EVIL MASQUERADE – Theatrical Madness

EVIL MASQUERADE - Theatrical Madness


Frontiers Records
Release date: April 21, 2005

User Review
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Fancy some Theatrical Metal with an opera twist? Then answer Evil Masquerade’s call and discover your dark side. You’re surely qualified if opera falls under your guilty pleasures. Evil Masquerade want to combine Metal with theatre, which certainly brings powerful images to mind, and will probably make for some interesting and colorful videos… but not to get ahead of the game here. With no brochure like one usually gets when entering a theatre or opera, you’re left to play this one by ear only… so here’s what’s in store.

The title song, “Theatrical Madness,” speeds along with a maddening tempo and sees vocalist Henrik Brockmann showing some signs of schizophrenia. “Bozo the Clown” sounds like an rotten apple from the same tree that spawned the clown in Stephen King’s novel It. Even though Evil Masquerade’s version is closer to a parody than actual horror, it still sticks to the idea that clowns are scary… as most kids know.

Mix Power Metal (a la Sonata Arctica) with opera, dip it in layers of keyboards, and spice it up with more Traditional Metal, and you’re close to Evil Masquerade’s sound. This Danish lot certainly has an evil streak, and you can almost picture a dark figure prancing around in the shadows on stage while listening to this Metal opera. Evil Masquerade’s Theatrical Metal is filled with guitar solos that will keep the Power Metal freaks thrilled, keyboards that add both darkness and a touch of symphony to the sound, and a vocalist that would be right at home in most travelling theatre groups, and who, instead of clothes (and stage setting) changes, creates the same visual scenery instead with his theatrical voice.

Some of the songs (e.g., “Now When Our Stars Are Fading,” “Other Way to Babylon”) don’t seem to go anywhere and just aimlessly strut about… or they keep building up but never get anywhere, like “The Dark Play,” which after enormous build up gets distracted by a confused monster and a female character, then sidetracks into a bizarre Jazz moment before getting back to building up again and then suddenly the song just self-destructs. Dark? Maybe. Odd? Definitely.

The moments that see Evil Masquerade mastering their chosen style are “Demolition Army” and “Witches Chant,” which both play around with words and tones, and “Snow White,” the ballad, with it’s theatre-like effect of double lead vocals where both voices are singing a different part at the same time.

Theatrical Madness, the second attempt from Evil Masquerade to mix Metal with theatre is more dark than evil, and way too controlled to be labelled madness. Most of these theatrics could have used a bit more of those wacky experiments, which along with the word plays, definitely stand out in a good way. Had this album had more of the brief moments of brilliant madness as those displayed in “Bozo the Clown” and “Demolition Army,” it would have been easily lifted above the mediocre Symphonic Metal status that it now occupies.

This album may be well-suited for the fans of Malmsteen, Sonata Arctica, and those with an ear for Theatrical Metal.


  • Scott Jeslis

    Scott is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He handles a lot of Metal Express Radio's public relations, screening of new music and radio scheduling. On occasion, he also does reviews and interviews. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2004.

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