Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Vangelis - Mask CD (album) cover

MASK

Vangelis

Prog Related


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bookmark and Share
soundsweird
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars A little different from what he had been doing up until this was released, and the critics were impressed. The classical-sounding vocals are brought to the forefront here, and there are some good pieces. Still, I wouldn't call this one of his best works. Certainly one of his last good albums, though. Soon after, he seemed to go in the direction of New Age superstars like Yanni and Kitaro, creating albums that were nothing more than endless strings of flourishes, empty calories for the ears.
Report this review (#34766)
Posted Friday, April 22, 2005 | Review Permalink
Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Mask is a good album but again like Soil Festivities sounds slightly ' light' in terms of substance. I think this was Vangelis's most testing era ( 1983- 1988). The choir additions don't go unnoticed and add a classical air to the mask suites. This album is good but certainly not one of his best.
Report this review (#34767)
Posted Friday, April 22, 2005 | Review Permalink
richardh
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I like this album a lot.Split into 6 movements the music is very dark in tone and cleverly uses sequencers combined with choir. Movement 1 is quite frantic and full on. The Choir earn their corn! Movement 2 is a short interlude building a very lovely reflective tone very reminescent of Heaven and Hell. Movement 3 has a very ominous feel like a dark ritual is taking place to summon the forces of evil .A thumping Timpani punctuates every so often.There is some respite as the lighter female side of the choir takes over.Very lovely although that ominous timpiani soon gets to work again. Movement 4 is my favorite peice without question. Much slower in pace and reminsescent of some parts of the Soil Festivites album. The lead male vocal is just a complete joy.Serious goosebumps time. The whole peice is so perfect and must stand as one of Vangelis achievements. Movement 5 returns to the frantic sequencing that started the album with something of a nod towards the Spiral album. There seems to be a bit more interplay between the synths and choir.After about 4 minutes the music changes direction and a slower pace insues.Percussion is used very nicely here as it is throughout the album before the frantic pace returns. Movement 6 is a shortish peice, light in tone, to end matters nicely.Again that Heaven Hell comparison comes to mind. Overall this would be a perfect soundtrack for a film about demonic possession and sacrificial ritual!
Report this review (#34768)
Posted Wednesday, April 27, 2005 | Review Permalink
greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This music is absolutely GRAND, DEEP, MAJESTIC and UNFORGETTABLE! It is my favorite Vangelis' album. Even one of the best New Age music ever made!

First of all, the music is symphonic floating keyboards and (opera+choir)-like vocals oriented: those ingredients are put together in an amazingly intense, ritual & melodramatic manner. The important thing to mention is that this music will bring you unbelievable emotions: passion, love, awe, dream, recollection and romance. I don't know why this is not a soundtrack record. Everything is extremely echoed and loud, amazingly sustained, giving a powerful, mythic and legendary atmosphere: it sounds like if you celebrate the arrival of a triumphant hero and his heroine of the Greek mythology. For those who already know Vangelis, let's say the ambience slightly approaches the one on Jerusalem (Chariots of fire). The miscellaneous vocals sound a bit like pop New Age artist ERA. Furthermore, those omnipresent vocals and choirs will remind you a religious ceremony in a vast cathedral. There are also some percussive and bass sequencers, which give a magic dimension to the ensemble.

EXTREMELY RECOMMENDED!

Report this review (#37109)
Posted Monday, June 20, 2005 | Review Permalink
memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars im disagree with the most of the reviews of this album, i give to it 5 stars , because to me is an excellent album, an example of the imagination and the talent of this great musician called vangelis, also , this is a parfect example of what is electonic prog, very atmospheric and electronic with the neccesaries humor changes, 6 movements of great music , makes an extraordinary album, one of the best that i`ve heard of vangelis.
Report this review (#40198)
Posted Monday, July 25, 2005 | Review Permalink
Matti
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars 'Mask' is on one hand an excellent work with a very fine sound and mature composition far from either the weirdest or the poppiest of Vangelis. But it is also, in my opinion, quite a boring album as a whole, since there are relatively few motifs that are repeated over and over. Years ago I taped it with a "slight" (30-40%?) editing but after realizing I never listened to it, I decided to leave just an extract of couple of minutes.

The music seems to be connected to Greek mythology, but one senses it only on the atmospheric level, nothing story-like to be noticed. No revealing titles or texts either. Slow percussions and the choir sound great - someone compared it to ERA, only it's better - and drag the listener into a hypnotic state. It only goes on and on without much happening in the music. And the more typical synth motif keeps returning even if it's not very impressive. Well, of course the album would need more dedicated listenings than I gave it in the first place. But judged from my taped edition... boring, boring. Not among his best works no matter how good it actually sounds.

