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Subterranean Masquerade: Temporary Psychotic State

Just remember that you heard it here first: Watch these guys they're going to be big!

Some people can't handle a small amount of death-metal growling, and don't like the deep introspective vocals style of the Tiamat / My Dying Bride doom metal genre. If that describes you, stop reading now. But if you can handle these elements this music is groundbreaking.

Subterranean Masquerade is a project of The End Records' Tomer Pink, and lead vocals are by Paul Kuhr of Novembers Doom. The CD's artwork is by Travis Smith, who does covers for Opeth and many other big acts. This is part one of a trilogy , and the two tracks on this 17-minute EP form a sort of mini-concept piece dealing with the conflict between today's demands for conformity, and the natural desire to burst boundaries and be independent.

Temporary Psychotic State has equal mixes of metal and acoustic sounds, and far more clean vocals than growling. The two songs are deeply textured, rich in progressive elements, and punctuated by frequent well-managed tempo changes. The trademark sounds on this EP are the acoustic guitar that keeps things down to earth and melodic, and the single wailing violin that plays through almost the whole CD, sometimes in a lead roll and sometimes half-drowned by the heavy metal set. There's a long passage on the second track where spacey effects accompany sounds emulating an oriental-bazaar, all backed by an acoustic guitar quite fun. The female vocals launch into a "Great Gig In The Sky" type of melodic wailing for a short time on track 2, and there are just enough samples, voice-overs and effects to keep it interesting but not to intrude on the music itself.

The standard metal set is augmented by double-bass, dual guitarists, a Mellotron, a violin, male and female vocals and there are credits to 12 artists. Listen for the number of layers, the varied styles, the fresh approach to an old genre, the occasional nod to modern-day doom metal chord progressions, and the strong nods to classic '70s style prog in the orchestral arrangements interspersed with psychedelic passages.

You heard it here first, folks. If Temporary Psychotic State is their debut, watch out for these guys! This progressive-doom-metal band is poised to make a big impact. If this was a full album rather than an EP (and assuming the quality were to remain consistent and the style original), there's no question that this would be a 5-star review.

Track Listing:
1. Temporary Psychotic State (A Recollection Of Where It All Began) (7:21)
2. Observation Through Metamorphosis (9:59)
Playing Time: 17:20

Added: April 22nd 2004
Reviewer: Duncan Glenday
Score:
Related Link: Subterranean Masquerade's Home Page
Hits: 1273
Language: english

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