There’s a lot to love about this release “Stairs of Ragusa” by “Mentalist.” MENTALIST, the Saarbrücken Germany based Melodic Metal group, like maybe no other recently new band has managed to leave big, positive marks in the Power Metal scene. The music comes through as this mellow but strong set of vibes; a simple wave of synths, a gentle, attractive beat with a touch of awesome just setting you up for the ideas that follow. And they are some fascinating ideas, expressed by means of a smooth and somewhat haunting melody.
Mentalist comes through as a deeply thoughtful and genuine bunch of souls. The accompanying video furthers this feeling significantly, but even just listening to their words and their voice – you get a sense that this is all very real for them, that it means something. This deeply personal lyricism can often detach a track from its audience, but in this case the words intrigue and welcome you all at once. At the same time as being an effective bit of escapism for you, as a listener, the song feels as if it’s also a necessary bit of therapy or escapism for the artist – as if it helps to reach out and express in this way, to connect with an audience through music.
Mentalist’s vocal performance style is refreshingly characterful, and this shows with every moment – as the soundscape evolves and grows, through the quiet and loud, the subtle and the bold, their voices adjust accordingly, and the song benefits greatly from this consistent touch of individuality. It’s a great song, fusing a little bit of those nostalgic dance vibes with something every now and new. A strong release with a good hook and brilliant energy.
The way in which the artist presents his songwriting and performance style has a touch of 70’s rock to it that’s not unlike that of the era’s releases from Bowie, or from similar, creative, experimental artists from that time. The gentle nature of the introduction makes for a powerful contrast with what follows; it sets an emotional tone that is swiftly blown out of the water and reinvented almost entirely, all the while sweeping you off of your feet. The band’s adjustment of his own vocal performance feeds into the change superbly, and the song hits hard with every step of rhythm and energy, and emotion. This is the refreshing sound of songwriting that is free from imposed, societal standards, that showcases creative freedom, yet that satisfies effectively as all skillfully composed and thoughtfully structured music should.