Report this review (#119071)
Posted Friday, April 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars One of two albums released this year. Mask is completely different from Soil Festivities even though it is also structured in a sequence of movements. In this case, six. The first movement starts off frantically, with a male chorus and dynamic flourishes over a fast electric piano arpegiation. This goes on for ten minutes. Movement Two is a mid-tempo melodic piece that is also highly rhythmic. Movement Three could be used for the soundtrack for Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. It is dark and ponderous, and evocative of some cult engaged in forbidden practices deep inside their hidden cavernous temple. Movement Four is one of my all-time favorite Vangelis pieces, and of unusual qualities for him. As I have said before, eclecticism is a key feature. Here, a rich and resonant voice sings a Gregorian style chant over a rhythm played on marimba, or something sounding very much like one. Sounds strange, but it works very well. The lyrics sound like they are in Latin. If that is Vangelis, he has an excellent voice. Or maybe he did some sophisticated vocoder thing. Either way, I wouldn't put it past him. Tinkling and chiming embellishments help keep this piece somewhat light with all its sonorous sounds. A few chimes end this, along with some beautiful synthesized symphonic sounds. Then Movement 5 begins, much like Movement One in style only a lot faster. Most keyboardist couldn't even lead this fast, but this is the background. The male chorus comes in again, and the music is even more dramatic than before. And it goes on for ten minutes too. After this peaks, Movement Six reprises Movement Two, adding in some extra orchestration and variation. As he had started to do, this album ends on a satisfying harmonic sequence that wraps it all up and brings everything to a nice conclusion/resolution. One of his best works of the 80s.
Report this review (#292857)
Posted Saturday, July 31, 2010 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars «Mask » shares the same structure than its predecessor « Soil Activities ». And to some extent, the music deployed is quite similar as well.

Except during the opening Movement, which combines some classical and bombastic effects with powerful vocal parts (church oriented). The combination is quite successful, but a bit longish. The problem is that the album is surfing on the same wave almost all the way through and sounds somewhat boring and uniform.

The main feeling is that this album is rather mystic and ceremonial oriented. But I was not really impressed with the end result which sounds quite poor to my ears. I was always expecting a new angle to appear; but this hope was not fulfilled. The fifth movement is slightly better and is sharing lots of characteristics with the first one from this album.

The whole of this album conveyed a dull feeling while I listened to it first, and my opinion hasn't changed for this review. Two stars for "Mask". It is quite an esoteric and experimental album.

Report this review (#305364)
Posted Monday, October 18, 2010 | Review Permalink
octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
3 stars Listening to this album after many years I still have the same impression: it's like an electronic version of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana. Surely what the choir sings is not vulgar latin. It's likely neither a language. However we are speaking of a symphony. This won't be the only Vangelis album without track titles. Calling them "movements" is a way to define it as modern symphonic music.

If it wasn't for the rhythm given by the fast sequence of notes that is the base of the whole structure of movement one, I would see a contact with the Estonian genius Arvo Part. Movement 1 has also a quiet and peaceful interlude. As in Heaven and Hell, male choir is used for the chaotic and ossessive parts, while a soprano soloist sings on the lighter and heavenly moments as in the central section of this movement.

Movement 2 is nothing special. Two chords and violins for three repetitive minutes. There are some pitch changes in the two chords, but that's all.

Movement 3 gets darker. a good soundtrack for a horror or a SciFi movie. Symphonic and dark. The male choir enters after the percussions to stop after a crescendo. Another track with few or no variations. Until the choir restarts.

Movement 4 is opened by percussions and bass. Electronic of course. There's a lot of pseudo-latin singing on this track. Why not true latin I don't know. A very hypnotic and ambient track. Did you think that only Brian Eno was capable of this?

With Movement 5 the chaotic part restarts. As on Movement 1 a fast sequence of notes is the base from which the music developes. First with a percussive accent and changes of pitch in the base. Later the choir enters the arena. Again the parallel with Carmina Burana is not forced.

Movement 6 is peaceful and symphonic and a good closer. It reminds a bit to So Long Ago So Clear (almost the same chords).

Good and actually unusual excursion of Vangelis into the classical realm. Not bad.

Report this review (#366331)
Posted Tuesday, December 28, 2010 | Review Permalink

VANGELIS Mask ratings only


chronological order | showing rating only

Post a review of VANGELIS Mask


You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives