Masquerage's latest work 'Moonlight Time' arrived at my door less than a week ago. Always eager to get a glimpse of what I might expect, I dropped the CD into my player shortly after our evening dinner a few days ago. To say I was more than surprised and pleased is an understatement. Masquerage are darn good. Masquerage delivers impressive melodic metal with hints of melodic hard rock. And they do this by self-financing their projects; that also is impressive. I'm surprised that they are not under contract with significant indie label like Finland's Lion Music or maybe England's Escape Music.
If you don't know Masquerage (I didn't) that is understandable. But you should know one of the principal players, Kimmo Perämäki, formerly with the fine Finnish power metal band Celesty; this fellow has some outstanding talent. Now, let's get to the music. Two things struck me immediately on my first listen to 'Moonlight Time.' First, the rhythm section is steady, prominent and exciting; specifically, Mikael Kontolampi's bass work is phenomenal especially on 'I Don't Believe In You,' 'The Helpers,' and 'Silver Wings.' The second thing I noticed was the excellent vocal arrangements as found on the aforementioned 'I Don't Believe In You,' 'Retired Monster,' 'Better Liar,' and several more. Maquerade truly shines when they combine these elements with great melodic arrangements and ripping guitar and they do this throughout 'Moonlight Time.' They do this on 'I Don't Believe In You,' catchy melodic rock/metal, 'Better Liar,' with its fast tempo reminding you of melodic power metal, and 'Silver Wings,' possibly the finest track on the album. It has an almost bluesy guitar intro followed by a catchy riffs, melody, and some fundamental yet enthusiastic fret work. The only ordinary song I found on the album was 'Doctors Order' which was bland and uninteresting.
Overall, Masquerage's 'Moonlight Time' is a solid, consistent and satisfying work of melodic metal. Masquerade should not be overlooked by fans of this genre and certainly not by an indie label looking for a talented new band for their stable. Very recommended!
Though relatively unknown outside of their native Finland, Masquerage's brand of melodic metal and hard rock should not be overlooked. This is solid and convincing music: a strong rhythm section leads the strong arrangements, vocals and fret work.
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