• Cradle of Filth – Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa (2010)


    Beating on the same dead cat for the last decade, today we have Cradle of Filth and their latest release “Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa”. As you can expect, this release is as consistent as their last few, not bad, not great, and just average enough to keep the band’s fans pleased for a couple years. Continuing where they left of with “Godspeed on the Devil's Thunder”, CoF has crafted 11 songs of their trademark Symphonic Black Metal.

    It’s interesting to see that a band that pushed the envelope so much in the 90’s, has been very stagnant when it comes to add anything else into their music. While we don’t complain much about ‘sticking to what works’, we are getting tired of CoF re-doing what they did on their previous album every time.

  • Hail of Bullets - On Divine Winds (2010)


    With all the crap Death Metal these days, it’s nice to finally hear a band with real balls and real music. Hail of Bullets comes from the Netherlands with a very impressive line-up that includes Martin van Drunen (Asphyx, ex-Pestilence) on vocals, legendary drummer Ed Warby (Gorefest, 11th hour, Ayreon, Star One), and Paul Baayens and Stephan Gebedi on guitars (both from Thanatos).

    With such an impressive line-up we get a very aggressive and dynamic sounding Death Metal that will please all fans with a brilliant mixture of North American and European Death Metal from the 90’s. With clear influences of Asphyx, old Pestilence, Bolt Thrower, just to name a few, the band has a very impressive and crushing sound that many kiddies these days would only dream of.

  • Negligence – Coordinates of Confusion (2010)


    This 2010 we got monumental Thrash Metal releases by legendary bands like Exodus, Forbidden, Death Angel, etc, so it’s very hard to find any newcomer band that can easily be compared to these great bands and their high quality releases Hailing from Slovenia, today we have Negligence, a band that might not have the same impressive trajectory of Exodus and Death Angel, but they can still play some mean Thrash Metal and look good while doing it.

    While “Coordinates of Confusion” might not be an extreme original album, it still has enough quality to maybe sneak into some top 10 of 2010 lists in the genre. The musicianship and songwriting behind this release is superb, creating a very entertaining release that will surely please the most demanding fans of the genre.

  • Witchsorrow – Witchsorrow (2010)


    Keeping the Doom Metal flame alive, today we have Witchsorrow and their self-titled debut album. Invoking the spirits of great bands like St. Vitus, Candlemass, Penance, etc, Witchsorrow shows their cards with this very solid debut release. With “Witchsorrow”, you will get a 45 minute dose of crushing Doom Metal with some psychedelic influences like in the old-school days.

    As you can expect, the guitar work is monumental and it creates a very thick atmosphere. Typical for (good) Doom Metal releases, the band goes balls deep into crushing riffs and songs over 9 minutes long. By doing everything by the book, and adding some psychedelic guitar sections, you can’t really argue about the efficiency of “Witchsorrow”.

  • System Divide – The Conscious Sedation (2010)


    Today we have System Divide, a band that plays a very interesting mix of Gothic Metal elements with Melodic Death Metal/Deathcore foundations. Featuring Sven de Caluwé of Aborted fame and Miri Milman (Distorted, Orphaned land) on vocals, you know you will have a very nice contrast between sweet female voices and demonic growls.

    With a very similar style than Deadlock, the band seamlessly merges elements and creates a very solid melodic yet brutal album with “The Conscious Sedation”. It’s very interesting that such release will appeal people from both the Melodic Metal community and the ‘Modern’ Metal (i.e. Deathcore) section, since it features elements that will please both sides of the fence.

  • Dakrya - Crime Scene (2010)


    With a very similar style to Unexpect, Dreams of Sanity, and Diablo Swing Orchestra, today we have Dakrya, a band from Greece that is ready to turn heads with their sophomore release “Crime Scene”.  After their very decent debut album “Monumento”, the band seems to have refined their style and exploit their strengths on “Crime Scene”.

    While many bands are running around trying to copy DSO these days, Dakrya never gives you that feeling since the band’s music is a bit less jazzy and a bit darker than anything DSO has released, but on songs like “The Urban Tribe” the similarities cannot be contained. You still get the theatrical feeling on this release and while the band’s music is less elaborated than DSO or Unexpect, we still get nine very solid tracks of madness.

  • Dawn of Ashes – Genocide Chapters (2010)


    As one of the worst band’s we have reviewed in a while, today we have Dawn of Ashes and their superbly un-original “Genocide Chapters”. By the worst band denomination, we don’t mean that (most) of the musicians of Dawn of Ashes suck at their instrument, we are referring to their lack of creativity and their ability create filler music for almost the full duration of the release (since we actually liked one song on it).

    Changing styles from Industrial/EBM to Melodic Black/Death Metal, Dawn of Ashes approaches Metal like clumsy nerdy kid about to have their first sexual experience: it’s sloppy, awkward and very unsatisfactory. The band’s attempt at creating a solid album gets quickly destroyed by their ridiculous Dimmu Borgir-esque approach to Black Metal, using persistent keyboard arrangements will not get you far if the rest of your music sucks.

  • Creation’s End – A New Beginning (2010)


    Coming from the minds of two North American musicians today we have “A New Beginning”, the debut full-length release of Creation’s End. Featuring musicians such as Mike Dimeo (Ex-Masterplan, Ex-Riot) and guitar wizard Marco Sfogli (James LaBrie band), this debut album will blow you away with its amazingly crafted Progressive Metal songs.

    Creation’s End features a wide variety of influences, making them not just another Progressive Metal band, but a force to be reckoned since they touch so many genres in the 8 impressive tracks of “A New Beginning”. The band has something in store for everybody, being soaring vocals, guitar acrobatics, and a nice dark atmosphere surrounding the album.

  • The Man-Eating Tree – Vine (2010)


    We at Infernal Masquerade are usually very busy reviewing all the stuff we get from labels, bands, etc., that we rarely have free time to go out and discover something new. Few weeks ago we found ourselves at a friend’s house being serenaded by this great band that we had no idea who it was, turning out to be The Man-Eating Tree, and we had been listening to “Vine” for almost 3 hours non stop. Long story short, we immediately got a copy of this album and became almost obsessed by it.

    Featuring Vesa Ranta (ex-Sentenced) on drums, Janne Markus (Poisonblack) on guitars and Tuomas Tuominen (ex-Fall of the Leafe), The Man-Eating Tree boasts a very impressive line-up. The music in “Vine” can equate to the quality of musicians performing on it. The band plays a very Atmospheric brand of Gothic Metal that will surely grab you attention very quickly since it’s extremely good and appealing.

  • Tempting Tragedy – Descent into Madness (2010)


    Hailing from Canada, today we have Tempting Tragedy, a hard rocking Gothic Metal/Rock band that gives any big name band a run for their money in when it comes to creating catchy tunes of darkness. Having received mostly Black Metal and ‘whatever’-core bands from Canada is refreshing get Tempting Tragedy’s hard-hitting second full-length album “Descent into Madness”.

    Opening “Descent into Madness” with the song “Calamities”, we are quickly treated to solid guitar riffing, pounding bass guitar line and vocals very similar to Ville Valo’s hypnotic style. Before you assume that Tempting Tragedy is another H.I.M wannabe clone band, let us tell us you are wrong since while “Calamities” might sound a lot like them, it’s the only song of this album with this nature.


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