Sunday, May 20, 2018

MASCHARAT - Self Titled review

MASCHARAT - Self Titled 

Seance Records

This originally came out in September of last but it's on Seance Records from Australia and whom I know I've dealt with in the past. Plus the band sent me a nice email, yeah and they're a black metal act. So I figured why not give it a few blasts. Kinda glad I did.

Musically MASCHARAT, who hail from Milan, Italy, are part of this (pardon me) new wave of BM artists who are definitely schooled in the traditional sound and style. But they add just so much more styles whether it's doom, straight up atmospheric interludes and of course a history lesson. Plus they like some mystery.

Starting with the obvious their name comes from the Italian term "maschera" or in English, mask. The band members don't disclose their names. The cover art illustrates their emphasis on anonymity. According to the band (?) their music is "inspired by the masks and the traditions of carnival." I'm sure there's a historical connection in there going back a few hundred years. Extreme metal is educational!

With that said MASCHARAT's self titled debut is an interesting release as far as black metal goes in this modern era. It's a beautiful piece of work (yes black metal can be looked upon as beautiful). The vocals are of a venomous harsh rasping also sung or spoken in Italian with one sung in French (I don't know why but hey I speak two languages as well).

Musically it's melodic black metal with touches of the more diabolical or sorrowful doom. There's some acoustic elements added. As I mentioned earlier they lay out plenty of atmospheric touches to allow the music to flow on a jagged path. Years ago some hipster music scribe told me that black metal needed to progress in order to be taken seriously. Actually the genre has done that but it was on the true black metal artist's terms and not on his promotion of hipsters doing metal. That's why you should take this release seriously.

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