Released: n/a, Escape Music/Zink Music
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
Henrik Flyman and his Evil Masquerade are back with their third album simply called THIRD ACT. A lot has happened since their last album, THEATRICAL MADNESS, came out in 2003. The band have a new label, a new bass player, and a new singer. Henrik Flyman felt the need to take the band a step further, so he locked himself up in the studio and started to create new material. He was so productive that he wrote enough music to last two albums at once and everything took Mr. Flyman only 5 months to complete. Mr. Flyman impresses once again with his material, and believe it or not, he does it all a little better than before. It really feels like he has developed even more as a lyricist and musician since the last album.
The album has a lot in common music-wise with the band’s debut, except for the more theatre-like music on the debut, and today the compositions sound more mature. It’s still melodic neo-classical metal with parts of melodic heavy metal, but Mr. Flyman has taken a huge leap forward. In true Evil Masquerade spirit, Mr. Flyman invited a keyboardist to play. Just like on the previous albums, he brought in Richard Andersson (Time Requiem, Space Oddysey), who plays on the track “Third Act”. A new face on the album is David Rosenthal (Rainbow, Yngwie Malmsteen, Steve Vai etc) who guests on “Far Away”. Both guys are geniuses on their instruments and deliver world-class keyboard parts.
It was a real upswing to get lead singer Apollo on board. He has an amazing voice and manages to take the material to another level. He sounds much better here than on Time Requiem’s last album with him, and he has an incredible vocal range that really does the band justice. Mr. Flyman has produced the album, and of course he did great work with it. Apollo’s parts are spacious, and every musician gets their five seconds to shine. Mr. Flyman says that the recordings with Apollo went really fast and he did his part in only three days. Just as on the new Firewind CD, where Apollo also sings, it sounds like he has found new self-esteem and joy in singing something that wasn’t as obvious as the last Time Requiem album.
There are a few songs that don’t take on the same height as the others, and it’s easier to mention those than to ramble on about the great ones.
The less unfortunate songs are the ballads “I’ll Make You Burn” and “The Final Goodbye”, as well as the instrumental short story “Orchestration For More Than One Horn”, which is exactly what it sounds like: 30 seconds of only horn music!
The entire album is a masterpiece, and it’s definitly one of my favorites this year. I’d really recommend this album to everyone that hasn’t heard Apollo or Evil Masquerade before.