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Evil Masquerade
January 2013
Released: 2012, Dark Minstrel
Rating: 3.0/5
Reviewer: JP

This is not at all what I expected. PENTAGRAM is the fifth album by Denmark’s Evil Masquerade. We have been fans and supporters of this band for some time so I will spare you the history lesson. If you need more info check out the reviews of the bands other albums on this site.

The album cover is a bit dull compared to the previous four albums but still manages to incorporate a ‘theater’ aspect in the design. The band are now on the ‘Dark Minstrel’ label which is probably Flyman’s own label after jumping around from label to label and another massive lineup change has occurred since FADE TO BLACK in 2009 with Niemann (bass) and Flores (drums) exiting and Artur Meinild joining on keyboards and Thor and Denis actually rejoining the band on bass and drums respectively. Indie label or otherwise, the production values are just fine, presenting a nice, full warm round production reminiscent of the 70’s.

That is not the only part that reminds me of the 70’s. While I did not hear FADE TO BLACK the song-writing and performances on PENTAGRAM are significantly different than the prior albums. More specifically, the first few albums carried a melodic Euro-Metal style, with progressive hints and some neo-classical influences but PENTAGRAM is a monster throwback to the early classic era of Metal. I hear a lot of Dio, Sabbath, Purple and Rainbow in the songs, or if you wish for a more contemporary reference point, I’m hearing parallels to what Jorn and Voodoo Circle are doing these days. It’s a striking difference but because I love that sound as well, it is an excellent collection.

One of the many highlights are the vocals of Apollo. His warm, full voice and impassioned delivery really bring back memories of when the singer voice had distinct qualities and singing ability, not just screaming. The twelve track album runs just over 40 minutes and the tempo is mid paced leaning towards the slow side. The simple, elegant song construction allows individual performances room to breath. It’s not a busy record; full of orchestras, sound effects and dense layers by any means, it has a real stripped back early Metal vibe as mentioned earlier. Instead of a hundred riffs Flyman picks some good ones and bolsters the songs with good choruses that are not too sickly sweet. A couple of highlights for me ‘Soul Taker’ and ‘Moonlight Fantasy’ with hints of a 70’s keyboard sound.

Although PENTAGRAM was not quite what I was expecting, it is still a fun record, full of excellent songs and fine performances from Apollo who never fails to impress. I hope that the smaller label and limited distribution don’t diminish the accessibility of this excellent band and their ever-expanding and impressive catalogue of high-quality traditional Metal.
Track Listing

1. Pentagram
2. A Silhouette
3. Perfect Disgrace
4. The Spirits of the Dead
5. Moonlight Fantasy
6. Unholy Water
7. Pray for Mercy on Our Souls
8. Soul Taker
9. On a Bed of Thorns
10. Strangers Might Fool Ya'
11. When the Fire Dies
12. The Golden Ratio


Apollo Papathanasio Vocals
Henrik Flyman Guitars, Vocals
Artur Meinild Keyboards
Thor Jeppesen Bass
Dennis Buhl Drums

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