EVIL MASQUERADE ‘Welcome To The Show’ Frontiers/Cargo (2004)
I don't know you can call this band a super group ? But with a strong and
quite well know line-up featuring [ex] members of Royal Hunt, Wuthering
Heights/Manticora, Sinphonia, amongst others, it's hard not to. Add to this
guest appearances from Andre Andersen [Royal Hunt], Richard Anderssen
[Majestic, Time Requiem, Space Odyssey] and Yngwie Keyboarder Mats Olausson,
this quite an all star line up.
The label describes this music as symphonic metal, but its far closer to
neo-classical metal than anything. Having said that there are quite a few
passages to suggest that Evil Masquerade are even touching on being quite
progressive in more than a few songs. By adding these prog bits, the album
is far more enjoyable and certainly less predictable than the standard
neo-classical fodder that is quite the normal these days.
The 11 songs on offer here offer quite a variety, even the more faster
songs, have memorable hooks, rather than being mere shred feasts. Guitarist
Henrik Flyman is the star here, not overplaying and keeping the shredding to
a minimum. Most surprising is the vocals of original Royal Hunt singer,
Henrik Brockmann, his voice has improved out of sight since I last heard his
rather weak vocals on the first two Royal Hunt albums. 'Welcome To The
Show', showcases quite a wide range that he possesses.
Overall an most enjoyable listen, the right balance of instrumental
prowess and quality songs. Fans of Rising Force, Symphony X and older style
Royal Hunt should look out for this.
Review by Graham Boyle
***** Out of this world | **** Pretty
damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly