Italian progressive metal band MIND KEY has parted ways with drummer Andrea Stipa. A replacement skinsman has not yet been announced.
Commented the group: "It's always difficult to part from a friend, but for the band's sake maybe it's the best decision.
"We wanna thank Andrea for his musical contribution in MIND KEY's growth in these years, for his emotional involvment in live exhibitions, his great support in songwriting and (last but not least) for his friendship."
MIND KEY's second album, "Pulse For A Graveheart", was released in July 2009 via Frontiers Records.
MIND KEY debuted in 2004 with "Journey Of A Rough Diamond", an album that showed the excellent potential of the Neapolitan combo. With a colourful sound, akin to such prog metal giants as DREAM THEATER, SYMPHONY X, EVERGREY and PAIN OF SALVATION, MIND KEY's music also leaned towards a more mature and song-oriented approach inspired by '80/'90s hard rock. Right before the release of the album, the original frontman Mark Basile left the group and in preparation of the tour dates, the guys met for the first time Aurelio Fierro Jr., a singer with a vast experience especially in theatres. He was able to give some splendid performances especially in the gigs that the band landed as support of DREAM THEATER for the Italian "Train Of Thought Tour 2004".
MIND KEY played more live dates in support of VISION DIVINE and PENDRAGON and also appeared at the Progpower Europe festival, with shows in Poland, Switzerland, Holland, Germany and France. During the Polish dates, a live DVD, "Habemus Poland", was recorded, with Giorgio Adamo as frontman. However he soon left to make space for the return of Aurelio Fierro. Founding member and keyboardist Dario De Cicco explains: "We decided to go for Aurelio at the end of the songwriting sessions. Note after note, chord after chord, we realized that the songs begged for Aurelio's voice and it seemed almost a necessary decision to make. I think we did the right choice as only with his astonishing performances we were able to reach what we really wanted from the new material."
The band began the recording of the second album, "Pulse for a Graveheart", simplifying their songwriting and giving the chance to Fierro to showcase his immense vocal potential which can be described as a powerful mix of Ronnie James Dio, David Coverdale and Jorn Lande. The album was later mixed and mastered by none other than Dennis Ward (PINK CREAM 69, ANGRA, KROKUS, PLACE VENDOME) to ensure the best sounding quality. According to guitarist Emanuele Colella, "We knew from the beginning that Dennis was the right choice! Since the first communication together a perfect synergy was built. He could understand our need and desire to combine a modern melodic metal sound with our progressive roots and an heavier edge. He could totally deliver what we and the music needed, he's just great."
"Pulse for a Graveheart" features guest appearances by Derek Sherinian (DREAM THEATER, ALICE COOPER), who plays a keyboard solo on "Citizen of Greed", Reb Beach (WHITESNAKE, WINGER) on "Now Until Forever", and Tom Englund from EVERGREY, dueting with Elio Fierro on "Graveheart".