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Evil Masquerade: Third Act

Any album that features the amazing pipes of one Apollo Papathanasio behind the microphone certainly has a lot going for it. The former Time Requiem and current Firewind belter fits right in here on Evil Masquerade's third release, appropriately titled Third Act. Original Evil Masquerade singer Hendrik Brockmann recently left for a solo career, so band leader and guitarist Henrik Flyman got a recommendation from close friend and keyboard wiz Richard Andersson (Time Requiem) and gave Apollo a call, and the rest is history. Third Act is some pretty impressive progressive/power metal, powered by Apollo's Coverdale/Dio influenced vocals, Flyman's amazing guitar skills, the powerful rhythms from drummer Dennis Buhl & bassist Thor Jeppesen, and some flat out catchy but heavy songs. Flyman is a true shredder, blazing through this album with reckless abandon as he whips up tons of crunchy riffs and white hot leads. His keyboard skills are pretty damn good, as he trades off the two on the relentless "Black Ravens Cry" (which harkens back to the glory days of Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force) and fires off some blistering guitar exchanges on the progressive "Descended From the Grave". There are a few guests here, like former Rainbow/Happy the Man keyboard ace David Rosenthal, who contributes some mighty orchestrations and solos on the very Rainbow-ish "Far Away" (with Apollo & Henrik doing a great Dio/Blackmore impression), and buddy Andersson lending his smoking technique to the raging title track.

Other highlights here include the classical metal piece "The Dark Minstrel Plays" (featuring a scorching Flyman guitar solo), the crushing "I'll Make You Burn", which sounds quite a bit like a late 80's Black Sabbath type of song, the folk-metal jig "Under the Surface of Water", and of course the epic sounding "Bring On the World", which has more than a healthy resemblance to vintage Rainbow or Malmsteen. This one has some incredible hooks, soaring vocals from Apollo, and amazing guitar & keyboard passages.

Bottom line is, there's really not a bad song here. Sure, the album doesn't deviate much from the Evil Masquerade formula, but what these guys do they do so well. With Apollo Papathanasio involved now (and hopefully he is able to split the time between this band and Firewind successfully), the future looks to be very bright for this talented band.

Track Listing

  1. The Devil's Last Temptation
  2. Third Act
  3. Black Ravens Cry
  4. Descended From the Grave
  5. Far Away
  6. The Dark Minstrel Plays
  7. I'll Make You Burn
  8. Under the Surface of Water
  9. Orchestration For More Than One Horn
  10. Bring On the World
  11. The Final Goodbye
  12. The Wind Will Rise-bonus track
  13. Bozo the Clown

Added: December 12th 2007
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Nightmare Records
Hits: 27708
Language: english

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