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Goad - Masquerade CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.60 | 32 ratings

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3 stars Goad are an Italian band from Florence formed by brothers Maurilio and Gianni Rossi in the late seventies. I regret to say that it's only with Masquerade, their eighth studio album that I've finally discovered them. Regret because Masquerade is a fascinating album, a long, dark and brooding record with much to discover.

Firstly I'm going to say that Masquerade is not an easy ride. For starter's it's seventy seven minutes long and requires considerable time and effort to digest it all. A diverse range of musical styles and the usual instrumentation of guitar, bass, bass drums and keyboards augmented by sax, flute and violin give great scope, which they make full use of, for an album touching many bases. The nearest musical parallels I can draw bring to mind King Crimson (early seventies), though in a simpler form and Van Der Graaf Generator. Their dark prog has heavier elements at times as well as symphonic touches. The music is often raw, at times appearing somewhat disjointed as if it's about to all fall apart at any moment which adds to the unsettling feel. I find the keyboard sounds and textures particularly appealing, often haunting and melancholic complimented by some visceral guitar work. The music's not particularly structurally complex but made interesting by the diversity of layers and sounds. Some may find the vocals of Maurilio Rossi hard to handle - my 14 year old daughter asked me if he was in pain! Nevertheless he has an emotional delivery and reminded me of a rougher and less tuneful Micky Jones of Man fame and is integral to the band's sound.

Despite many excellent moments the length of the CD turns out to be its weakness and I can't help feeling that a bit of editing may have produced a stronger album. However the many high points including Eldorado, The Judge, To Helen and Alone more than make amends. The closing thirteen minute title track doesn't quite live up to expectations, the various parts not holding together too well but worth hearing nevertheless. Masquerade is a very good album that the aforementioned editing could have turned into an excellent one. Still well worth 3 stars and no doubt about it, I really want to hear more of this fascinating band.

Nightfly | 3/5 |


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