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SUBTERRANEAN MASQUERADE

Experimental/Post Metal • Multi-National


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Subterranean Masquerade biography
Originally formed by Tomer Pink in 1997 SUBTERRANEAN MASQUERADE's dysfunctional music revolution was first introduced to the world with the release of "Temporary Psychotic State" in April of 2004; a two track EP and the first chapter of the "X" trilogy, a conceptual story revolving around the life of an everyman protagonist. The EP released on The End Record quickly received high praises from media and fans alike, the blend of multi genes elements ranging from soft psychedelic Rock N Roll to progressive neo-metal into a feast of colors and sounds gained the band a genre defining status.

That same month the band recorded the track "Summoning Of The Muse" for "The Lotus Eaters," a Dead Can Dance tribute on Black Lotus Records. SUBTERRANEAN MASQUERADE's homage to the originators of the Dark Wave sound was done with a lot of ambition and creativity, as the band dissected the song and reconstructed the foundation with passages taken from several other Dead Can Dance tracks.

Devoted to his vision for the band, Pink entered Utah's Counterpoint Studios in July of 2004 in order to plant the seeds to the long awaited full-length album, "Suspended Animation Dreams", armed with a top notch cast of players including vocalist Paul Kuhr (Novembers Doom), guitarist/bassist Jake Depolitte, drummer Steve Lyman, keyboardist Ben Warren, violist Brownwean Beecher, singer Susan Naud and guitarist virtuoso Willis Clow as well as Choir, strings and Horns orchestra SUBTERRANEAN MASQUERADE crafted an 8 tracks journey that really does questioning the limits of music, linking together many genres and styles, from Urban Jazz to Folk, Classical to World Music and Progressive onto extreme Metal and creating a one of a kind mix.

Lyrically, "Suspended Animation Dreams" deals with the purest most personal inner dynamics, telling a love story painted with anger, angst and obsession, while dealing with everyday conflicts and showcasing a grim vision toward today's ethics.

"Suspended Animation Dreams" was mixed by Grammy award winner Neil Kernon, giving the album a superb crystal clear sound, beautiful & morbid artwork provided by Travis Smith and without doubt the perfect companion to the music itself.

With the release of "Suspended Animation Dreams" SUBTERRANEAN MASQUERADE are planning to take the show on the road and currently auditioning members for a touring band, Pink is also hard working writing the material for the closing chapter of the X trilogy t...
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Suspended Animation DreamsSuspended Animation Dreams
The End Records 2005
Audio CD$0.96
$0.23 (used)
Temporary Psychotic StateTemporary Psychotic State
EP
The End Records 2004
Audio CD$7.85
$1.73 (used)
Temporary Psychotic State by Subterranean MasqueradeTemporary Psychotic State by Subterranean Masquerade
The End Records
Audio CD$50.98
Suspended Animation Dreams by Subterranean MasqueradeSuspended Animation Dreams by Subterranean Masquerade
Candlelight
Audio CD$11.00
$10.99 (used)
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SUBTERRANEAN MASQUERADE discography


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SUBTERRANEAN MASQUERADE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.18 | 81 ratings
Suspended Animation Dreams
2005
3.82 | 36 ratings
The Great Bazaar
2015

SUBTERRANEAN MASQUERADE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

SUBTERRANEAN MASQUERADE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

SUBTERRANEAN MASQUERADE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

SUBTERRANEAN MASQUERADE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.70 | 17 ratings
Temporary Psychotic State
2004
3.79 | 10 ratings
Home
2013

SUBTERRANEAN MASQUERADE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Great Bazaar by SUBTERRANEAN MASQUERADE album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.82 | 36 ratings

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The Great Bazaar
Subterranean Masquerade Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Israeli based multinational band SUBTERRANEAN MASQUERADE was formed in the second half of the 1990's, and unless my information is false they were originally based in the US. Following an initial studio album in 2005 the band disappeared from sight for some time, but reappeared in 2014 with the single Home, which was subsequently expanded to an EP as a digital release. "The Great Bazaar" was released at the start of 2015 through Israel label Taklit Music, and is the band's second full length production.

