Evil Masquerade is one of those talented and persevering metal bands for which you only wish the best success. The first two releases 'Welcome To The Show' and 'Theatrical Madness,' though showing promise, never really caught on with power metal fans and critics alike despite the exceptional skills of core musician and guitarist Henrik Flyman. Then 'Third Act' happened in 2007 with formidable vocalist Apollo Papathanasio coming aboard. The music seemed to become a bit heavier without losing Flyman's sense of hook and melody; Evil Masquerade was finally on point. This year's 'Fade To Black' continues with those gains and finds easily in their groove.
Listening to 'Fade To Black' I was reminded of classic power metal with Evil Masquerade adding a measure of heavy riffs and old school keyboard work from time to time. The former is found more on 'Different Shades Of Black' and 'Power Tools' (which, unfortunately, are also the dullest tracks on the album); the latter on 'Hollow Soul' and 'Diamond Dust.' Additionally, veteran keyman Tony Carey (Rainbow) appears on 'Lights Out' adding a distinctive flavor to the whole song.
Even better is that the combination of Apollo's vocals and Flyman's arrangements delivered me back to the vintage sounds of Dio. The aforementioned 'Hollow Soul' will do this for you as will my three favorite tracks: 'The Darkness Within' with its massive and catchy melody, and 'Desire And Pain' and 'I Believe In Sin.' The last two are both dark and foreboding and epic and melodic with some subtle progressive moments within each. Both songs also demonstrate Apollo's strong vocals and Flyman's exceptional fret work. These song display Evil Masquerade true strengths and maturity.
Evil Masquerade has found their true calling on 'Fade To Black,' a strong disc of melodic power metal which solidifies their style. From this point I hope they will not rest on their laurels, but rather advance and build upon them. 'Fade To Black' could be their breakout work. Recommended!
Evil Masquerade has found their true calling on 'Fade To Black,' a strong disc of melodic power metal which solidifies their style. From this point I hope they will not rest on their laurels, but rather advance and build upon them. 'Fade To Black' could be their breakout work.
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