Masquerade - _Surface of Pain_
(Metal Blade, 1996)
by: Laura Wiebe (5 out of 10)
Originally released in 1994, the second album by Swedish band Masquerade is only now arriving in North America courtesy of Metal Blade. Five or six years ago, I might have enjoyed this album more, but now? _Surface of Pain_ has its high points; unfortunately I've heard most of them before. Overall, Masquerade's sound is somewhat of a mix between Alice in Chains, Queensryche, Dokken (in the 80s) and maybe even Boston. Some of the choruses have got to cruise though, along with the guitar solos. Because it's all been done before, the listener tends to lose interest fairly quickly but parts of songs like "Feels Good" and the chorus of "Say Your Prayer" liven things up a bit. This isn't a bad album but it's not consistent, nor is Masquerade all that far from the 'tired and monotonous bands' mocked in their bio.

(article published 9/2/1996)

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