While based in Israel, it would appear that this band is a multinational entity, sporting members from several different nations. On the EP Home from 2014 this resulted in a fairly widespread sound to be explored, with exotic details from a possibly Middle East origin as something of an identity mark. That aspect has developed quite a bit in the year or so that have gone by between that EP and this album.

The compositions here do follow some rather similar patterns. Gentler and more delicate passages are paired off with sequences of a more powerful and intense nature, where the former sports regular vocals with a harmony and melody based mode of delivery while the latter fairly often are provided in a darker toned and more guttural tinged growl-oriented style. The more intense passages on this album are much closer aligned to regular progressive metal however, and the occasional extreme metal tinged instrument details found on the 2014 EP aren't much of a feature this time around, although they do make a token one off appearance on concluding track Father & Son.

Instead this is a production that resides safely inside a regular progressive metal context, albeit with a few twists. Orchestral arrangements are used fairly liberally throughout, as careful supplemental backdrops as well as in roles of a more dominant nature in select sequences. The exotic, Middle Eastern tinged details are generally explored within these arrangements, but on this occasion they have a more Earthy expression, and at least to my ears with somewhat more of a klezmer tinged sound to them too. An additional aspect explored more in depth on this album are gentle, jazz-oriented interludes, not to the extent of being a prominent or dominant feature, but as a carefully used effect on select occasions adding depth and scope to the overall album experience.

The CD edition of this album comes with two bonus tracks, the A side and B side of the original single "Home", both of which are quality additions to this album, but also creations that are subtly different in style, mood and atmosphere - as previously commented upon.

If you tend to enjoy progressive metal bands that adds elements from folk music and world music to their compositions alongside elements from symphonic classical music, then Subterranean Masquerade is a band you probably should inspect at some point, especially if you have an affection for other Israel based progressive metal bands that fits this general description.

 Home by SUBTERRANEAN MASQUERADE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2013
3.79 | 10 ratings

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Home
Subterranean Masquerade Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Israel based band SUBTERRANEAN MASQUERADE have been around in one form or another since the tail end of the 1990's, and appeared as recording artists in 2004 and 2005, releasing an initial EP followed by a full length studio album to what I understand was a rather positive critical acclaim back then. Following this the band disappeared from sight again for a number of years, until they released the single "Home" in 2014. This production was made available as a digital download the following year, now with a third track supplementing the initial two on the physical release.

I understand that this is a multinational band that draw in a lot of impulses into their compositions, as would be natural for a band with members from different nations and cultures present or otherwise involved. In that respect the expanded digital version of this single is perhaps the most interesting one, as all three tracks are fairly different from each other.

Opening cut Home, the A-side of the original vinyl single, is a compositions that alternates between the gentle and melodic and the more powerful and dramatic, with plucked guitar details and deep, warm vocals central for the former and dark, powerful riffs and growl vocals for the latter, with a wide assortment of instrumental interludes and transitions tossed in to a rather sophisticated compositional structure, and with an inspired riff and mystical violin arrangement as a recurring feature that adds something of a Middle Eastern tinged sound to the proceedings.

B-side track Beyond the Pale is more of a vintage hard progressive rock affair, again combining features of a more delicate manner with sections sporting a harder edged expression, but shying away from a more bombastic metal sound on this occasion. Again featuring sequences with the violin, on this occasion a more careful arrangement with plucked guitar details that for me sounded like Mediterranean in style, paired off with haunting violin details that reminded me of the folk music we have here in Norway. Towards the end we're then provided with a second violin motif, this time with more of a distinct Middle Eastern touch to it.

The additional bonus track included on the digital release of this single, That Night, is a more dramatic and dark creation that stays safely put within the quirkier parts of the progressive metal universe. Again with regular interludes and transitions exploring a light toned and delicate nature, but now contrasted by more striking and intense powerful and at times challenging metal based and driven passages, complete with growl style lead vocals. On this occasion the violin is initially a part of an orchestrated arrangement of the kind that points back to western classical symphonic music as a source of origin, and then reappearing towards the end and now with more of a mystical and possibly Middle Eastern inspired tinge to it.

I don't really know how representative this expanded single is to the overall sound of this band, but as it features three rather different compositions it does showcase quite a bit about the depth and versatility of the band, and as all three tracks comes across as quality compositions too I suspect that this production would be a good start if you want to get familiar with the material of the band. In more specific terms, I'd presume that those with a general interest in bands that blends progressive metal with world music elements might want to give this one a spin, as long as they tend to enjoy growl-style vocals in such a context.

