The city of Colombia has been considered the place for Metal. When you think of Metal, you think of Metallica, Megadeth, Dream Theater, and Voivod. Colombian’s own Controlled Mind have released the first album that is a combination of Scenes from a Memory and Systematic Chaos and probably considered one of the most finest progressive metal bands to come out of Bogota.
All of the influences of different time changes are in The Symbols of a Hero. Now you’ve got to admit that is one hell of a title, if you are going to write a requiem for Batman, or write a concept album about it, this would definitely be it. You have the shredded guitar sounds from Guillermo Gil, who is the leader and composer of Controlled Mind and let’s just say that he knows the score when it comes to Progressive Metal. Different time changes, classical Spanish and shredded guitar sounds, militant drum work, two-part epics, and mind-blowing synths that are in the realms of Jordan Rudess. It’s mind-blowing that it makes you wonder that you are wondering if they are Colombian’s answer to Dream Theater, and the answer to that is, yes.
Even though the band’s a trio, with Guillermo on Guitar, Alexander Parra on Bass, and Sergio Pinilla on drums who is the next Mike Portnoy when you listen to his drum playing, you can tell that the band show no sign of stopping for them. Above all, Colombia sure knows how to kick plenty of ass and crank this bad boy up to 100 and let the Prog controls reach to assume control. You have to look at some of the tracks that make you realize that this isn’t just a job, but a commitment for some of the compositions they wrote. In fact, the pieces feature five mind-blowing centerpieces.
The two-part Returning is beautifully crafted and disturbing as the band go into interstellar overdrive with various time changes and bring a conceptual piece to be in the realm of Fantasy and written a hard rock score for Lord of the Rings. The Dark Road, which is released as a downloadable single on their Facebook, Reverb Nation, and on their MySpace page, crosses the path with a sinister version of Metallica meeting Brian May’s howling guitar work as it becomes a moody yet haunting touch of sensitivity rather than showing off.
You have Gil conducting the band as he and two members go at it squaring off to see who will in the final battle of guitar vs. bass, keyboards, and drums, but the three of them are winners and show how damn good music can really get while the moody middle-eastern atmospheric opener The Keys and the rumbling and melodic touches of The Premature Burial are both hypnotic and mesmerizing that is the band’s hopefully going to be one of their favorites pieces for up-and-coming fans to appreciate.
Yet even though it’s their first album since releasing the EP online back in 2008, it’s a good start for them to get the wagon on the wheel going. If you haven’t heard Controlled Mind’s music, well then get moving. Because this a band that have created a most respectful debut album and bringing the prog and metal sound a new life and a new beginning for young listeners to know that the music isn’t dead.