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Masquerage: Moonlight Time

Whilst Moonlight Time, which is the second album from Finnish metallers Masquerage only plopped onto my mail mat a few weeks ago, this album has actually been available for just over two years now. In that time there has been a line up reshuffle (Kari Lavila replacing Jukka Viitasaari on guitars) and quite a few live dates. So let's go back to Moonlight Time and see what the band have actually been promoting since 2008.

The nine tracks, that make up a rather spritely 35 minutes of music, are pretty straight ahead eighties and early nineties inspired metal that is strongly flavoured with the likes of Helloween and Pretty Maids, while a smidge of the likes of Maiden can also be detected, especially in the bass lines. Obviously then, there is nothing earth shatteringly original here, however it is only fair to stress that Masquerage do what they do with enough panache to make their mark and do add a little something to the sound by adding shiny, bright keyboards that evoke a vibe somewhere between classic Purple and some more commercial outfits of the eighties. In fact that commerciality from days gone by is strongly evident in tracks like "Better Liar" and "Silver Wings". The latter also has a shout along chorus and big slabs of keys which really give this the feel of something all together more melodic than the other songs would suggest.

Kimmo Peramaki possesses a strong voice that reminds of Michael Kiske back in his metal days and while a reasonably strong accent can be heard when he employs a lower register, there is enough character and power to negate what could have been a stumbling block for some. The departed Viitasaasri rips out some great if predictable riffs and along with Peramaki, who also handles guitars, the pair infuse enough energy to make the songs romp along with a fair degree of conviction. The backing from Mika Maunus' keyboards brings a fuller sound to proceedings and considering that this album was self produced and released the sound is pretty much spot on.

Having visited the band's web site there is no news of a new recording just yet, although having recently teamed up with Two Sides Moon to promote the band, they may well still be focusing on this release. While it won't be the strongest album of this kind that you could pick up, Moonlight Time is still extremely enjoyable and suggests that Masquerage have the talent to make them a band worth keeping an eye on.

Track Listing
1. We Will Never Learn
2. Moonlight Time
3. I Don't Believe In You
4. Doctors Order
5. Retired Monster
6. The Helpers
7. Better Liar
8. Silver Wings
9. Everlasting Good Luck

Added: July 5th 2010
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Masquerage Official Web Site
Hits: 1946
Language: english

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