 Suspended Animation Dreams by SUBTERRANEAN MASQUERADE album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.18 | 81 ratings

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Suspended Animation Dreams
Subterranean Masquerade Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Genesis1973

4 stars Ok. I found this album from my Spotify recommendations?seems interesting enough?loved the cover?loved the name?i'm gonna live blog while writing so it'll probably feel a bit disjointed?hope we'll like it.

Suspended Animation Dreams: The album opens up with a great acoustic guitar melody accompanied by background voices, sets the atmosphere, and then?out of nowhere, when you least expect, a fairly jazzy saxophone solo enters, rapidly accompanied by classic prog metal vocals and flute?this is a full on prog record from the start and amazes me with only two minutes?this song definitely prepares us for an amazing progressive journey 9/10

Wolf Among Sheep: This one continues in the way the first amazing song build up? but with rather disappointing vocal melodies?yet greatly followed by some good prog metal guitar fills and when you think things can't get any better?it doesn't?the problem of many good prog metal group arises in this record?unnecessary brutal vocals and sadly covers up the sheer beauty of the violin melodies of the record. The guitar reprise following afterwards with some good wankery is still good, but this song clearly can not keep up with the expectations that the first song created on me. The repetitive post-rockian guitar line doesn't help to make the song interesting either. A solid song, good for a headbang towards the end. 6/10

No Place Like Home: Great and maybe a bit folky vocals accompanied by harmonica melodies that might as well come from a western movie starts the song fairly interesting and the transition to more metal territory via spoken lyrics are great? brutal vocals does not seem out of place but nonetheless unnecessary again. Opeth influences are evident in the contrasts between death metal parts and acoustic clean vocal parts but they are fairly good at that?spoken lyrics definitely create a cinematic atmosphere and the acoustic/piano part following that part continues that opeth influences in a greater scale but this time?it actually feels good?drum fills are definitely the defining part of this section and the guitar solo is praise-worthy and surprisingly similar to some melodies of my favorite post-rock band mogwai until it reaches its climax where it goes full evil?loving the instrumental part. Final proggy wankery with eastern vocals are interesting enough and the drummer does his job quite good. A lot interesting then its predecessor. 7/10

Kind Of A Blur: Happy piano melodies that remind me of John Lennon's Imagine?wonder where this song will go to?and SYNTHS AND VIOLINS great transition?it's funny that a classic prog fan just finds these little prog moments more memorable than metal moments in a prog metal moments. This album is definitely greatly cinematic and this song is definitely a proof of that?Evil saxophones are back again! Great drumming again and this song's getting more and more interesting?It's a bit sad that i'm enjoying these short proggy fillers than allegedly epic prog metal pieces in the album?hope it won't continue like that. 9/10

The Rock N Roll Preacher: This one gets a +1 just with the name?hope the song itself can exceed my expectations. Started with good noisy guitar melodies and a metal riff..Yes! Loving this riff?more interesting than the first two long songs? Vocals remind me of Led Zeppelin and this..of course?my friends?is always a good sign. Brutal vocals are again bit boring and out of place?but clean vocals and "dat riff" are sufficent to make this one a fairly good one. Ah yes?acoustic guitar transitions?these sections are marvellous in this record and this one is great as well?really reminds me of Opeth's Damnation?female background vocals are also pretty cinematic and again effective?The atmospheric part?although good again?gets pretty boring after a while?but it pays off with the continuing brass melodies and accompanying guitar solo?so happy and fun?pretty good song! This record sets a great mix 8/10

Six String To Cover Fear: Starts with a very good and melodic guitar riff played side by side with brutal vocals and strings?nothing creative or interesting going on in the first couple of minutes?seems like a straightforward metal song?but use of strings is still great?feels like ne obliviscaris?song starting to get interesting?although we see some other acoustic sections?slide guitar solos and things like that?this song feels like a really straightforward prog metal with nothing to offer and definitely the weakest of the album so far?guitar solo is pretty good though 6/10

Awake: The epic. Clocks at 15 minutes. Starts with a fairly cliche prog metal riff but the sudden transition to a chilling piano melody points towards a more unpredicted piece?entrance of female vocals are amazing and piano/guitar/drum trio with the vocal melodies are just evil?great?surprisingly brutal vocals don't feel forced and the metal guitars following them is pretty good too?Can't. Resist. Headbanging? The guitar work is stellar. Strings are again used effectively.. Seriously?the amount of work put on the instrumentation in this record is worth a praise?strings are hair-raising and definitely one of the top moments of the album?flute transition is also amazing?feels pretty eastern with the rhythmic instruments helping out?jazzy guitar melody enters?soon transforms into a more ravishing guitar solo and then vocals just drift you away while a pink floydian female vocal solo section just kills you in the spot?marvellous and enchanting?climax of the record. Reprise of the string melody transforms to a full-on guitar explosion (feels quite opeth-y again) "Wake up!From! This! Dream!" growls the vocals and the background is filled with voices?and song rushes towards its ending with the same riff?.slowly fading out. Best Song Of The Record. 9/10

X: Album Closer? Opens with a piano melody?These guys are good with piano openers for sure?Acoustic guitar/jazzy female vocals that feels like they are playing a lounge cd?similarities with Opeth's Damnation continues?pretty straightforward?but not bad?good guitar solo again. 6/10

Definitely not a bad record?one of the good avant-garde metal albums that i've heard. Not an expert of course but could have done without brutal vocals but songs like Awake and Rock N Roll Preacher and litte filler songs with great instrumentation are definitely a huge plus.

7.5/10

 Home by SUBTERRANEAN MASQUERADE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2013
3.79 | 10 ratings

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Home
Subterranean Masquerade Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Gallifrey

4 stars The Great Tease

This is the first I have heard of Subterranean Masquerade, but it certainly won't be the last.

From what I've heard, this band seems to be a bit of an enigma ? the Wintersun of the heavy prog world, so to say. The band's sole full-length album, Suspended Animation Dreams was released to great acclaim back in 2005, and the band has more or less been silent since. Gaining a cult following from that album, and their 2004 EP Temporary Psychotic State, Subterranean Masquerade went into long term hiding, until last year, when they bubbled up again, with the single Home, released on limited 7" vinyl.

Home was constantly appearing on my radar, from being at the top of my RYM automatic recommendations, to trusted critics talking about it and friends telling me I should hear it. But I generally ignore singles, and assumed, in my naiveté, that Home would be followed by a full- length record (this was before I knew of Subterranean Masquerade's reputation). And I was sort of right, since this is now the EP version of Home, released digitally, with the b-side "Beyond The Pale" (a cover of gothic rock band The Mission), and a lengthy bonus track, the nearly 10- minute "That Night". With this EP now reaching past 20 minutes, it was back on my radar as a worthwhile release, and damn? this is really something.

On this release, Subterranean Masquerade are playing a style of progressive rock/metal that sounds somewhere between Orphaned Land, Opeth and Porcupine Tree. We have the introspective atmospheres of Wilson & Co, particularly evident on "Beyond The Pale", we have the deep growls and big riffs of Blackwater Park-era Opeth, which find their way into parts of the title track, as well as a significant majority of the final bonus track, and then we have the Arabic flavour of Orphaned Land, made even more notable now that Orphaned Land's drummer Mathan Smuhely has joined the band for this current lineup (along with Novembers Doom bassist Mike Feldman). The songs here are decorated by little flourishes of Arabic strings, both bowed and picked, and even the guitar riffing has the sort of of oriental flourish that Orphaned Land's guitars do.

The instrumentals here, for the most part, are outstanding. The first two tracks here were mixed by metal maestro Dan Swanö, who has produced many of my favourite records, and the production here is certainly excellent as well. The title track is lead by a quick riff, done with a flurry of guitar and Arabic violins (apologies for not knowing the correct name for these instruments). Although this riff, along with several here, sound straight of a record like ORwarriOR, Subterranean Masquerade keep their distance from Orphaned Land, done by using some Porcupine Tree-esque ambience and vocal parts in the verse. "Beyond The Pale", being a gothic rock cover, is a far softer affair, although even then, some metal and some Arabic stuff floats in, showing that Subterranean Masquerade aren't simply covering it, they're making it their own track, sounding perfectly fine right next to "Home". I do not know of the original track, released on The Mission's 1988 album Children, but judging from the high single rating it has gathered here, it seems to be a highly considered track in its original form as well. My favourite part here is certainly the Arabic section in the bridge, when the instrumentals get into a great groove, the sort of jam that could go on for minutes and never get boring, which is why I get kinda annoyed that it's cut off a bit fast at the end.

But honestly my only real complaint about this release, and it certainly gets in the way of my enjoyment, are the vocals. Both the deep growls and the low, baritone cleans are a bit irritating and weak in my books, and the only time they really work is during the gothic rock of the verses of "Beyond The Pale", but even then I'm still not too keen. The growls are a bit messy and vague, reminding me a lot of Mikko Kotamäki, especially his work with Barren Earth, in that they are rather infuriating and don't really mesh well with the style of music. The only time they really work here is during the final track, "That Night", in which they are the dominant vocal style for its 9-minute runtime. "That Night" was a song originally written and recorded for Suspended Animation Dreams nearly 10 years ago, but the band never released it until now, and if this is a bonus track, then I really have to get my hands on that album. The song is an incredibly Opethian track, relying on riffs more than anything else, and Subterranean Masquerade really show their hand in playing these; some of them are absolutely brilliant. I love the mood that the track holds for the first few minutes, how despite the death vocals, it feels sort of uplifting in a weird sense, like a happier and more upbeat track, yet simultaneously, it's melodic death metal.

Honestly, if Subterranean Masquerade plans to release a full-length record anytime soon, the Home has certainly done its job of pulling the hype back their way. With Orphaned Land releasing a lacklustre album last year, and Myrath's new one being nowhere to be found, it seems the world is in need of a new face of progressive oriental metal, and oddly, one that comes from New York. Subterranean Masquerade, you have our attention. Don't lose it.

7.8

Originally written for my Facebook page/blog: www.facebook.com/neoprogisbestprog

 Suspended Animation Dreams by SUBTERRANEAN MASQUERADE album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.18 | 81 ratings

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Suspended Animation Dreams
Subterranean Masquerade Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'Suspended Animation Dreams' - Subterranean Masquerade (8/10)

I had been hearing some great things about this album for a long while before I got around to listening to Subterranean Masquerade's 'Suspended Animation Dreams', and once again, my my musical network has not let me down. Although often called a progressive metal, or avant-garde metal band, there is alot about them that does not fit any of those labels. Suffice to say, 'Suspended Animation Dreams' is an eclectic effort, but it ultimately gives off a lasting impression that keeps me coming back. Although aspects of the band's sound feel somewhat half-baked in comparison to the sheer perfection they reach with others, Subterranean Masquerade's first- and to date, only- album deserves an invested experience from any adventurous listener.

You may have heard of the death metal elements that Subterranean bring to their music, but a listener who may be turned off by death growls should not be thwarted. Of the hour or so length, only a fraction is lent to metal, or heavy things in general. As a whole, Subterranean go for a prog rock sound that's hard to pinpoint in any prog trend. Their music can be acoustic and folky, or jazzy. As one may guess from a track title lie 'Rock n' Roll Preacher', there are also straight up 'rock' moments, where there's nothing particularly weird going on, and the music has an upbeat feel to it. Often, the mellower side of the band could draw comparisons from Pink Floyd. No mistakes made, however; 'Suspended Animation Dreams' is a challenging album, and there is not much out there that sounds like it. Although a listener will likely not confront something they perceive as being totally 'abstract', the fact that the wide range of sounds are all within the course of one album makes the album quite a handful to digest all at once.

The musicianship here is strong, though lopsided. Taking a look at the 'cast' for this album can go to indicate how many instruments are actually at work here. There are horns, saxophones, and harmonicas. Considering that this is a metal album, it takes some memorable songwriting to have it all fit together well, and Subterranean Masquerade do not disappoint on that front. Some of these instruments make a cameo for a moment only, and then leave, and it would have been nice to hear some of the most promising elements, such as the harmonica, a little further developed. There are Paul Kehr's vocals are arguably the most distinctive aspect of this band, a lower-register voice that carries alot of emotion and warmth to it. Where Subterranean Masquerade ironically loses some of their intensity is actually the metal portion of their sound. The metal guitar tone sounds a little weak, and it generally feels less well-executed and powerful than its mellow counterpart. Although they are labelled a 'prog metal' group, 'Suspended Animation Dream's greatest feature are the warm, often acoustically driven prog rock they make. Thankfully, that's where the band devotes most of their time, making Subterranean Masquerade's debut a winner.

