220 VOLT: Mind Over Muscle CD. (Remastered with 2 bonus tracks). Marvellous. Check videos
Reissue of awesome 1985 release by 220 Volt! Remastered with bonus tracks a MUST HAVE IMPORT for all 220 Volt fans…..or just fans of good melodic metal!
Full-length, CBS Records
February 1985 Reissued in 2001 by Metal Rendezvous with 2 bonus tracks:
13. High Heels
J.Lundholm – vocals
M.Karlsson – guitar
P.Olander – guitar
M.Larsson – bass
P.Hermansson – drums [also with John Norum on the Total Control album]
1. The Tower 04:15
2. In the End 03:30
3. Electric Messengers 03:52
4. Power Games 03:43
5. Blessed by the Night 03:43
6. Secret Dance (Xymania) 03:57
7. Its Nice to be King 04:04
8. Mind Over Muscle 04:06
9. Whiter Than White 03:36
10. Touch of Fire 04:04
11. Halloween 03:01
12. Pavement Song 03:41
13. High Heels 5:00 bonus track
14. Dreams 5:00 bonus track
Total playing time 55:32
I can probably forgive the world for letting 1984s Power Games come and go with little fanfare. That was a busy day and age for metal music, what with bands like Iron Maiden and Metallica exploding in popularity. It was a very good record, and ample evidence of a rising force in the Swedish scene but it didn’t quite stand above what a lot of other acts were offering at the time, so into the bowels of history it would go, until nostalgia could pluck it forth once again. What I cannot forgive is that the subsequent album Mind Over Muscle received would also receive so little love or attention! Truly this is the apex of 220 Volts output and one of the better pure Swedish metal albums of the decade! Tthis is a far more straightforward melodic power/speed metal album, with most of the hard rock elements of the past works consigned to oblivion. In my opinion, this shift holds a greater attraction, and the songwriting, which was already going strong on Power Games, is considerably improved once more. There is a more serious attitude to this record that does not entirely abandon the bands skill at vocal hooks and big fills. Jocke Lundholm is enormous on this record, and he has shed all of the roughshod, inexperience of youth to develop into a force to rival Joey Tempest. The riffs kick ass almost the whole way through the album, and this would easily appeal to fans of modern power or traditional metal more so than anything else in 220 Volts catalog.
Everything about this record is bigger, longer, and harder…and it maintains an immense level of quality across most of the 12 tracks. “The Tower” erupts from a brief segment of churning feedback, with a driving freight train rhythm somewhere between Saxon and Exciter. The chorus is excellent, with some simple classical shred to elevate it beyond the vocal climax. “In the End” coils and grooves almost as if it were a Mercyful Fate/King Diamond track, with the obvious difference in vocals, before a glistening, hard rock groove in the chorus that is impossible to resist. “Electric Messengers”, “Whiter Than White”, “Blessed by the Night”, “Touch of Fire” and “Halloween” are just five more thundering reasons why the album should have blown up the charts, and if you somehow miss the bands hard rock sound from the debut, well they’ve got you covered with “Mind Over Muscle”, though I’d argue its the weakest song here. If you can get your hands on the Metal Rendezvous re-issue from 2001, then you get two great bonus tracks: the superb, working class metal of “High Heels”, sure to sate a Dokken or Europe fan, and the fetching, memorable “Dreams” with some tasteful speed licks and enormous vocals that almost verge on The Cult.
Mind Over Muscle is absolutely the FIRST record anyone should listen to if you’re interested in 220 Volt, because you will be unable to look back afterward unless you are a massive anti tool whose cruel irony and lack of spirit leeches the metallic content from all of our blood. Half the songs on this album are perfect for cruising with the top down, throwing horns on the highway or just razing your arms through the wind itself. Enthusiastic, powerful and impressive, its a long hidden gem of a near forgotten period in one of the worlds largest metal markets.
Again, Swedish hands at work, bringing you the best in Euro-metal awesomeness. This third album from 220 Volt proved to be their best yet; the band improving with each record. Album opener The Tower crashes through the gates with turbo-charged vigor. The Tower is the album’s fastest number, showcasing the lethal right hands of guitarists Mats Karlsson and Peter Olander. Try not to grin like an idiot when this tune is blasting through your waxy ear holes! Mind Over Muscle packs 14 tunes for your listening pleasure, ten of which hit their mark due to white-hot riffage, tasty and well-composed solos, and the spirited vox of one Joakim Lundholm. Oh, and that guy on bass does a hell of a job, too. 220 Volt mixed up the tempos real nice on this well-rounded record, sometimes sizzling with metal glory, other times simmering with hard rock acumen. At times (dare I say it), the rhythm guitars sound almost Randy Rhoads-like in tone and style. (Yes, I went there.) Check out the verse riff on Touch Of Fire and the pre-chorus riff on Halloween for two prime examples. Mind Over Muscle is one of my favorite albums of 1985. An instantly likeable record from a highly likeable band! My score: A