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Review: Black Masquerade - Spread Your Wings
Black Masquerade
www.blackmasquerade.com
Spread Your Wings

Label: Metal Master Records
Year released: 2005
Duration: 41:18
Tracks: 10
Genre: Heavy/Power Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: July 12, 2005
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
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Spread Your Wings

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Review


Black Masquerade hail from Japan and play melodic heavy/power metal. "Spread Your Wings" is a reasonably well done marriage of traditional heavy metal with "happy" German-style power metal in the vein of Helloween and, to a lesser extent, Gamma Ray. The album kicks off with one of those happy-sounding anthemic intros, a bit superfluous in my opinion, and then things get interesting with "The Guardian" which is quite in the traditional metal vein, with the vocals opening on a high pitched scream and 80s-style riffage all along. It also sets the mood for the rest of the album - it has this "positive" feel to it and the other songs follow in the same path, with the main difference being an alternance between the traditional and "happy power metal" sounds. They don't overdo the "happy" stuff, however, not falling into the trap unlike many bands flirting with the same style.

The vocals are pretty good overall but sometimes sound a bit out of sync with the music. Nothing terrible, mind you. The keyboards are mostly discreet, although in a couple of songs they are a little bit too audible and temporarily take the attention away from the guitars, and not in a good way. While not perfect, this is a very cool album to listen to, especially if you're in an upbeat mood (or want to get into one. :)) The sound is quite accessible and should even please some people who aren't much into metal, but at the same time it has a little "unpolished" side and the guitars are crunchy enough, plus some catchy solos will ensure that metalheads into the genre will find plenty to like here as well.


Track Listing:
  1. Into the Sky
  2. The Guardian
  3. Another Place
  4. Prisoner of Dark
  5. Hero of the Darkness
  6. Piece of Mind
  7. Skin and Bones
  8. Never Fear
  9. Land of Freedom
  10. Reach for the Star
Other related information on the site
Review: Holy And Bright (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
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