Evil Masquerade - Welcome to the Show
Frontiers Records
Theatrical Metal
11 songs (47:50)
Release year: 2004
Evil Masquerade, Frontiers Records
Reviewed by Jason
Surprise of the month

Tie back that long hair, jump into your three piece suits, and don’t forget your ticket because, ladies and gentlemen, we’re going to the metal theater!

I have to admit that when I read into Evil Masquerade I had my doubts; I said to myself “Hmm… a group of talented musicians teaming up to make a theatrical styled metal band. Now, why do I get the sinking sensation that this is going to sound like Avantasia #2?”. Minutes later after popping the disc into my stereo, I made myself another mental note: never trust my sinking sensations.

Simply put, Evil Masquerade’s Welcome to the Show is a magnificent album brilliantly incorporating famous and recognizable pieces of classical music while always keeping its metal edge. Henrik Brockmann’s vocals flow smoothly from your speakers without overshooting the mark and reaching painfully high, atom splitting proportions, while Royal Hunt’s own Henrik Flyman’s impressive guitar work and original theatrical renditions make you want to bang your head. What I truly enjoy about this album is the balance between theater and metal, speed and melody, and power and progressive. Though I do enjoy beautiful songs such as Avantasia’s Anywhere, which is slow paced, and reminds me of (I know I’m going to get crapped on for this, but its true!) an Elton John song, Evil Masquerade keeps a steady balance between both metal and classical, appropriately accentuating each music style at different moments.

The album starts off with a rendition of The Ride of the Valkyries”, that includes a small excerpt from the famous Hall of the Mountain King (you’ll recognize it when you hear it), and quickly explodes into furious guitar soloing frenzy that takes you by surprise. The next song is followed by a true killer, titled welcome to the show, whose purpose is pretty self explanatory, and reminds me greatly of Symphony X. Denis Buhl doesn’t hold back, and gets right to fiddling with his cymbals while Flyman solos away on his Guitar. This song gives you a good picture of Brockmann’s vocal range, and demonstrates his ability to sing well in different tones. The other songs on the album share a similar pattern of rampant guitar soloing and technical drums, but what really makes each song substantially different is its melody. The drumming pace, bass lines, and choruses always change up making it easier for each melody to be unique, evading a big repetitive album. A big factor that has a profound effect of the originality on each piece is that fact that the band doesn’t have one permanent keyboard player. Four different guest keyboard players were used in the making of this album, and the different styles can definitely be noticed throughout the tracks.

The seventh number on this album is a great cover of Bach’s Bandenerie, which has Brockmann, and likely some of the other members, la-la-ing the intro of it, which shortly ends and breaks into a guitar soloed version that much resembles Yngwie Malmseen’s rendition of Beethoven’s 5th .Although the final song, Evil Masquerade, is a fantastic piece blending solid riffs with jazzy beats, I personally believe that a theatrical styled album such as this one deserves an outro song.

Besides the lack of an outro, which would have been very appropriate, this is a very promising beginning for Evil Masquerade. Henrik Flyman’s 15 years experience of composing for theaters and various orchestras truly stands out and is complimented by a team of great musicians. This is a definite worthwhile purchase, and I am more than anxious to hear what the metal theater will have in store for us next time around, come our next visit.

Killing Songs :
All of them!!!
Jason quoted 89 / 100
Other albums by Evil Masquerade that we have reviewed:
Evil Masquerade - Third Act reviewed by Marty and quoted 84 / 100
Evil Masquerade - Theatrical Madness reviewed by Marty and quoted 80 / 100
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