Mastermind The Masters’ Orders LP
After four-ish years, MASTERMIND has decided to call it a day, but not before leaving us with The Masters’ Orders, a love letter to hardcore with nods to NYHC, UKHC, and crossover. MASTERMIND comes from the same school as contemporaries BIG CHEESE and T.S. WARSPITE: gruff, throaty vocals and heavy riffs that bring to mind legends JUDGE and SHEER TERROR. Opener “Collateral Damage” is like a sampler platter of the rest of the album: pummeling double kicks, rubbery bass leads, searing guitar solos, and a menacing vocal delivery that is perfectly over-the-top. MASTERMIND has a lot of gnarly stuff happening, but their ability to change tempo and style will leave your head spinning. The breakdown on “Patience” slows to a zombie-paced sludge before being resurrected by a drum and guitar solo, while “Haunt” starts with a funky little bass line playing along to a toe-tapping beat before hurtling into a mid-tempo chug that changes speed and direction enough times for me to lose count. The overall effect is a little like being on a rollercoaster; it’s jerky and unexpected at times, but always exciting and always a good time. The hardcore scene is losing a real one with MASTERMIND, you’d be wise to catch ‘em if you can!