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‘Mind Control’ (Silent Majority Group)

Review by Greg Maki
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Mind Control, the fourth Tantric album and the second by the band’s new incarnation, surprises on multiple fronts. First, it comes just a year after their previous effort, The End Begins, which followed a four-year period during which all of the original band members except frontman Hugo Ferreira left and four new musicians entered the fold. Second, it’s a lot heavier than what I expected from Tantric.

I have somewhat mixed feelings about this release, though. I appreciate the more aggressive approach, but the thicker sound leaves less room for violinist Marcus Ratzenboeck to roam. His playing stood out on The End Begins, most effectively on the hit single “Down and Out,” giving Tantric something other bands don’t have. He’s still here on Mind Control, and “Coming Undone” and “Walk Away” show what he is capable of even in a heavier framework. But guitarist Joe Pessia and Erik Leonhardt are more prominent in the recording. There’s nothing wrong with that in and of itself—these are good songs and Ratzenboeck is still able to add an exotic flavor to the sound. I guess I wanted something a little more adventurous, but I remind myself that Tantric began as a guitar-bass-drums rock band and that’s what they will remain.

My hopes are my problem, not yours. On the whole, Mind Control is a stronger album than The End Begins, every song a perfect fit for heavy rotation on your local rock radio station. It establishes these musicians as not just the “current version of Tantric,” but as Tantric, a band that’s here to stay.