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Masquerade - Soul Deception

Soul Deception
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 07 July 2017, 7:42 AM

Hailing from Switzerland, the Thrash/Death Metal band MASQUERADE formed in 2013. “Soul Deception” is the band’s debut full-length release. With only five tracks it could be more in the EP range, but the songs are longer than your usual four-five minutes and the total running length is 33 minutes. Let’s dive in and get to the tracks. When I read some of their bio information and unique sound description on their Facebook page, my knee-jerk reaction was “yeah, right…all Death/Thrash Metal bands talk about how their sound is different and how they infuse melody into their music and keep it fresh.” What came next was me removing my foot from my mouth. From the start, “On Millions of Tongues” asserted just that. Guitar harmonies abound, and although they have the Death Metal sound covered easily with meaty riffs and angry vocals, they really do fuse in a whole lot more into their compositions. At times I am reminded of the Melodic Death Metal genre, where they really do know how to make meaningful melody lines that, for you Death purists, does not take away from the fervor of their roots.

 “Red Feather” begins with measured fury and a darkness folds around you. Within that setting however is a sophisticated sense of harmony and some folky elements here and there, akin at times to bands like INSOMNIUM or even WINTERSUN. The varied drumming structures keep a sense of diversity in the song as well. The culminating sound at the end really wraps up all of these elements into a summary. “Nocturnal” is the longest song on the album, at just a shade under eight minutes. The heavy 4/4 meter registers low and deep, like the rumblings beneath a volcano coming to life after lying dormant for centuries. Again, they are not content to let one riff drive their songs, as they mix in a multitude of various elements. The spoken word interlude for example, gives you some clear lyrics to tie in the theme of the song. “Masquerade of Society” offers a dissonant Death/Thrash sound as the song opens, leading to some NWOBHM influences that can be heard as well. They can stop on a dime and head a completely different direction at any time. When you think you have the essence of the song down, they pull back the proverbial carrot from your reach and throw something totally new at you.

“Petrified Thoughts” closes the five-track album. A more traditional Thrash sound accompanies this track, but the dynamic changes and shifting continue.  If you like your Death Metal with a few surprising sides, this is your album. The eyeballs, brains and shards of rare human flesh are the main course, but with delectable bright and rare fruits like the dragon fruit and Kiwano horned melon are there as well. The band is not content to re-hash a sound that you have heard 1000 times before, but create their own monster, in the image of his forefathers, but with his own identity.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. On Millions of Tongues
2. Red Feather
3. Nocturnal
4. Masquerade of Society
5. Petrified Thoughts
Michael Seebach - Guitars
Marcus Seebach - Vocals
Thomas Eckert - Guitars
Patrik Arnold - Drums
Gion Alig – Bass
Record Label: Massacre Records


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Edited 27 January 2023

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