 Suspended Animation Dreams by SUBTERRANEAN MASQUERADE album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.18 | 81 ratings

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Suspended Animation Dreams
Subterranean Masquerade Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Robinanimate

5 stars An instant classic

This album, and band for that matter, is really hard to categorize. It is definitely original, and that is about as good a compliment as I can give. The genre blending is like nothing I've witnessed before. Pop, Jazz, Blues and Extreme Metal are intertwined in the most casual way. Bands blending genres to this extent, however, tend to do it at the cost of good melodies. That is not the case With Suspended Animation Dreams. The melodies are really sticking to my brain once I got them under my skin. Aside from the regular rock band set up of drums, guitar bass, synth and vocal, there are also used trumpets, mouth harmonica, violin, choir and female chanting vocals. But the melodies are that which holds it all together. Even in the parts with growling vocals, every word is as clear as day. It is almost a pop felling lying underneath it all. But it is spiced up by the elements taken from other genres. A truly genuine mix is what this is.

It starts out with an intro, before Wolf Among Sheep kicks in. This is a very pop sounding melody that builds for over 5 minutes before a wonderful progressive metal riff kicks in and finishes of this great opening track. Following this the next songs spews out melodic pearls as No Place Like Home, with its jazzy feel, and Rock And Roll Preacher, which is more in the alley of alternative rock with some growling here and there. The most extreme song is Six Strings To Cover Fear, which is the only song with more metal elements in it than other elements. This song is filled with technical guitar riffs, double bass drums, accompanied by both death and black vocals. Following this power outlet is the song Awake. Another great melody, that starts up with piano and growling. Imagine Tom Waits screaming his heart out behind a piano with a couple of headbanging guitarists in the background, and you are not too far off. That is before the violin, choir and chanting female vocals kick in towards the end of the tune.

This album should appeal to extreme metal fans as well as progressive rock fans. The melodies alone should appeal to any fan of good music. Whether you buy, borrow, download or steal, do yourself a favor and get a hold of this album. It is an instant postmodern classic.

 Temporary Psychotic State by SUBTERRANEAN MASQUERADE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2004
3.70 | 17 ratings

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Temporary Psychotic State
Subterranean Masquerade Experimental/Post Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars "Temporary Psychotic State" is an EP release by international progressive metal act Subterranean Masquerade. The EP was released through The End Records in March 2004. Itīs the bandīs first official label release. Subterranean Masquerade was formed in 1997 by guitarist Tomer Pink. For this release he enlisted lead vocalist Paul Kuhr (Novembers Doom, These Are They), guitarist Jake DePolitte, bassist Jason William Walton (Agalloch, Celestiial, Sculptured), and drummer Tino LoSicco (Epoch of Unlight).

Stylistically the music is a rather unconventional type of progressive metal which defies a meaningful catagorization as it features elements from everything from acoustic folk, to rockīnīroll, to death growls and extreme metal elements, to psychadelic/progressive rock. It certainly is a very eclectic and unique sounding progressive metal style that doesnīt really sound like anything else on the scene.

The EP features 2 tracks and a full playing time of 17:21 minutes. Itīs a fairly good introduction to the bandīs unique music style. Both tracks are relatively slow building and goes through several changes without ever turning technically complex. The song structures are rather adventurous though. In addition to the "regular" instrumentation of guitars, bass, and drums, the music also features mellotron, keyboards/electronics, violin, female clean vocals, and male growling/clean vocals. It could have been a mess, but it all comes together in a very interesting sound. Itīs all performed by very skilled musicians, who deliver their parts to perfection.

