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Subterranean Masquerade biography
Founded in Israel in 1997

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 ...
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Vicisolom Production 2017
$11.69 (used)
Suspended Animation DreamsSuspended Animation Dreams
The End Records 2005
$1.64 (used)
Suspended Animation Dreams by Subterranean MasqueradeSuspended Animation Dreams by Subterranean Masquerade
$5.20 (used)
Tempory Psychotic StateTempory Psychotic State
Blackend 2006
$51.38 (used)
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SUBTERRANEAN MASQUERADE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.19 | 107 ratings
Suspended Animation Dreams
3.76 | 49 ratings
The Great Bazaar
3.87 | 21 ratings

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


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)

3.68 | 19 ratings
Temporary Psychotic State
3.81 | 14 ratings


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Vagabond by SUBTERRANEAN MASQUERADE album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.87 | 21 ratings

Subterranean Masquerade Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars US formed, Israel based band SUBTERRANEAN MASQUERADE have been around for two decades at this point. Those 20 years have seen them release two EPs and three full length albums. "Vagabond" is the most recent of the latter and was released through Swedish label ViciSolum Records in the early fall of 2017.

This is a band that made a name and a reputation for themselves as a highly creative progressive metal band back in the day. These days I'd say that they are primarily a progressive rock band, using elements from progressive metal to flavor their compositions rather than the other way around. That being said, these folks are rather more creative and innovative than merely combining genre elements from these two genres, as there is a lot going on here in addition to that.

Even of one didn't know that this band operates out of Israel, most people would probably guess as much. If not pinpointing this band specifically to Israel then at least to the Middle East. This due to the liberal amount of world music elements from that region that is a mainstay throughout this album. Additional percussion details, violins using the tonal range particular to that part of the world, reeds and brass doing pretty much the same, and occasionally also female backing vocals of the kind you would have to be uninformed to not categorically place somewhere in the Middle East as far as origins goes.

These elements are used in material that does, indeed, combine elements from progressive metal into a greater whole that correlates closer with progressive rock. Folk music details are obviously a big part of this greater picture too, and a few token jazzier details does appear here and there too. The saxophone is used frequently throughout as well, complementing both the rock and the metal oriented escapades, and effectively in both modes too I should add. The piano also has a central role throughout, often alternating with the organ to supplement whatever guitar mode that is present - be it wandering plucked guitars, firm guitar licks or more majestic and dominant metal riffs.

The band have opted for clean lead vocals in the greater majority of the vocal sequences, but still with room for some dark growls to take over now and then, either taking the lead vocal spot or as an underlying contrast to the clean and melodic lead vocals. Both aspects works very well too, surprisingly also when the band isn't operating inside a metal context.

Subterranean Masquerade describes themselves as a symphonic prog powerhouse these days, and that description comes across as rather appropriate. More progressive rock than progressive metal these days, and with something of an emphasis on easy to like material. Despite some rather advanced structures here and there this album comes across as both compelling and inviting, a production that should have a fairly broad reach despite of rather than because of it's at times complex and sophisticated movements.

A slight letdown is the cover of Bowie's classic Space Oddity at the very end. It is difficult to replicate the sheer amount of emotion in this song, especially when you decide to alter the song, even if only ever so slightly. In this case by reducing pace and adding a darker, heavier sheen, plus adding violins at the end to possibly emphasize the drama. This take on it is rather good, but it lacks the momentum and subtle emotional grip of the original. An interesting cover, but not a cut that elevates the overall album experience as far as I'm concerned.

If you tend to enjoy innovative and creative progressive rock, and finds the notion of a band that blends in a liberal amount of world music elements, quite a few metal touches and a select few extreme metal details into a progressive rock context to be appealing, then this latest production from Subterranean Masquerade is one that warrants an inspection.

