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MASCARADA

Neo-Prog • Spain


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Mascarada biography
Mascarada officially appears January 3, 1988, as a result of the joining of three musicians: Juan Mares (keyboards, drums and guitars), Daniel Mares (vocals, percussion and guitars) and Pedro Cordoba (bass, vocals and guitars). Daniel and Juan were members of Llewellyn and later of Galadriel (not the current group Galadriel), while Pedro had ample experience as a session musician and former player with several Rock and Pop bands.
After a search period and some changes, the band becomes stable in June 1988 with the following musicians: Pedro Cordoba (Bass, guitars and vocals), Daniel Mares (vocals, guitars, percussions), Juan Mares (Keyboards, flute, percussions, guitars, vocals), Carlos Mostoles (Guitars) and Carmelo Sancho (Drums, percussions) and had their official presentation in September 1988. However, by January 1989, there are several problems within the members of the band; First Carmelo Sancho and then Pedro Cordoba left. The search for new substitutes was prolonged until February 1990 with the band being : Francisco Javier Fran Garcia (Drums, percussions), Vicente Guillen (Bass), Daniel Mares ( Vocals, guitars, percussions), Juan Mares (Keyboards, flute, percussions, vocals) and Carlos Mostoles (guitars). Fran and Vicente came from a short-lived Spanish progressive group called Andromeda between 1985 and 1987. With this new formation, they release their first official material: Restos del amanecer (Dawn's leftovers) distributed by mail and accepted very well by the critic and public in general. In the early 1991 while they are about to record their first album, again musical differences lead to another rupture of the group.: Personal problems within the members lead to Carlos Mostoles leaving Mascarada in January. Later on, Fran and Vicente left the group since they wanted a more commercial flavor in Mascarada's music in order to attain a hypothetical commercial success, while Daniel and Juan did not want to surrender and they wanted to continue to make music with no restrictions and external interventions. Thus after careful consideration, Daniel and Juan, made the decision to continue working under the name Mascarada since they were 90% of the creative work and because they believed in what Mascarada had to offer. At the same time, they decided not to include more musicians, in part because of the prior bad experiences but also because they wanted to prove themselves capable of doing all the work. So in the summer of 1991 a new Mascarad...
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MASCARADA discography


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3.00 | 1 ratings
Urban Names
1998

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0.00 | 0 ratings
Restos del Amanecer
1990
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Tower (And Other Strange Places)
1992
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The World Jones Made
1995
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Urban Names
1997

MASCARADA Reviews


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 Urban Names by MASCARADA album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Urban Names
Mascarada Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

— First review of this album —
3 stars One of the significant bands of underground Spanish Prog in the 90's, evolving from the group Llewellyn, which was later renamed to Galadriel (no comparison with the more famous Spanish Prog band), formed around brother Daniel and Juan Maras in January 1988, who collaborated back then with bassist/guitarist Pedro Cordoba.By 1991 Mascarada had already recorded a couple of demos, surfaced as a regular five-piece group and received some good critics, but the core split then with the Maras brothers deciding to move on as a duo.With Mascarada unable to perform live anymore the duo focused on composing original material and two more cassettes followed, ''The town'' (1992) and ''The world Jones made'' (1994).During the summer of 96' a third cassette was taking shape, ''Urban names'', recorded at the OOH! Studios in Madrid and released in 1997.By the end of the year Mellow Records approaches Mascarada and the last cassette was remixed in early 98' and eventually released on CD in December 98'.

''Urban names'' is a cool, representive work of Mascarada's progressive palette over time, containing brand new pieces and revisited/reworked tracks from the band's previous tapes.Both brothers appear as multi-instrumentalists on this album with a great array of instruments, consisting of various keyboards, bass pedals, flutes, sequencers and effects among the usual instruments.The music is intricate, very dense and emphatic with both complex and more melodic textures, alternating between rich arrangements and dreamy soundscapes with a bit of dramatic overtones, always exploring the Neo/Symphonic Prog enviroment as established by MARILLION, DEYSS, YES and GENESIS.Unlike many bands of the style Mascarada used fair doses of flute and Mellotron among the expected synth flashes and their atmosphere became often extremely grandiose and symphonic with a dominant 70's aura.A total sum of 73 minutes with three compositions exceeding the 12-min. mark guarantee an instrumental heaven for all modern symphomaniacs, as the tracks are filled with dual keyboard lines in a diverse performance, which is characterized by plenty of interplays, nervous solos, some folky underlines based on accordion and flute and a rather theatrical, expressive vocal department.Unfortunately not everything works very well.The disturbing, accented vocals of Daniel Maras, the unacceptable drum programming and the sometimes synthetic sound of instruments take away much of ''Urban names'' depth.These factors could have been a disaster if the music was not so nicely composed and demanding with clever links between different atmospheres and a tendency towards rich, instrumental parts.

Apparently Mascarada ceased to exist despite the good critics.Juan Maras worked as a graphic designer, while his brother Daniel became a well-known author of sci-fic literature with numerous publishments.

Good document of Spanish Prog of the 90's and a file next to GALADRIEL, HARNAKIS or DRACMA.Nice, complex and lengthy tracks with below average vocals and drumming but some impressive executions to offer.Recommended.

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