Subterranean Masquerade - Temporary Psychotic State
The End Records
Dark Progressive Rock
2 songs (17'21")
Release year: 2004
Subterranean Masquerade, The End Records
Reviewed by Alex
Surprise of the month

In my original dealings with The End Records my main contact and interaction point was Tomer Pink. I could easily guess that working for a small obscure label requires dedication and passion, not much dough can be made participating in this enterprise. But what I didn’t know that Tomer Pink is not only a music enthusiast and fan, he is also a musician, an accomplished guitarist himself. It also turns out that he originally formed a band, Subterranean Masquerade, way back in 1997. For whatever reason, the debut recording, an EP aptly titled Temporary Psychotic State, is being released, you guessed it, on The End Records, only now.

The band itself, with Tomer on guitars and writing the music, consists of musicians in one way or the other associated with The End Records as well. Namely, Tino LoSicco (Epoch of Unlight) plays drums, Jason William Walton (Agalloch) mans the bass with Jake DePolitte (Salt Lake City death metal – hardcore crossover Anima Nera) helping Tomer out on guitars. Paul Kuhr from November’s Doom (the band that could easily be on The End if not for Martyr Music) handles all vocals from clean to gruff, with string musicians and female choir also pitching in.

The EP consists of only two tracks, but clocking at 17 min, they provide a good glimpse of what Subterranean Masquerade might become. Dark, progressive, guitar-driven rock is the name of the game for the band. While the opening title track takes some time to get going and reminds of Agalloch in the way the pressure is being ratcheted up slowly, Observation Through Metamorphosis is half way semi-acoustic and will definitely appeal to all those who thought Opeth’s Damnation was the best thing to come in years. Both tracks feature the overriding violin, especially Temporary Psychotic State, which sounds, in accord with the title, almost neurotic. Existing on a plane of its own, the violin for Subterranean Masquerade is a like a tiny, buzzing voice in your head not letting you be complacent with reality. Paul Kuhr can sing in a somber standoffish clean style, as if not caring if the end of time comes soon, but he also explodes with gruff passion at around 6 min in the title track, and on and off in Observation Through Metamorphosis. The point is that both styles of vocals are handled very well, and no less can be expected of Paul, a musician who lately struggled with a debilitating painful back condition (my best wishes for recovery go out to him). The music is very fitting in the “explosive” sections, with double bass propelling the sound. But those “shock waves” can die just as fast as they were born with acoustic mid-Eastern guitars and female backing vocals overtaking the sound (Observation Through Metamorphosis).

Edgy, dark, and a bit nutty, Subterranean Masquerade will appeal to the fans of Opeth softer side, Agalloch, Green Carnation, Especially Likely Sloth, Daylight Dies, November’s Doom and many other bands who can shift from soft to harsh musical episodes while always sitting on the moody side. The only question is: how long is the wait going to be for 2 more tracks?

Killing Songs :
There are only 2 tracks here ... and both are good
Alex quoted no quote
Other albums by Subterranean Masquerade that we have reviewed:
Subterranean Masquerade - The Great Bazaar reviewed by Goat and quoted 85 / 100
Subterranean Masquerade - Suspended Animation Dreams reviewed by Alex and quoted 80 / 100
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