian Hertel left the band after the debut release but the band pulled off a real masterstroke by bringing in the one and only Mike LePond of Symphony-X fame as a guest musician and he most definitely gave the band a major boost and helped launch them to a new level completely. LePond, thankfully, has reprised his role on Empires Falling as has another guest in the form of Oliver Palotai of Kamelot coming in on keyboards. The use of keys gives another dimension to the band’s sound helping to reinforce the melodic element without compromising the power and aggression. Indeed, this album has a distinct vibe of Queensrÿche which shows just how much development has been made. The voice of Lundgrun commands your attention throughout with plenty of amazing riffs and searing lead guitar breaks to ensure that the intensity never drops throughout.

Mentalist may not be the first name that comes to mind when you think of German heavy/power metal but more albums like this will ensure that their name is on the tip of everyone’s tongue!

Empires Falling

  1. Solution Revolution (5:08)
  2. Stairs Of Ragusa (4:10)
  3. Tears Within A Paradise (4:44)
  4. Empires Falling (6:23)
  5. If You Really Want (3:29)
  6. Columbus (5:37)
  7. Noah’s Ark (3:42)
  8. Generation’s Legacy (5:28)
  9. Heavy Metal Leia (3:51)
  10. Out Of The Dark (6:57)
  11. Years Of Slavery (6:23)
  12. Forbidden Fruits (Bonus Track) (6:20)
  13. Bumblebee (Bonus Track) (2:52)