The only minor issue is the sound production. Itīs generally a well produced album, but the heavy distorted parts sound a bit thin and lacks bottom. Other than that "Temporary Psychotic State" is a very intriguing and above all promising first release by Subterranean Masquerade. Itīs not often I find myself picking my jaw up from the floor in amazement and simoultaniously ripping hair from my head in frustration because I canīt really explain what it is Iīve just heard, but I know for certain that itīs a unique and very exciting take on progressive metal and that a 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

 Suspended Animation Dreams by SUBTERRANEAN MASQUERADE album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.18 | 81 ratings

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Suspended Animation Dreams
Subterranean Masquerade Experimental/Post Metal

Review by progressive

3 stars Eclectic music (well, also even a bit of extreme metal)

1. Opeth-like guitar passage, then smoothly jazzy Pekka Pohjola, vocal harmonies and different kind of instruments - so what we can expect for this album could be gentle retro prog and atmospheric (metal?).

2. Mild metal comes to picture with mild death metal vocals, and for example with modest violin the mildness maybe makes the song very harmonic and the moods can change freely.

3. Catchy weird heavy rock at the start(for example the beginning with only rhythmic and melodic singing like the briskness of "digging myself"), then heavier and more airy dresses, but the same concept of flowing. Reminds me of those common progressive rock oriented band in the clubs that wants to entertain everyone. Well, instrumental parts can be quite soft here, but the overall is a piece of art that has fairly enough different moods and for example the great piano and oriental feeling (including violin) at the end of the song makes it special and my favourite.

4. Kind of A Blur is like symphonic pop, instrumental movies fanfare music. Nice melodies and celebrating choir at the end. Says nothing to me.

5. A ridiculous heavy rock imitation right from the beginning, at least the sounds are rather awful, and somewhere it sounds.. gothic "death" rock, well I take Babylon Whores as representing the genre. But again, there's much more (basic things I've described earlier here) in this song. Piano reminds me even of Supertramp (and the symphonic pop in the bigger art concept). Song includes also some happy pop choirs in and the title "The Rock N' Roll Preacher" describes well the thing I see here. Though the song is not rock and roll. There's also some more ambient part with weird sounds, and right after that at seven minutes there's the real avant-gardism that I like much and actually haven't heard much like this: a bit funky soft sax still with simple drum rhythm and death metal vocals (reminding me of rap) in a layerly atmospheric symphonic pop form. And right in the middle, there comes a peculiar guitar solo, melody with very odd pitches and sounds reminding me of surf rock. THIS IS WHAT YOU HAVE TO HEAR.

6. The "symphonic pop" continues, but starts to sound folk metal, then it becomes to meander always without a warning: stronger epical melody, and the heaviness reaches its top when I hear the first double bass drumming. More traditional death metal stops or turns to violin and drum oriented and almost carnivalic. There's also more landscape painting, and all in between you can imagine of basic avant-garde metal band. This song is very good and when it's maybe the most diverse here this far, I think it's also the most harmonic.

7. First almost approaching to math metal, then slower atmospheric metal with female, choir (nice a bit odd harmonies!) and male vocals. At this point, at the latest, the band shows to be eclectic, and that's what makes it special. This is a long song and for example the choir comes again with nice and weird harmonic melodies and the thing is growing big, violin in the final. In the end, there's also quite fast space rock combined to melodic heavy metal, or that's the partition I get, thought the total is maybe more music like eg Amorphis (well, there's much more, and unfortunately these rhythms and melodies (here and before) are very usual even for the kinds of Opeth)

8. As a pop, this is great. Female singer a bit like Dido, very gentle and with soul, and this is very atmospheric piece, and this is progressive rock, mostly instrumental. Conclusion for the album. I like the last moments where I hear something like people counting by shouting.

I would like to give this album even four stars and I was just giving two when I realized it would be bad thing for "Six Strings to Cover Fear" and other great things here, or actually, the concept and, well, strangeness of for example pop things. Weird, haha.

 Temporary Psychotic State by SUBTERRANEAN MASQUERADE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2004
3.70 | 17 ratings

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Temporary Psychotic State
Subterranean Masquerade Experimental/Post Metal

Review by progressive

2 stars Conclusion for the start: this is very nice music and I think you like it!

