Released: 2004, The End Records
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
Remember Kuato, that mutant thing from TOTAL RECALL and how he repeated over and over, “Open your mind”? Subterranean Masquerade’s first offering, TEMPORARY PSYCHOTIC STATE, is a 17-minute, two-track E.P., that will quite literally take you on a trip like you have never been on. Doom, prog, ambient, death, hard rock, atmospheric, psychedelic, Middle Eastern…I can’t even think of all the genres that this little gem fits into! This is “beautiful” music for lack of a better term. These tracks bridge a careful balance of metal and acoustic to appeal to both camps, though there is much more clean vocal present. Frequent tempo changes are not unlike that of an Opeth record and the band is able to orchestrate both equally well. While the track names and length can come off as a bit pretentious, the music is so multi-layered and original that all is forgotten. The band is the brainchild of songwriter/guitarist Tomer Pink (coolest name I’ve heard in a LONG time!) and this is the first in what will be a trilogy of E.P.s. Pink has gathered friends, labelmates and members of Agalloch, Epoch of Unlight and Novembers Doom to get the music down and in turn has created one of the more interesting listening experiences I have had in quite some time.
The opening section of the title track begins with a weird backwards-tracked hurdy gurdy and a ringmaster cackling, “Welcome to the carnival of the dysfunctional and disturbed.” A haunting violin snakes through the song as Paul Kuhr’s droning, robotic vocals remind me of “Astronomy Domine” by Pink Floyd before kicking into death metal overdrive around the 5:20 mark. The song escalates to a feverish pitch only to wind down with a tight double bass outro from Tino LoSicco. “Observation Through Metamorphosis” features some more impressive drumming and a great death vocal part from Kuhr. There is a female vocal that opens the track and, with another nod to Pink Floyd, croons on like “The Great Gig In The Sky.”
Also worth mentioning is the CD itself, which is clear plastic with a colored ring inside making it resemble an old 45 vinyl single (remember those?). If nothing else, this certainly makes the disc stand out from the rest of the pack, not to mention the brilliant artwork courtesy of Travis Smith.
This is a richly textured CD that will appeal to just about anyone’s musical preferences. Guitars, violins, keyboards, a Mellotron, clean vocals, death vocals, female vocals, pounding drums…there is so much on this two-track CD that if there is any justice, this band is going to explode on the underground scene. I honestly cannot wait to hear the second part of this very promising trilogy!
KILLER KUTS: ALL!!!!!