Review: Masquerade

(Metal Blade)

I’’m not sure what it means, but I had the hardest time being able to appreciate this album because it is on Metal Blade.  I thought all they did was metal, so hearing a solid rock album almost lost me.  The second of the Swedish band has almost The obviously worst part of the album was the cheesy, Back On Earth, a badly sung…well…power ballad! “Two people live for each other/The way it should be?/One spirit touching another/And love is set free”  Ack! GAG! Cough Cough …sorry, had to grab the trash can.  But the music is cool, that power-pop thing that’s so popular right now.   Nice driving guitar rock with all the fixins’: really dirty bass, whaling feed back, loud ass drums.  And really the rest of the album’s lyrics are much better then Back On Earth, and at times really well delivered.  The strange thing was at a few moments, the sound began to move slowly over to a progressive metal sound, “Infinite Am I” had some blistering solos and metal riffs.   Yet by the next songs, things were back to business as usual, although ironically the last three or four songs were the best on the album.  Some of the most passionate and intricate moments come in the last half hour.  “My Dying Days,” the single longest track, topping 10 minutes, is the highlight of experimentally, slugging way down, and getting a magnificent thickly dark opus.  Neat.