If this is the aggressive mood of Subterranean Masquerade, I thought I would skip their album Suspended Animation Dreams, because this is quite mellow. Maybe the other album has focused better on that side and it has got better ratings, too. But I got the other album. It's more divided (and more diverse) into mellow concept album symphonic pop and some kind of heavy metal, whereas this EP is more flowing, dark and psychedelic.

My disappointment doesn't mean that this EP is bad. It's quite atmospheric, air metal as I call it, with some violin and maybe even avant-gardistic elements (well, avant-garde isn't just odd instruments), maybe more like little bit odd landscapes and mild fusion of many styles (it isn't so apparent). The music is also slow and "beautiful", though flowing (having also faster rhythms beating up the folky swing - actually the main melodies are slower and the style showing them is quite much post-rock). Violin suits fine here, it's not tricking and it has very nice warm country sound and with some things makes this EP almost folk metal. There's also similarities with for example maudlin of the Well (that I think is more inventive..). 1. Temporary Psychotic State (A recollection of where it all began): Circus/Carnival/Amusement park theme is usual in avant-garde metal but in this, it's more just in the intro. The first thing I think about the music when it actually starts is Opeth. There's psychedelic melancholic feeling and the vocals are sounding quite good and warm. The song is growing to the end, for example getting more heavy and the vocals turn to death growl on doom metal. There's also some mellotron (sounding) choir ans electronic space elements. And I have to mention Finnish band Soundsleep's song Amity Between Life And Death, as it came into my mind listening this.

2. Observation Through Metamorphosis: I prefer this song, because it has more diversity. It goes few more times on quite waters, and coming back more "aggressive" in shorter notice, so it's basically much like the first song - maybe just more scary. It has also woman singing on the background, almost going Iranian psychedelic weeping.

After all, this is "common" atmospheric progressive metal, and I think many loves this. I was intending to give three stars, and some might give more, but because this EP isn't giving me much and because I know there's much music that I like more than this and that I must give three stars, I give only two, as an objective reviewer. There's tiny things that matters; if there was more songs and if they were more progressive, I'd gladly give for example four stars. Yeah, stars stars stars, blah blah.

 Suspended Animation Dreams by SUBTERRANEAN MASQUERADE album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.18 | 81 ratings

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Suspended Animation Dreams
Subterranean Masquerade Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Drakk

5 stars Wow.

I discovered SubMasq some time ago, yet it wasn't until recently that I had aquired their album. To say the least, I was more than pleasantly suprised with this little musical abomination of sorts. Though I am already a huge fan of many bands that could concievably fall into the same category as this band (Mr. Bungle, Estradasphere, Kay Dot/maudlin of the Well), I find a distinct voice and style present in this CD, as well as the band as a whole, considering the plethora of Bungle-esque bands that seem to plague the whole scene, and the paradoxically unambitiious bands that plague this "unique" genre.

From the slightly eerie opening, to the brilliant outro song "X", this album really does it's job, wonderfully, of keeping the listener intrigued, and possibly slightly confused. Though there are a myriad of seemingly unrelated genres here, they seem to mesh together wonderfully. In reality, the only reason this band might be called "metal", or in this case "Prog Metal" is the interladen metal riffs, and the growled vocals. Though it obviously has it's influences from heavy metal, Opeth being a large influence, from what I can garner, it also has a vast pallette of musical influences that it draw's from. Song's like 'No Place Like Home' having a Middle Eastern World Music flare, to the strangely upbeat and interesting Rock and Roll Preacher, throwing in some nice Jazz implements near the end of the song. Even it's mainly metal oriented songs are laden with other influences, and strings are abundant throughout the whole album. (I must add, on somewhat of a side note, that the Harmonica solo at the beginnimg of NPLH is brilliant)

As an overall concept, the lyrics are difficult to decipher, and the story is odd and confusing, yet, it adds to the mystery and oddity of the whole concept. Though decipherable, the strange lyrics are one part of the whole mystery of the concept, as confusing as Tomer intended it to be. It took me several listens to fully grasp the lyrical content of the album. At first, I thought the lyrics (those that I could decipher, mind you) were somewhat juvenile or un refined, but after several listens, I found them to be quite intelligent.

All in all, an incredible find for me, and something I will look forward to in the future.

9.25/10 Stars

Thanks to Littlewashu5fuid=Littlewashu5 for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

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