Reviews May/05

Evil Masquerade / Theatrical Madness / FR CD 238


Evil Masquerade - Danish Progressive/theatrical metal featuring former Royal Hunt vocalist Henrik Brockmann! Tracklisting:When Satan calls; Theatrical Madness; Bozo the Clown; Now when your Stars are fading; A great Day to die; The demolition Army; Snow White; Witnes Chant; Other Ways to Babylon; The dark Play; Outro.

Evil Masquerade is as close to a Danish super-group as you can get. This band features the talent of 5 very gifted musicians - well known from other ambitious project earlier. The band is fronted by former Royal Hunt vocalist Henrik Brockmann, guitarist/composer/producer Henrik Flyman known from his work with Zool and Wuthering Heights, bass player Kasper Gram from Manticora and drummer Dennis Buhl from Sinphonia and finally the newcomer Mikkel Jensen from Cirkus Mind and Narita. On the record though the keyboard is also handled by André Andersen from Royal Hunt and Richard Andersson from Time Requiem.
The musical style is just as ambitious as their musical past... the style is very much their very own "theatrical" metal but there are traces from Vanden Plas, Rainbow, Royal Hunt, Blackmore's Night and Queen in the tracks. The whole thing is produced by Flyman himself, who also wrote most of the songs supplied by W. Shakepeare on "Witnes Chant"! and mixed by Tommy Hansen in the Jailhouse Studios. There are a lot of challenging and impressive arrangements all over this - the bands second coming - but the outstanding tracks to me are "Witnes Chant" which is inspired by the 1st scene of the 4th act from MacBeth, "When Satan Calls" and "A great day to Die" which ending guitar lines matches some of Blackmore's legendary Rainbow-era 6-string-sound!
If you're into easy digestable melodic rock - you can challenge youself with this one by Evil Masquerade. The progressive ("theatrical") elements are packed with a lot melodic stuff, too. Flyman & Co. has a lot to offer the melodic metal world...

Pete Lacey / Karma's gonna get you / Spitfirewolfmusic


Pete Lacey - a rebel WITH a noble cause! Tracklisting:Leaving tonight; Release my heart; This could be Love; Into the Fire; If you can't find Love; Hard to let go; Karma's gonna get you; Eternity starts tonight; Standing at the Door of our last Chance; Nowhere to run; Wonderful tonight (bonus track).

Pete Lacey may not be the biggest singer around - but he is a man on a mission! This self financed/produced/written CD will be donating the proceeds to a charity called "On track" whis is a part of an organization called Elisabeth Fitzroy Support and is a skills centre for adults with severe learning disabilities and physical disabilities. The album "Karma's gonna get you" costs £10.00 (Sterling), cheques payable to P Billington, 23 Nightingale Close, Rowland Castle, Hampshire, PO9 6EU, England - outside UK extra £1.50. A limited run of the disc will be supplied with free 10 song CD of Lacey's last CD "Eternal Pursuit".
Contact Pete Lacey on e-mail:
The album - which is Pete lacey's third solo effort is as mentioned self financed and is like his previous work mainly written and produced and played by himself in his home studio. In the early 90's Pete's career started off in a band called Sarajevo, and according to the following press material they peaked by supporting Ace Frehley in the USA. The style is melodic hard rock in the vein of low-budget Bon Jovi in the mid 80's - even AOR-ish on several spots, like ballad "If you can't find Love" but the best track to me is "Release my Heart" with a graet riff to kick off with - of course the production is limited, so was the budget I guess ;-) But Pete Lacey manages to put a good chorus in here and there and in general the song is well written and structured!
So you can support a noble cause by supporting Pete Lacey's music! Get up and go...

Edge of Forever / Let the Demon Rock'n Roll / MTM 0681-132


Edge of Forever - Bob Harris from Axe with Italian back-up! Tracklisting:The Machine; Shade of November; One last Surrender; Crime of passion; Let the Demon Rock'n Roll; A deep Emotion; Feel like burning; Mouth of Madness; In my Eyes; Edge of Forever.

Edge of Forever is totally 80's retro stuff with an extreme updated sound and atmospheres from the neoclassical world - but the riffs and overall attitude is as big and pompous as in the glory days of Dokken, the melodic sides of Malmsteen, Rainbow, Deep Purple, Glenn Hughes and ...
The bands line up is - as on their first record - Bob Harris from Axe on vocals supported by 4 highly gifted Italian musicians named Alessandro Del Vecchio on Keyboards, Matteo Carnio on guitar, Christian Grillo on bass and Francesco Jovino on drums. Besides that the background vocals is delivered by Jeff Scott Soto and the whole thing is produced by Bobby Barth who is Mr. Harris' sidekick in melodic band Axe.
So all in all it can't go that wrong, and it doesn't! This record seems to be a lesson in melodic songwriting, musical abilities and powerful production! It is filled with memorable tracks and let me start with the intro "The Machine" with all its fury and power - the voice of Bob harris reminds me a bit of Glenn Hughes' (thank God without the falsetto parts) and the guitar structures are absolutely great here supplied with a significant keyboard sound it is a great track. "Shade of November" is just as powerful and if you like me also has a soft spot for the more sophisticated, neo-classical elements and structures "One last Surrender" is superb! But Edge of Forever is not just about power - they have a big ballad like "A deep Emotion", too on which Del Vecchio has a grand piano (or somthing that sounds that way) in his hands. A sublime structured song with well balanced guitar-keyboard-vocals great! "In my Eyes" is on my top 10 list of songs this year - very air-guitar friendly! But the perfect rocker must be "Feel like burning" with a master riff, great chorus and very dry drums! you can't sit still to that one...
A good album that satisfies every lover of 80's inspired hard rock, with elements from the neo-classical scene and melody in the first row!

© Steen Peitersen 1999-2005