Evil Masquerade - Theatrical Madness
Frontiers Records
Theatrical Metal
11 songs (45'29)
Release year: 2005
Evil Masquerade, Frontiers Records
Reviewed by Marty
Denmark's Evil Masquerade are back with their second album entitled Theatrical Madness. It's such an appropriate title as it very accurately describes the sound of this band. Their debut album, Welcome To The Show from last year showed us a blend of neo-classical, technical and very theatrical metal that owes a lot to bands like Queen and Blind Guardian. Formed by current Wuthering Heights guitarist Henrik Flynn, the genesis of Evil Masquerade was born when he met former Royal Hunt vocalist Henrik Brockmann and the two began writing together. Various guest keyboard players were used on the debut album including Andre Anderson (Royal Hunt) as well as Richard Andersson (Time Requiem, Space Odyssey) and they also make appearances on this album as well. For touring purposes and for the future, they have recently enlisted Mikkel Jensen as the band's full-time keyboard player. Other band members include drummer Dennis Buhl and the newest member, bassist Thor Jeppeson. Henrik Flynn once again produced the album but the mixing was handled by the veteran Tommy Hansen (TNT, Helloween, Pretty Maids).

The neo-classical element of Evil Masquerade's music has really been down played on this album over their debut with more emphasis on theatrics and melody. The overall result is that they come off sounding much more coherent with song writing that is much superior than on the Welcome To The Show album. With so many power metal bands opting for the big epic and cheesy chorus type of material, it's refreshing to hear a band willing to take a chance and try to do something different for a change. The power metal and neo-classical elements are still ever present throughout the opener When Satan Calls and the Yngwie-inspired Other Ways To Babylon. Very intricate and technical passages highlight this catchy and melodic track with a Blind Guardian touch to the chorus and choppy rhythmic structure. The Blind Guardian influence is seen again with the track The Demolition Army with it's speedier style and vocal melodies. The title track Theatrical Madness uses more speedier power metal but is infused with lots of melody as well as some cool dramatic changes including quirky voice effects and Brian May style (Queen) guitar orchestrations. Bozo The Clown tells the twisted tale of a demented circus clown and is a solid mix of charging power metal with great drama and melody. A couple of short interludes are used throughout including Snow White and Witches Chant with the latter being a musical adaptation of the famous scene with the three witches from Shakespeare's Macbeth. The album closes with a fiery and charging power metal track entitled The Dark Play. Using interludes that contain voice effects ranging from sinister male voices to female Eastern styled chants, this one covers all the aspects of Evil Masquerade's sound.

I really like the theatrical style of this band and with a solid vocalist, they have all the right elements to put their stamp on a style of power metal that really doesn't have much in the lines of competition. There's an eerie yet melodic feeling throughout and the atmosphere that they create with their albums is captivating. Nothing really grabs you right away but there's something about their sound that makes you keep reaching for this album to listen to again. It takes a few listens to get into this album but the quality is definitely there. A very solid album, it could be even better by further improvements in song writing skills because as good as this band sounds, they still need to have a few more stand out tracks on their albums to really put a lock on the theatrical metal genre.

Killing Songs :
When Satan Calls, Theatrical Madness and The Dark Play
Marty quoted 80 / 100
Other albums by Evil Masquerade that we have reviewed:
Evil Masquerade - Third Act reviewed by Marty and quoted 84 / 100
Evil Masquerade - Welcome to the Show reviewed by Jason and quoted 89 / 100
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