Golden Dawn - _Masquerade_
(Napalm Records, 2003)
by: Quentin Kalis (
Golden Dawn has only released one other album, _The Art of Dreaming_, prior to _Masquerade_ -- and this was way back in 1996! The intervening years have seen a dramatic shift in style, as while _TAoD_ was comfortably grounded in the symphonic black metal genre (albeit with some unusual and experimental passages), _Masquerade_ is an intriguing melting pot of styles: Baroque–style keyboards, black metal blastbeats, and chugging Iron Maiden riffs can all be found somewhere on this relapse, often within the same song. _Masquerade_ tends most strongly towards goth metal -– and like virtually all the artists of this nature signed to Napalm, there is a woman on the cover, albeit showing less flesh then many others. But this is the only cliché regarding this CD. Clean vocals predominate, sounding like a midpoint between the atonal black metal style clean vox on _TAoD_ and the baritone rumblings of your average goth band. Remnants of their blackened heritage still remain through the occasional screamed vocal and intermittent blastbeats. A worthy follow-up to their debut.
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