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Evil Masquerade
The Outcast Hall Of Fame
August 2016
Released: 2016, Dark Minstrel
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: JP

The saying, “The more things change, the more they stay the same” could apply to Henrik Flyman and Evil Masquerade. The band is in constant evolution, with any number of member changes and a style that is hard to pin down. Their new 7th album, THE OUTCAST HALL OF FAME is no exception.

The one thing that remains is the bands evil theater/masquerade/jester theme with the playing card and impish mascot making an appearance once again on the cover. The line-up seems to have stabilized after an early history of multiple line-up changes, now it is the core the band and the first time the band has had the same line-up for two studio albums in row. Founder Flyman also is maintaining the independent route staying on the Dark Minstrel label. The album does feel a little bit schizophrenic only if for the fact that there are five vocalists on the album. All of them are excellent and in somewhat of a similar style so it is not too disconcerting. Guests include Mats Leven (ex-Yngwie) and former vocalist Apollo makes a return.

THE OUTCAST HALL OF FAME starts in a more Power Metal style, moving back to a bit more of that style, that the band had shifted away from on PENTAGRAM a few years back. After three punchier songs, there is a gorgeous power ballad, ‘One Thousand Roses And A Lot Of Pain’, that is absolutely sublime but at only 2:44 long it feels very incomplete. I could have listened to guest vocalist Rick Altzi (At Vance) sing the beautiful, heart-rending chorus another five times. On a side note Altzi sounds a bit like James Christian of House Of Lords on this track! On the other end of the spectrum, the band has written it’s first epic, the closing track, ‘On No Way to Broadway’ running over twelve minutes, their longest composition to date. In other nice twist the band has covered an old traditional Swedish song from 1790 called, ‘Mark Hur Var Skugga’ which roughly translated means, ‘Mark How Our Shadow’. It’s a popular tune having been covered previously by both Candlemass and Marduk and Henrik sings it in the traditional language. Just before the cover tune we get a weird creepy mid-tempo tune called, ‘The Spineless’ that begins with an extended whispered/spoken introduction that may be a movie sample, but if it is I’m not familiar with it. The vocalist is Nicklas Sonne (Defecto) who has since joined the band in a permanent capacity, although as the fourth singer for the band in 12 years, ‘permanent’ may not mean much! The album flows very nicely and all of the vocalists unite in the aforementioned closing epic song, which would not sound out of place on an Avantasia album. Lyrically the album is slightly dark, with topics about death, loss and tragedy, but it is never depressing. The whole album is just loaded with pure talent all put to use at the right spot at the correct time.

As is the case with all of the Evil Masquerade albums, we are treated to another diverse, compelling and entertaining peek behind the dark curtain of Metal theater.
Track Listing

1. The Outcast Hall of Fame
2. Death of God
3. Darkness (I Need You)
4. One Thousand Roses and a Lot of Pain
5. Lost Inside a World of Fear
6. The Spineless
7. Märk hur vår skugga
8. On No Way to Broadway


Mats Levén Vocals
Rick Altzi Vocals
Apollo Papathanasio Vocals
Nicklas Sonne Vocals
Henrik Flyman Vocals, Guitar
Thor Jeppesen Bass
Artur "Meinild Keyboards
Dennis Buhl Drums



Next review: » Evil Masquerade - Theatrical Madness
Previous review: » Evil Masquerade - Pentagram

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