 Vagabond by SUBTERRANEAN MASQUERADE album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.87 | 21 ratings

Subterranean Masquerade Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Sagichim
Special Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

4 stars That one came out as a surprise for me, I wasn't expecting another album by the band so soon, after waiting for about 10 years between the highly regarded debut Suspended Animation Dream and The Great Bazaar, this is a treat especially considering that this has now become my favorite album by them. So this is the third album by multinational band Subterranean Masquerade, now seems to be comprised mostly by Israeli musicians, the line up from the previous album is pretty much intact, only with a slight change Paul Kuhr is not participating this time. The album continues where the previous Great Bazaar album stopped. More over the middle eastern influences picked up in the Great Bazaar are even more evident and now brought to perfection, also the orchestral almost symphonic influences are still present, helped by the heavy growling and the metalic nature of the bands sound, giving the music a very rich and colorful blend. Strangely enough although the music is metalic and some impressive growling vocals are involved (sparsely actually) the outcome is not that heavy because, first of all the always present rich instrumentation softens the music, but also the melodic nature of the songs, and the somewhat cheerful vocals of Kjetil Nordhus (Green Carnation) definitely do the trick. The arrangements overall and particularly to string instruments, and brass are stellar, a real craftmanship. I love how every part with its own different instrumentation flows so naturally to the other, making this a very fluid and accessible album.

Place for Fairy-tales is a fantastic opener, going through several parts, from the middle eastern falvored intro it then continues with a saxophone and piano, great sound! it gets heavier half way while the saxophone is wailing and continues to a middle eastern party, the Orphaned Land connotation is inevitable here. Nomad although doesn't abandon the middle eastern influences, is perhaps the heaviest song on the album introducing us to Eliran Weitzman growling, man this guy is good! his vocals suits the music perfectly adding that missing edge to the metalic riffing. Kippur is another killer track here, beginning like something off of Yossi Sassi's head (Orphaned Land) an exploding klezmer metalic riff drive the song until it slows down to the sound of vocals and no less than an accordion! top that with some violins as the growling comes back, this is good. Half way through distortions gives way to a danceable 80's like synth, I did not see this coming, beautiful work. Daled Bavos is again a very rich and textured instrumental, besides the excellent melting pot of heavy metal and middle eastern influences, there's some beautiful emotional playing here, check out those clarinets and violins! The final Hymn Of The Vagabond again blending all the band's styles together in a perfect way, there's a strong Indian feel here with tablas and female vocals, all go together so well as the songs ends in a big celebration. I can't help but feel that the David Bowie Space Oddity cover closing the album is out of place, there isn't much to it only it is played slower with an almost doomish flavor, good but nothing special.

Subterranean Masquerade continues to push the boundaries of their music to the point where the debut now is entirely different beast. This is their most coherent album imo, and marks a peak in their creativity, songwriting and sound. Don't miss on this album! Easy 4 stars.

 Vagabond by SUBTERRANEAN MASQUERADE album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.87 | 21 ratings

Subterranean Masquerade Experimental/Post Metal

Review by The Jester

4 stars Review # 69 The multinational / Israel based band Subterranean Masquerade with its rather unique sound is back with a brand new album! I learned about them with the release of their previous work The Great Bazaar (2015). That was an album I really liked, listened to it a lot, and played lots of its songs on my radio show. And finally, I included The Great Bazaar in my annual Top-10 albums list of 2015. Almost 2 weeks ago I learned about Vagabond, and having in mind how much I loved the previous album, I added it in my music collection without a second thought. Vagabond continues where The Grand Bazaar stopped. Everything is present again; the beautiful melodies, the strong Mediterranean and Middle Eastern 'essences', the sudden changes in music styles and even the growls from time to time. Although the sound and style are almost the same, the major change is the addition of Brass instruments which makes their sound even richer. I will not get into details this time, because the album is still fresh, and I haven't listened to it as much as I would like; because I believe that this is an album that requires lots of listenings in order to be appreciated. But based on the first 3-4 listens, I have to say that it is a very good work, with strong and very interesting compositions. Subterranean Masquerade are inviting us in a "Mediterranean Feast" of sounds and colors once more, and it's up to you to accept the invitation. I did, and haven't regretted it. This is a 3.5-star album for me, but I will add half star more, for the excellent and unexpected cover version of Space Oddity, that closes the album in the best way possible! 4.0 stars

 The Great Bazaar by SUBTERRANEAN MASQUERADE album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.76 | 49 ratings

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
3.81 | 14 ratings

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
4.19 | 107 ratings

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.


 Home by SUBTERRANEAN MASQUERADE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2013
3.81 | 14 ratings

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.


Originally written for my Facebook page/blog:

 Suspended Animation Dreams by SUBTERRANEAN MASQUERADE album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.19 | 107 ratings

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
4.19 | 107 ratings

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
3.68 | 19 ratings

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.

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

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