"The Masquerade" (Sound Riot; 2005)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

It had been ages since I'd gotten anything from Sound Riot Records for review and since I've generally been pleased with their roster's releases I was quite looking forward to listening to Chain Collector's "The Masquerade."

Throughout its ten tracks, "The Masquerade" displays a perfect blend of every conceivable version of Swedish-styled melodic death metal and a broad range of power metal styles. These Norwegians have a firm grasp of what makes a song's dynamics work and the stunning mixture of styles gives each of the songs a fairly strong impression even on the first listen. The dual vocals and vocalists (half growls, half melodic clean vocals) give each song depth and paint new dimensions within each track as well as across the entire CD. The dual vocal approach bodes well as the vocals' alternating clean/brutal attack mirrors 
the dual nature of the band's overall sound.

Despite the fact that Chain Collector is an all-star group of sorts (the band features members of Apostasy, Green Carnation, Trail of Tears, Carpathian Forest, Neon God, and Opus Forgotten) and despite the overall lack of originality, "The Masquerade" has a pretty solid sound and is backed by the band's obvious confidence and individual skill that translates into a considerable whole. Tracks like "Crucifixion" and "Winter Princess" clearly show Chain Collector's ability to bounce back and forth between multiple genres' high points.

"The Masquerade" was produced by Endre Kirkesola & Chain Collector.

Chain Collector is Kjetil Norhaus on clean vocals, Svenn Aksel Henriksen on screaming vocals, Goran Bomann and Kjell Jacobsen on guitars, and Anders Kobro on drums. Endre Kirkesola played bass, keyboards and samples. Ingjerd Kolstad contributed as a guest vocalist.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2006 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 09 Dec 2018 12:03:11 -0500.