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Review of the Album "Mind’s Eye" by American Neoclassical Rock Guitarist Vinnie Moore

Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

Introduction to "Mind's Eye" the Debut Album by Vinnie Moore

Mind’s Eye is the debut album by American neoclassical guitarist Vinnie Moore and this album came out back in 1986. We were in early 2019 as I wrote on this and attempted to look back on an album that many fans of this style of heavy metal have probably forgotten now. The album’s style is very much in the realm of Yngwie J. Malmsteen but at this time in the history of heavy metal, America was solidly making a case musically that it could compete with other countries especially Europe.

Genre: Instrumental guitar music with Neo-classical based guitar playing

Record label: Shrapnel Records

Band Personnel for Mind’s Eye:

Vinnie Moore: guitars

Andy West: bass guitars

Tommy Aldridge: drums

Tony Macalpine - keyboards

Mind's Eye Album Cover

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Explanation and Analysis of the Cover

We would sort of be leaving out something if we didn't discuss the possible motivation behind the album's cover. The cover has a guitar image in the center with an eye in the middle hence that's why the album was titled Mind's Eye. Then there is the vast open road going for miles and miles and a smoggy urban area is being shown. The cover might have been a way for Moore to try and get across the point that he had much potential.

Analysis of the Songs Hero Without Honor & Lifeforce

Hero Without Honor features brilliant keyboard play by Tony Macalpine as musically the song has riffing similar to the song Prelude/Into the Future which would come soon after this album. Another part of this 4th song features a style that is similar to the song “The Tempest.” Lifeforce has one of the most melodic and memorable riffs in the history of Vinnie Moore’s career and to that, we can all say thanks for being so brilliant that you were at this age Vinnie! Even if he technically is an Yngwie Malmsteen clone type of musician, Vinnie Moore is one of the best American born guitarists of the last 35 years or so. Jason Becker would have reached even greater heights had disease not crippled his abilities. Mind’s Eye the song sounds a little like a song off of the Rising Force Odyssey album but with better production.


Additional Perspective on the Album Mind's Eye

Robert Taylor of the website All Music says in his review of the album that “the problem with Mind’s Eye and the subsequent genre of shredding that followed was that it became stagnant,” (Taylor). Stagnant? How so? I myself have been a big fan of this shredding neoclassical style of metal so I may be biased in that sense.

In Control is the song that starts off this album and very shortly, we are hearing the shredding guitar work of Vinnie Moore as well as the exotic creativity.

"Lifeforce"

"Mind's Eye" Final Thoughts

This article was not meant to compare Jason Becker to Vinnie Moore but the point was made because since ALS pretty much limited Jason Becker’s speed and creativity, fortunately, Vinnie Moore has been healthy enough to show his creative skills and still make an instrumental album that is worthy of respect and admiration. The strongest songs in Mind’s Eye include Hero Without Honor, Lifeforce, and Mind’s Eye.

Bibliography

Taylor, R. (n.d.). ALLMUSIC. Retrieved January 13, 2019, from AllMusic.com: https://www.allmusic.com/album/minds-eye-mw0000191083

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2019 Ara Vahanian

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