Released: 2005, Frontiers Records/Atenzia Records
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
THEATRICAL MADNESS is the follow up to last years debut release WELCOME TO THE SHOW by this Danish band called Evil Masquerade. The band leaders are Henrik Brockmann (ex- Royal Hunt) along with Henrik, Henrik Flyman (ex-Moani Moana, Zool). To complete the line up the band consists also of Kasper and Dennis. The line up hasn’t changed since the debut, but this time they have taken in some guests like André Andersen (Royal Hunt) on keyboards in “Theatrical Madness”, Richard Andersson (Time Requiem, Space Odyssey) also on keyboards in “Now When Our Stars Are Fading” and the very skilled newcomer Mikkel Jensen features on keyboard in “Other ways to Babylon”.
This time the guys have moved in another musical direction. The more faster melodic hard rock they had on the debut is now faster music that almost borders on heavy metal. The neo-classical influences are narrowed down and replaced with more progressive/symphonic metal. Still there are neo-classical influences but in smaller amounts. The arrangements sound more epic and majestic and the music is also more technically played.
The musical description of ‘theatrical metal’ is correct because as on the debut there are some parts on this album that sounds just like circus music.
The band delivers 11 solid tracks including one outro that closes the album. One of the songs, “Witches Chant”, has Henrik put music to Shakespeare and was apparently taken from the 1st scene of the 4th act from Macbeth.
Guitar player Henrik has written all the material and he has done a much better job compared to on the debut. The quality has improved a great deal, the melodies sound stronger and the arrangements are also much stronger. Henrik has managed to gather all different kinds of music styles and put them together in a brilliant way. I’ve had this promo copy for a long time now and the material stands the test of time. You’ll discover several new things in the music each time you listen to it.
Henrik has produced this album, but the mixing guy is new for the band, this time the mixing and mastering was done by Tommy Hansen (TNT, Helloween, Pretty Maids). Henrik Flyman has done a wonder with the production, he has brought out a sharp and heavier sound from the guitar and he allows the singer to take more place and show off a little bit more than on the debut. The sound can only be described as being majestic and epic at the same time. Henrik, the singer, does a much better job this time, he didn’t impress at all on the debut but on this album he shows a wide vocal range and an incredible passion in his vocals.
Henrik, the guitarist, contributes with a varied and heavy guitar playing throughout the whole album. He handles the lead parts both fast and technically. Dennis and Kasper in the rhythm section are really skilled. Both handle heavy metal play as well as a more melodic playing style. The guest keyboard players all have a very intense style and they add more depth to the music in the tracks in which they appear.
I was impressed by the bands debut album, but this new album an improvement. They did a smart move in cutting back the neo-classical influences and replacing them with more heavy metal. All of the material is of a really high class and the production is well balanced. All of the tracks are killer and it’s impossible to pick out any favorite amongst them. The only word I can think of that sums up this album is IMPRESSIVE!
I know that Evil Masquerade have done two shows in their hometown Copenhagen, Denmark, but I really hope that they can do more shows now that the album is out. With THEATRICAL MADNESS, Evil Masquerade prove that they are here to stay and that they have a lot to offer us in the future.