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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Subterranean Masquerade from the USA
    Posted: October 20 2007 at 14:07
SUBTERRANEAN MASQUERADE is the brainchild of the Israel musician Tomer Pink.
If there ever was a band whose music fit the work eclectic, this would be it. The music Tomer composes draws from a variety of styles, not only metal as their category here.
Not only varied in sound, but very well played, creative and complex, rich in sound, mostly melancholic sounding - the music is bliss to my wife and my ears.
Sadly they seem to no longer be active...
 
 
The un-updated bio from their website - http://www.submasq.com/

ALTERNATIVE AS A STATE OF MIND

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 tentatively scheduled to start recording early next year

 
Both their EP Temporary Psychotic State and their album Suspended Animation Dreams are highly recommended.
 
 
 
Their Myspace for some samples  - http://www.myspace.com/subterraneanmasquerade
 
You can also download mp3's from their website:
http://www.submasq.com/mp3/SM_CutsYouUp.mp3 (a cover of a Peter Murphy song).
 
 
 
 
 
Here are the details of their discography from their website:
 

Suspended Animation Dreams

This second part of the "X" trilogy and ambitious follow up to 2004's "Temporary Psychotic State" finds Subterranean Masquerade traveling way beyond traditional music boundaries, exploring the vast soundscapes of music while retaining such sense of originality and experimentalism never seen on a metal record before. Featuring an extensive cast of players including 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 and various guest appearances. Produced by Tomer Pink with Willis Clow & Mitch Curinga, mixed by Neil Kernon. Released by THE END RECORDS, June 2005

Track List:
S.A.D
Wolf Among Sheep
No Place Like Home
Kind of a Blur
The Rock N Roll Preacher
Six Strings to cover fear
Awake
X


Temporary Psychotic State

Released on THE END RECORDS this 2 track EP introduced the world with the sound of Subterranean Masquerade, a vision that music has no boundaries and that it’s feasible to blend multi-genres into a coherent feast of colors and sound, Featuring 17 minutes of progressive rock grooves with soft psychedelica and post rock blasting. Featuring bassist JWW, Drummer Tino LoSicco, vocalist Paul Kuhr as well as strings, female vocals and keyboards orchestration. Produced by Tomer Pink and Bryan Hall 

Track List:
Temporary Psychotic State
Observation through Metamorphosis


Various Artists - "Cut's You Up"

Subterranean Masquerade performing Peter Murphy's classic "Cut's you up", line up including Tomas Lindberg (ex-At The Gates, The Crown), Kobi Farhi (Orphaned Land), Yishai Sweartz (Moonskin, ex-Nail Within) and Dory Bar Or of Eternal Gray


Various Artists - "The Lotus Eaters"

"Summoning of the Muse": a cover for DEAD CAN DANCE's masterpiece, released on "The Lotus Eater" via Black Lotus record / Greece. Subterranean Masquerade's version clocking just around 10 minutes and featuring lyrics and passages taken from various other Dead Can Dance tracks making it a cool tribute to this amazing dark wave band! Featuring Andy winter (Winds) on Keyboards. Produced by Tomer Pink

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Reviews of their album here on PA:
 

Collaborators Reviews

SUBTERRANEAN MASQUERADE — Suspended Animation Dreams

Review by hdfisch (Dieter Fischer)
PROG REVIEWER

4%20stars Before listening to this album the first time one should certainly expect the unexpected since the music we get offered here is absolutely impossible to categorize. Though usually being filed under progressive metal only 15 % of its contents in fact can be considered metal. Truly there are quite a few death metal type of growls, but those ones are very well woven into a fine drapery of lounge jazz, ethnic tunes, progressive rock, pop and who knows else type of music. Actually I’m not aware of ever having heard a similar record than this one (though I dare claiming to have a broad knowledge) and the only band sounding that much eclectic that comes to my mind is DISCUS from Indonesia. But the big difference to them is that Subterranean Masquerade succeeded even better since their record is much easier accessible than theirs. It’s really big fun to listen how these musicians manage to merge all those different genres together to form a truly unique piece of modern art. Very often styles are changing a couple of time within the same track without making it sound blatantly or unbearable for the ears. Instead the songs here sound highly enjoyable, at times almost harmless and unspectacular.

