Evil Masquerade - Theatrical madness 4/5

Reviewed: 5-27-05


1. When satan calls
2. Theatrical madness
3. Bozo the clown
4. Now when our stars are fading
5. A great day to die
6. Demolition army
7. Snow white
8. Witches chant
9. Other ways to Babylon
10. The dark play
11. Outro

The 2nd CD from this band is just a little better than the debut and is a fun CD all the way around. Guitarist Henrik Flyman is the key bandmember as he writes all the songs. Henrik Brockmann, Royal Hunt’s singer for their first 2 CDs, is back and appears to have found a well deserved 2nd home in this band. Evil Masquerade is a guitar based band with occasional keyboards mixed in. Almost everything is fast-paced and very well done.

Most of the tracks on the CD are similar in style. Speedy, frenetic, reasonably melodic and unique in an Evil Masquerade way. What is the Evil Masquerade way? Well it is a different sound. There is definitely some Royal Hunt influence often with chorus vocals followed by Brockmann’s solo vocals. Flyman almost always has a fast guitar riff and Brockmann’s gritty vocals are very effective. ‘Theatrical Madness’ is a great name because it describes the music. There’s a very theatrical touch to the performance and a certain madness to the songwriting. While the comparisons to Royal Hunt are valid, that band’s songwriting is much more by the numbers than Flyman’s – there are constantly unexpected twists and turns to these tracks which make the music not immediately appealing but very good once you get used to the tracks. There is no shortage of good tracks here with my favorites being the first 3 tracks, “A great day to die” and “The dark play”. The other standout is the ballad “Now when our stars are fading”, which is the one track that unmistakably recalls Brockmann’s time in Royal Hunt. There is one track which doesn’t really work for me, “Witches Chant”, but that’s going to happen on any CD in which the songwriter is striving for creativity and uniqueness.

I’m really enjoying this band. I was interested in it due to Brockmann’s presence as I really enjoyed his work with Royal Hunt. When I first listened to Evil Masquerade it seemed that the songwriting quality wasn’t very high – over a few listens, though, it became clear that the songwriting was a little deeper than I expected and it really grows on you if you have a little patience. It’s a very good CD for those who like melodic metal. The songwriting is unique, good and interesting. The band members are very good and the production is top quality. ‘Theatrical madness’ is a very strong effort, one that I like just a little better than the debut.




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