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Modern Mimes Soar With Full Length Album “The Grey”

Arianie Alcida Hernandez and Ernesto Paez form one of the most interesting sounding duos that ReverbNation has to offer with their project Modern Mimes

A solid mix of guitar, emotive vocals, and heavy guitar riffs remind the listener upon first hearing them of Evanescence in their early days. The duo puts their best sound forward though when they eschew the electronic flourishes and nu-metal electronic drum programing. Hernandez’s voice has a much more down to earth and visceral voice than Amy Lee which is best suited to live drums and orchestration than electronics. Overall though, their 2018 full length album The Gray is a phenomenal release packed with plenty of powerful songs and soaring moments.

Jumping right in, the album’s strongest track “Black Swan” illustrates everything about Modern Mimes that makes them such a compelling listen. Building off a live drum intro, Hernandez’s voice sets the tone with its darker demeanor as she sings about “drowning in sad songs/because I’m a black swan.” As the tempo builds, Paez’s wall of heavy guitar rises up to steady the melody that flirts with dissolving into a chaotic maelstrom of broken piano lines and well placed electronic flourishes. These elements masterfully play off each other creating the tension that drives the song and its thematic content. By the end of song, as Hernandez sings “yeah, yeah/the tide comes” in an almost monotone while overdubbed vocals soar in the background, the song’s moment of sublimity, with all its frisson inducing power, hits. It’s a brilliant song with brilliant orchestration and, as I like to call it, moment of ascension. Here in “Black Swan” the incredible power and potential of Modern Mimes, and its two incredibly talented members, is most manifest.

“Mind Lies,” another standout track on the album, reaches nearly the same moment of ascension that “Black Swan” does. All the same elements are there, and the live drums add even more to this track than they do to “Black Swan,” but the guitar riffing is less as inspired, even if it’s much more heavy (which pretty much makes up for any of the song’s lesser moments). “Crosses,” the track on the album that makes the most use of acoustic guitar, and again is built around more organic sounding instrumentation, is the album’s perfectly constructed quieter moment. It’s also the song with some of the album’s best lyrics.

“Goodbye Hello” is another more quiet moment on the album that showcases Hernadez’s voice and Paez’s more interesting guitar playing. Here he creates more atmosphere than concrete walls made out of riffs. Title track “The Gray” is the duo’s best and most complete song that makes use of electronic manipulation of the guitar and rhythm work. When Modern Mimes works this kind of magical meld of hard rock and electronica elements, they demonstrate that their interest in the electronic elements can be compelling musically. Even if they still reach their greatest heights when working in a more organic musical environment.

I love discovering new music, and really found something special with Modern Mimes. I can only thank them for entering the Shutter16 ReverbNation campaign and being available for me to discover and subsequently write about. I look forward to further releases and new music from them and hope to get the opportunity to write about them, and their music, further.

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Carolina's based writer/journalist Andy Frisk love music, and writing, and when he gets to intermingle the two he feels most alive. Covering concerts and albums by both local and national acts, Andy strives to make the world a better place and prove Gen X really can still save the world.

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