"For the rest of this session, you might ask yourself 'Am I going crazy?”... this announcement after the opening intro speaks for the whole album. „Wolf Among Sheep (Or Maybe The Other Way Around?)” for example starts with acoustic guitar and whispering vocals before developing into a mournful solo on electric guitar, then a few growls for a short while which are soon thwarted however by warm string arrangements. The electric guitar returns uniting with the acoustic one later on, then there are enjoyable clean vocals combined with strings and the track finishes with a faster paced guitar solo. „No Place Like Home“ is a blend of folk and ethnic tunes on flute, oriental type of vocals and jazzy piano sounds. “Kind Of A Blur“ offers dreamy piano and string sections next to rather pop-ish sounding choir singing but despite its obvious simplicity this song is nonetheless a great one. In “The Rock'n Roll Preacher“ we get to hear heavy guitars, a piano playing lounge jazz, acoustic prog reminiscent of the 70’s and growls partly combined with sax tunes. “Six Strings To Cover Fear“ is the only track here in a common prog metal vein and though being the easiest accessible one far away from being a dropout, quite heavy and sinister, but very strong. “Awake”, longest track with 14 min consists of an awesome mix of orchestral sound, pleasant female vocals, heavy frowning growls and jazzy sections. Last track “X” is then a welcome recovery from this roller coaster trip and a perfect closure for this excellent album.

Hope my description doesn’t sound too much alienating for most readers. Just trust me, the music doesn’t sound by far that messy like it might seam. Everything fits together somehow in a great miraculous way and after a couple of spins one has the impression to listen to the most normal music in the world. Certainly this record won’t please everybody; metal heads will find little here to be satisfactory and those having problems with growling will find only parts of it enjoyable. Nevertheless it’s an excellent and unique one IMO and I’d highly recommend it to anyone having an open mind and a broad musical taste.

Posted Friday, November 17, 2006, 11:41 EST | Permanent link

SUBTERRANEAN MASQUERADE — Suspended Animation Dreams

Review by OpethGuitarist (Joey Kelley)
PROG REVIEWER

4%20stars Avant-garde Metal at its finest.

Incredible output by this very Non-prog metal band. I say that not because they aren't progressive, but because this band/album is so much more than a generic prog metal band. If you're biggest complaint is that there's no thought/emotion in prog metal, this is an album you must own. It's not only extremely out there in many regards, but the songwriting is gripping and poetic. Just take a quick glance over the instruments used here. I'd like to think of this band as the doom version of Kayo Dot, in order to give some kind of comparison.

Wolf Among Sheep has an amazing impromptu chorus in the middle with lush chords and a quirky spring like sound that will have you dazzled. Despite the craziness that ensues, its incredibly well formed to keep a sense of structure rather than random ramblings that many avant style bands might fall into. What's most important is that there's enough here to keep you guessing, and to keep you coming back to the album searching for more.

I can't think of too many other projects pulled off like this with what seems like such ease. One can hope to expect many more outputs by this band of the same quality, as they have outstanding potential. A real gem in the field.

Posted Saturday, April 14, 2007, 03:12 EST | Permanent link

Guests Reviews

SUBTERRANEAN MASQUERADE — Suspended Animation Dreams

Review by Minstrel X (Jose Manzanares)

4%20stars This is definitely a very recommendible work! SUBTERRANEAN MASQUERADE, a band that i first checked out in a well-known web site specialized in metal, has finally released their first album, "Suspended animation Dreams", an opus i can easily find close to bands like... well, no one. Their EP "Temporary Psychotic State" was a fine work mostly of Doom Metal nature, with some touches of PINK FLOYD, PORCUPINE TREE and ANATHEMA, and also really close to Gothic Rock... In this debut full-lengh album the Doom Metal roots are vanishing, allowing the entrance to some Neo-Prog, Psychedelic and some Post-Rock moments (By this i mean the hints of RADIOHEAD melancholy). Definitely a band that is more focused in emotions than in intrincacy... A very good Dark-side Prog work...

Highlights: "No place ike Home", Six Strings to cover fear".

Posted Monday, August 22, 2005, 11:41 EST | Permanent link

SUBTERRANEAN MASQUERADE — Suspended Animation Dreams

Review by heavydrum

5%20stars Oh... what a Masterpiece. The first time I heard this I nearly fell off the chair... It was jus like if all of my fvourite bands had melt together to forom something absolutely new and never heard... Rock, funk, jazz, death metal, gospel choirs, dark, classical... Progressive in its purest conception. Here it is not important who is the fastes guitarist or the drummer playing 9 bassdrums and 17 snares. Here what really matters are the emotions. And they rule in the "SAD" universe. To name a song would probably be a crime beacause I'd then have to name also all of the others but the 14 minutes of Awake are something that goes beyond words, beyond any classification, only to take place in that marvellous universe called Art. But as I already said, the same thing could be told of "No place like home" or "Six strings to cover fear". Everything perfect, music as it should be, in my opinion. Obviously you could also not share my opinion. but then I'd think you've heard the wrong album.

