Thursday, June 11, 2015

"Masquerade Infinite" review by Dan Watts (Hooded Stranger)

Original review page here:

"There is nowhere to hide from the sinister undercurrents of this Hell-bound yet hauntingly melodic album with its programme of orchestral & industrial elements. Combining wicked word-play & satanically crafted sound the album reaches deep within tainting every cell. Open the gates & enter at your own risk…

1. Masquerade Infinite:
Atmospheric; spine-chilling spoken introduction to the mayhem that is about to torture your senses & wreak havoc with your body, mind & soul. There are dark deeds at play within this track. It is not what is spoken but more of that which is not! Welcome…

2. Carnival Of Lies:
A densely morbid track shrouded in mist with a deep bass line driving the track through the darkness towards something… 

3. In Excelsis:
Slow tense opening before the sneer of distorted vocals taunt & tease the listener. Fear is the medicine of the day & this track delivers dose after dose. Synths create the tension & emotion & the drum sequence backed by a steady bass line adds the depth of insanity required to deliver the panic & claustrophobia. Lyrically dark; delivered with slick intent.

4. Wer Bist Du?:
Menacing lyrics delivered with malice & spite bites deep into your psyche. Orchestral components mixed with drum patterns add a certain weight to the track offering the listener a moment to appreciate the delight of the darkness within this track of impurity. Quite simply; outstanding!

5. Creature Of Masquerade
Elegantly crafted with atmosphere & a drifting bass line that mesmerises & teases. Vocals delivered with a snarl & a bitter undertone. Layered keyboards effortlessly drive the track through the emotions & add depth to the lyrics & whole visual element created. This dark track almost slips & allows a shard of light to break through before being quickly extinguished. Another track; not for the faint-hearted.

6. The Puppeteer:
The drums wake you from the spell allowing you to explore the prison inside your mind. This track corrupts your brain; revealing images that haunt & mislead. This evil track has a bass line that reverberates inside your head never truly releasing until the final chord has been struck. Lyrically strong; musically hard & dense; visually frightening. 

7. Illusion:
Wrapped in a shroud of mystery & intrigue this tracks plays with your senses. Distorted vocals hypnotise & take control. Exquisite aura with drifting synths combined with a gentle drum pattern add to the emotional journey this song takes you on. Ghostly track that feels awkward yet perfectly designed & intentional.

8. Mask Of Deceit:
Slow track; deeply haunting with female vocals almost chanting as if crafting a spell. Angelic images float but those angels are wearing masks. Behind this illusion lies a dark & sinister track that evolves into a dark place creating discomfort & fear. Beautifully produced & executed.

9. Suicide Solution:
Harsh vocal treatment delivered with the right amount of malice & spite turns this track into an evil passage of misery. The driving bass line gives the song its edgy horror feeling & the skeletal fingers in the darkness just tighten around your throat with each beat of the expertly programmed drums. Stand-out track on the album.

10. So Leicht...:
Faster & more industrial style track has a relentless momentum about it that becomes a white-knuckle ride throughout the song. Harsh lyrics create images that add direction & focus leading you deeper into the downward spiralling well of madness.

11. World Of Crows [Acervus vs. Cold Therapy]:
An industrial fusion that despite its initial appearance of mayhem; finds complete order from within the chaos. A track that needs to played loud to fully appreciate the genius of its creation & production. This takes the original version; flips it upside-down; wrings it inside-out & only then begins to re-build a new version!

12. Wer Bist Du? [Advent Resilience]:
When you are about to review a remix by Advent Resilience you already know you are in for a treat; this was no exception. As always; the mix became bigger, fatter & larger than life enhancing elements almost unheard on the original. Re-programmed drum sequences gave the mix a new dimension without losing sight of the original format. 

13. The Puppeteer [no strings attached mix by reADJUST]:
A well-crafted, re-designed version of the original with plenty of new elements fused in to make this an enjoyable mix that never became predictable. reADJUST understand how to remix a track without going too far yet still bringing us a new fresh alternative perspective. The change of pace/tempo in this mix from the original really worked & made this mix feel like a completely new track.

14. In Excelsis [Asseptic Room remix]:
This remix has altered the drum sequence with an amazing effect that changes the whole feel of the track. The track feels more direct in its approach yet also it feels more sensitive towards the vocal delivery. It has a classy style & has created a whole new set of visuals for this track. All additional elements have been purposefully included & not just thrown in but each has a specific effect that enhances the mix. A cleverly composed remix indeed. 

15. Wer Bist Du? [Orbicide remix]:
Disturbing remix that immediately grabs your attention. Slow; menacing & down right depressive: perfect! Not sure if this remix was purposefully placed last in the track listing but it works as the perfect conclusion to the album summarising all the dark elements found in the album. The synths just screech away & the atmosphere just builds: tense & morbid. Absolutely love this remix!"

- Review by Dan Watts (Systema Synthetica)