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Evil Masquerade - "Pentagram" (CD)

Evil Masquerade - "Pentagram" CD cover image

"Pentagram" track listing:

1. Pentagram 04:12
2. A Silhouette 03:51
3. Perfect Disgrace (3:26)
4. The Spirits Of The Dead (4:13)
5. Moonlight Fantasy (3:02)
6. Unholy Water (3:49)
7. Pray For Mercy On Our Souls (3:32)
8. Soul Taker (4:36)
9. On A Bed Of Thorns (4:20)
10. Strangers Might Fool Ya' (2:10)
11. When The Fire Dies (3:32)
12. The Golden Ratio (1:08)

Reviewed by on May 30, 2012

"I gleefully let the hard rock darkness of 'Pentagram' wash over my soul, but it would have been nice to have a few more speedy numbers sprinkled around to break up the overwhelming amount of mid to slow paced tracks."

If there ever was a way to take the late great Ronnie James Dio, Jorn Lande, and old Deep Purple and wrap it inside a cocoon of mid-paced power metal/rock shrouded in pure evil, then Henrik Flyman, Apollo Papathanasio (Firewind/Spiritual Beggars) and the guys from Evil Masquerade have found it. The fifth effort “Pentagram” is pure “bad assery” that is like a tempting apple from the tree of life, only here you’re hypnotized by Papathanasio’s stunning vocals and Flyman’s riffs, and mesmerized by the stunning keyboard work of Tyr Meinhild (Ex-Seven Thorns). The band completely sheds the speedy riffs from the previous four albums, which could easily drive away the power metal faithful, in favor of chunky hardened rock riffs with many, but well placed, pauses.

What makes “Pentagram” so refreshing from the band’s previous albums is the twists and turns through a litany of classic rock styles firing volleys from “Perfect Strangers” era Purple, “Lock Up the Wolves” era Dio, and pretty much anything from Jorn. The album even adds a touch of doom with “On a Bed of Thorns.” Meinhild’s keyboard work is pure genius, which binds the music and gives it a “fruits of the devil” feel that liberates the listener from the boundaries of goodness to breathe in the pure coolness of evil.

With that said, the album is akin to skiing down a mountain. The excitement is palpable as you ride the lift to the top, feeling the temperature drop. There is that pure adrenaline rush when you jump from the lift onto the fresh pristine snow as “Pentagram” and "A Sillouette" send you reeling down the steep grade. The terrain starts to levels out at about “The Spirits of the Dead” as the down tempo gets stuck in that heavier powder single-handedly by the way highly tuned bass of Thor Jeppesen, which overtakes Flyman’s riffs, but the scenery still looks pretty cool going by. You pick up some speed on the small bunny slopes of “Moonlight Fantasy” and “Soul Taker.” Once you reach “Strangers Might Fool Ya’, the combination of friction and lack of angle brings you to a crawl. Just as you get to “When the Fire Dies” you need to employ the vertical worm motion to reach the finish line.

All in all, as much as I gleefully let the hard rock darkness of “Pentagram” wash over my soul, it would have been nice to have a few more speedy numbers sprinkled around to break up the overwhelming amount of mid to slow paced tracks. The band may not have discovered a new formula of music, but for Evil Masquerade, the album truly lives up to its moniker.

Highs: "Pentagram," "A Silhouette," "Moonlight Fantasty," "Unholy Water," and "Soul Taker"

Lows: The overwhelming mid to slow pace.

Bottom line: "Pentragram" trades power metal for bad ass hard rock as the band becomes an Evil Masquerade.

Rated 4.0 out of 5 skulls
4.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)