• Masquerader - Singular Point (2013) - Thrashing around and showing the finger - 80% (28/05/14)

    Masquerader - Singular Point (2013)

    The second EP of the Taiwanese Thrash Metal outfit Masquerader sounds much more traditional than the band’s first strike that had some rather harsh death metal vocals. This new release features more traditional vocals and a few energizing background screams in the anthemic parts. The vocals are slightly hysterical or even high pitched at some points. They are definitely over the top. They sound emotional and very direct. That’s how I want traditional Thrash Metal vocals to sound like. In my opinion, this vocal performance perfectly fits to the music and sounds much more appropriated than the vocals on the first release.

    The songs are a lot faster and more dynamical as well. The riffs are sharp and the guitar solos are incredibly fast and pitiless but always remain melodic. The bass guitar sounds definitely improved and has its dominating moments as well. I would go as far to say that the bass guitar has become my favourite instrument of this band apart of the amazing sharp guitar solos that add a few shining moments in each track. The drumming is powerful and varies enough. It doesn’t only feature sped up passages which is a very positive thing. The songs all sound coherent but have small differences that keep the tension high. I wouldn’t call it a firework of diversity but these guys definitely have the right inspirations. The four new songs all feature an old school touch reminding of the Bay Area scene that has replaced the few experimental and calmer moments of the first EP.

    The lyrics are raw and explicit. I would almost call them punkish. Some lyrics also have that slight party feeling you get when you listen to early Overkill as in “Thrasher Commandos” or also to Slayer as in “S.AT.A.N.”. The five musicians from Taipei surely don’t reinvent the genre but this kind of honest and uncompromising old school thrash metal has become very rare these days. Thanks to the band’s raw energy and some actual technical talent, they don’t sound like a worn out copy but rather fresh and motivated. It’s cool to hear bands like these from time to time when you get bored or disappointed by the latest releases of bands like Metallica. Of course, these guys can’t concurrence the latest releases of bands like Anthrax or Kreator but they definitely have their reason and place to be there.

    Any true thrash metal fan should give these guys immediately a chance and join a crazy fun ride for a little bit more than sixteen minutes. All I wait for now is a possible full length release. Let’s add to this that the cover artwork also perfectly fits the band’s attitude and style. I just wish these guys from the Republic of China to keep the musical bullets flying like this in the future.

    Originally written for The Metal Observer

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