• Masquerader - Masquerader (2011) (7,5/10)

    Genre: Thrash Metal / Death Metal
    Label: Self-production
    Playing time: 14:00
    Band homepage: -

    Tracklist:

    1. Captilism, Cannibalism
    2. Carcass
    3. Samurai Slave Driver
    Masquerader - Masquerader

    On their debut record, the Taiwanese Thrash Metal outfit MASQUERADER plays a rather technical and pitiless style that reminds of bands like SLAYER or VENOM or even VOIVOD in the best moments. The somewhat brutal style and the discordant guitar sounds are rather hard to digest and only for bands of the aforementioned bands.

    What really makes this first strike rather unique is the unchained Death Metal vocal performance that gives the release an apocalyptic touch. On the other side, the music and the vocals don’t always harmonize very well and sometimes feel like an odd mismatch. The technical aspects in the vein of VEKTOR or MARTYR to cite two modern examples are surely interesting but the vocals would rather fit to bands like CANNIBAL CORPSE or CARCASS with a slight Metalcore touch.

    The in-your-face-lyrics that seem to oppose against capitalism and the idolization of Japanese culture fit though perfectly to the music. It’s special to see this kind of lyrics coming from Taiwan but this band clearly shows a big middle finger to its society. This anger and engagement in the lyrics makes the music sound more authentic as you might think at first contact.

    More big surprises come at the end of several tracks that happen to be rather calm. “Captilism, Cannibalism” features a short piano closure while “Samurai Slave Driver” has a few melancholic and laid back guitar riffs to close the record on an almost introspective note.

    There is no doubt: this band has a lot of inspiration and talent. They are open-minded enough to try out different genres and styles but they mix them in rather odd ways. That’s why the three songs are intriguing but request multiple listening experiences if you’re not too mixed up after a first contact. The more I listen to these three songs, the more I actually like their weird and unpredictable style. In the end, it’s up to you to decide if you invest your time into this kind of particular music but this Extreme Metal band definitely has plenty of potential.

    (Online April 9, 2013)

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