Friday, August 29, 2014

KIRK: "Masquerade"

Rating: RRR

Label: Mausoleum 2014
Review by Rich Dillon

Switzerland’s Kirk has issued their sophomore effort, Masquerade, more than a decade after the debut album.  They originally formed in the late 90’s resulting in a 2003 debut recording, The Final Dance, but losing the drummer to health concerns forced them into hiatus.  Self described as melodic heavy metal with progressive influences, the songs are epic with big soaring vocals and many tempo changes that just cause me to get lost as I listened to the lead track, “Devil’s Claw”.  “Supersonic Speed” was much along the same lines and I would imagine that Kirk would appeal to those who are rabidly in the Dream Theater camp as opposed to someone like me who pitches his tent on the fringe outskirts of that style.  With that being said, the album takes a turn and track #3, “Masquerade”, is an awesome song, more straight forward with a great opening riff and catchy chorus.  “Eternity” screams of Queensryche at points throughout its 6:40 runtime, as does “Fight or Die”.  “Nothing Else But Lies” again showcases vocalist Thomi Rauch’s Geoff Tate (in his younger days) like similarities and features another melodic vocal chorus.  “Time” leads us through to the slower paced beginnings of “Tragedy” and  Masquerade closes up nicely with the three pack of “Face in the Crowd”, “The End of the Universe” and “Fallen Angel”.

Strange for an album for me to dislike the first two tracks, but persevere through the recording and end up loving the rest!  Top tracks “Masquerade”, “Nothing Else But Lies” and “The End of the Universe”.

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