POWERGAME - Masquerade

February 20, 2019, 3 months ago

(Iron Shield)

Mark Gromen

Rating: 7.0

review heavy metal powergame

POWERGAME - Masquerade

Don't let allusions to a Tokyo Blade song title and professional wrestling album artwork dissuade you. Newly signed to their first label, this is the Germans' sophomore follow-up to Beast On The Attack: ten tracks of Iron Maiden worship. On that '15 debut, had a song entitled “Back To The Ruskin Arms” (who is the most well-known denizen of that old English club?) and still plenty of Harry homages here, although the disc closes with a rendition of the Scorpions' “Blackout”. 

Kicking off with “Legion Of The Damned” (nothing to do with the Teutonic act of the same name), it's right into the spirited twin leads and bass gallop, circa '83, but it must be said, the vocalist is no air raid siren: closer to DiAnno style and timbre. There's a section, about midway through, where each instrument (even drums) gets a brief solo spotlight. Not much in the way of lyrics (almost exclusively the titular phrase), but a rocking tune nevertheless. Guitar and tinkling of ride cymbal start mid-tempo “Lucid Dreams”, while “Puppet On A String” resurrects the tempo, once again, taking a proto-thrash stance, mixed with Maiden guitar breaks. Their signature tune opens with a buzzsaw of guitars, before (temporarily) settling for something less frenetic, albeit with increased importance on competing six-stringers, and ultimately beginning much as it began. Creeping “Final Warning” adds little to the proceedings and fails to hide vocal inadequacies, as does the meat & potatoes “For Those Who Died”. Keep things busy, guys! Case in point, rapid “Baptized In Fire And Steel” (best tune of the batch!) or even “The Chase Of The Falcon”, which is a full-blown (3:41) instrumental: more headbanging twin leads. The title cut exhibits more Maidenisms and “Ghost Town”, the last Powergame original, is greeted by a drum roll, straight into a blaze of guitars. Not a bad introduction. Like so many just starting out, a little editing would pay dividends (less is more). Let's see where they go from here.


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