Posted Wednesday, November 30, 2005, 11:39 EST | Permanent link

SUBTERRANEAN MASQUERADE — Suspended Animation Dreams

Review by slowfire85

4%20stars Wonderful album mixes doom, death, prog and some jazz metal into one great energetic display. The more I listen to this album, the more I like it. Grows on the listener in leaps and bounds. Very unique album from the great End Records, check out this one and some of their other great bands. Paul Kuhr from November's Doom provides a nice mix of death/clean vocals.

Posted Tuesday, February 28, 2006, 20:09 EST | Permanent link

SUBTERRANEAN MASQUERADE — Suspended Animation Dreams

Review by FruMp (Richard Ingham)

5%20stars This was perhaps the first prog metal I ever came into contact with and boy was I lucky to discover this gem. This album features an amalgamation of several different genres - seemlessly, it's got jazz, death metal, prog and space rock and not only that it takes some of the best parts from each.

The albums starts out with the very chilled introductory song, a very fitting preface. The second song wolf among sheep (or maybe the other way around) is my favourite song on the album and also simply one of my favourite songs, it starts with a very beautiful acoustic section with a nice warm organ, a very good chord progression and some excellent harmonised vocal work. Then the song is cast into a burning pit of sludge and death metal whilst still retaining the musical complexity of the previous section (it has piano in this part and by god it somehow works), and then the release and we are greeted with some great violin work. Fantastically written music, very melodically rich, very dark and very rewarding.

No place like home is another fantastic song, a jolly song with some great harmonica and other stuff (invokes images of wind in the willows for me) and then we're cast into the pit with the death metal again but it is again melodically rich and tempered with violin and then we are sent into our warm cosy spacey world again.

Awake is the epic on the album and it too is a great song - melancholy, amazing female vocals throughout with some great vocal soloing going on around the 9 minute mark. it also degenerates into an ethnic freakout after some symphonic goodness and we end on a metallic note.

X is a great finale, beautiful, spacey, awesome black chick singing, climatic solo to finish it all off - outstanding.

A very very interesting, rewarding and different album recommended to most prog fans, I was a huge fan of this even when I didn't like metal at all that's how diverse this album is.

Posted Friday, March 30, 2007, 15:15 EST | Permanent link

SUBTERRANEAN MASQUERADE — Suspended Animation Dreams

Review by Drakk (Andrew Grover)

5%20stars 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

Posted Sunday, August 05, 2007, 22:38 EST | Permanent link

 
 
 
Highly recommended!!!!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 20 2007 at 16:29
Great albums... I love these guys. They deserve much more attention.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 20 2007 at 16:31
The only growling band I like (sorta). Very creative, I should give it another listen.
butts, lol
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 20 2007 at 19:13
Originally posted by moreitsythanyou moreitsythanyou wrote:

The only growling band I like (sorta). Very creative, I should give it another listen.
 
Definitely! Don't let it go pass by. Great music that deserves attention.
 
I actually love growling vocals (and as a matter a fact vocals from all kinds, but that's just me) and Paul Kuhr's vocals (Novembers Doom) are to me (or rather were as he's changed them a bit in the last ND album) one of the most powerful and impressive ones in this field.
But there are "clean" vocals as well here, it's also were the variety is shown.
 
 
 
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 21 2007 at 09:53
Currently enjoying Suspended Animantion Dreams again... the growqling factor is not high in this one, so do not let this one repel you.
The musicianship, eclecticness and the melodies cover all this up if it's really bothering you.
 
 
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 21 2007 at 12:04
Wonderful band! Suspended Animation Dreams is a superb album!

Its the less distorted metal album I've ever heard. Their sound is nothing short of unique. Highly recommended!

...I need to write a review for it...


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 21 2007 at 12:12
This band is exactly what Bryan said in his blog title: prog-metal for people who don't like metal. BTW thanks Bryan (and for Indukti and Spastic Ink, too Tongue). A great discovery. To be reviewed... somewhen.
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