October 18, 2020

Mentalist is a new melodic metal band from Saarbrücken, Germany that was formed recently in 2018 which makes Freedom of Speech the band’s debut disc. It is a most talented team of musicians that make up Mentalist with Peter Moog on guitar, Tomen Stauch (ex-Blind Guardian) on drums, Kai Stringer (Starchild) on guitars, Florian Hertel on bass and Rob Lundgren on vocals. Lundgren is billed as a YouTube star which means nothing to me but he can sing very well and has a very good rock voice. Oliver Palotai guests on keyboards and they have also brought in Daniel Heiman (ex-Lost Horizon) to duet with Lundgren on ‘Belief’.

Freedom Of Speech is an old school melodic rock with strong influences from NWOBHM particularly Diamond Head, Tygers Of Pan Tang and the big ones, Iron Maiden. With Mentalist being a German band there are also influences from Helloween, Blind Guardian and Accept too and all are combined to make an insistent melodic rock album that is very bright and immediately hitting.

Of course, there are twin guitars and they drive much of what is happening here with lots of riffs, guitars in harmony and guitars in duels so pretty much perfect melodic rock with a hint of prog and power metal too. The songs are very well written and allow Rob Lundgren to shine with his soaring and rich vocals and the plentiful hooks and choruses keep you thoroughly entertained. Again, this is an album with its roots very much in the ’80s which is fine by me and the power ballads sit very comfortably alongside the heavier tracks and they even thrown in a bonus track with an orchestrated and instrumental version of Whispering Winds which closes the album in a rather laid back and relaxed fashion.

This is a well composed and exceptionally well delivered debut album from a band brimming over with quality; it is a perfect opening statement for the band to make at the start of what will surely be a fruitful career.

Freedom Of Speech track list

  1. Metasphere (0:54)
  2. Freedom Of The Press (6:05)
  3. Life (5:38)
  4. Whispering Winds (6:06)
  5. Digital Mind (4:01)
  6. Belief (8:30)
  7. Isolation (5:21)
  8. The Deal (1:34)
  9. Devil’s Game (5:29)
  10. Price Of Time (5:12)
  11. Run Benjamin (8:17)
  12. Whispering Winds (Orchestral Version) (5:42)