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Masquerage - Hangman’s Revelations

Masquerage
Hangman’s Revelations
by David Ballesteros at 05 December 2018, 4:04 AM

MASQUERAGE have concocted a unique blend of power metal and melodic hard rock with “Hangman’s Revelations” via Stormspell Records. Their last “official” release was “Backstabber” in 2012, however they also released “Breaking the Masks” in 2016, which was a collection of songs they re-recorded from their debut album and some additional new tracks. Based out of Finland, these lads have certainly released an album worth your time.

Guitarist and vocalist Kimmo Perämäki completely holds his own in either department as we see in the entirety of “Hangman’s Revelations”. “Wrapped in Gold” is a great example of keeping the keyboards, which Mika Maunus handles masterfully, just right in the mix. Crunchy guitars and Kimmo’s vocals do a great job getting stuck in your head. MASQUERAGE does an outstanding job flowing between power metal and melodic rock as is evident on title track “Hangman’s Revelations”. What stands out here, are Kimmo’s vocals which can go in a very Bruce Dickinsonian direction, “Brave New World” era. Very much a stand out track, and I can not emphasize how much Mika brings to the table with his keyboard chops. “Dreams of Fire” is the sweet spot and can arguably be the best track on the album. Certainly a mix of old school power metal such as Helloween and Gamma Ray, however not as fast or aggressive. This is sure to be a fan favorite. “Among the Rats” strays away from the usual power metal a bit and goes full on traditional metal with the crunchy, galloping riffs. Which are total ear candy might I add. Bring out your best air guitar impersonations.

Masterman” has more outstanding guitarwork by Kimmo. Another standout track with an infectious chorus that will get stuck in your head. Then we get “Don’t Overstay Your Welcome”. This is the oddball of the bunch but oh so loveable. It’s a rocking song of course, but if Iron Maiden had somehow acted on the late 90’s alternative rock that was popular, then you might get an idea of “Don’t Overstay Your Welcome”. “Sunken Day” takes out monotony (I mean this in the best possible way) with a blast from the past. Mika going full on 60’s/70’s with his keyboards playing an organ over the the entire song. Superb, rocking good time. Upon seeing the title “Weekend Warrior”, I was left wondering if Masquerage actually covered Iron Maiden’s song with the exact same title found on “Fear of the Dark”. Upon further inspection, it was not, but nonetheless a great tune about having a pint (or a few) after a long work week. Closer “Savages” has more of a somber tone, but still sounds grand in scale. Excellent use of choir style vocals throughout the song.

Masquerage have managed to create a hybrid style of playing as it doesn’t go full Finnish power metal that is symphonic and blazing fast but a mix of melodic hard rock meets old 80’s era Helloween. Kimmo’s vocal attack and knack for catchy riffs are the highlight of the album, all the while Mika’s keyboards bring the music to life. Bassist Ossi Raiski and drummer Marko Ylä-Häkkinen also do a great job at being the backbone of Masquerage. “Hangman’s Revelations” is a bit of a grower, but the listener will be rewarded with this diamond in the rough. Perfect for fans of power metal, Helloween, Iron Maiden, melodic hard rock, or those that are willing to get the “earworm” because this album is THAT catchy.

Songwriting: 9
Memorability: 9
Originality: 6
Production" 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Wrapped in Gold
2. Hangman’s Revelations
3. Dreams of Fire
4. Among the Rats
5. Long Lost Memories
6. No Wolves Here
7. Masterman
8. Don’t Overstay Your Welcome
9. Sunken Day
10. The Dark So Deep
11. Weekend Warrior
12. Savages
Lineup:
Kimmo Perämäki - Guitars & Vocals
Ossi Raiski - Bass
Mika Maunus - Keyboards
Marko Ylä-Häkkinen - Drums
Record Label: Stormspell Records
     


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Edited 14 December 2018
 

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