• Derdian – Human Reset (2014)


    Out of the hundreds of releases we receive at Infernal Masquerade every month, it is always refreshing to find some extremely well produced self-released albums that sound better than some more popular and well-established bands. Luckily for us, Derdian’s 5th full-length release is one of them with their well-refined Power Metal that reminds us of bands like Rhapsody of Fire, Blind Guardian, Stratovarius, etc.

    After the typical atmospheric opener, “Human Reset” kicks off with the album title track delivering excellent vocal melodies and a very healthy pace. The band’s sound is clearly very well refined and everything sounds just right, making the songs flow like water. As the album keeps providing us with gems like “In Everything” and the melancholic “Mafia”, we are greatly impressed with the perfect union of crafty drumming, playful keyboards and soaring vocals.

  • May the Silence Fail – Of Hope and Aspiration (2014)


    Arriving from Germany, today we have Melodic Death/Gothic Metal outfit My the Silence Fail and their debut full-length release “Of Hope and Aspiration”. Featuring a solid mixture of traditional Melodic DM elements with some more modern Groove/Core influences, the band delivers a very solid 11 track release that will keep you entertained for a while.

    The release quickly sets a very lively tempo with tracks like “Gods are Long Since Dead” and “Return to Mind”, both showcasing the dual harsh/clean female vocals approach that works very well with the band’s highly dynamic sound. One of the band’s biggest selling point for people that are not 100% sold on music and need gimmicks, is that both singers are females, so yes, they have a female growler for your amusement. The guitar leads are quite well crafted and make up for very cool passages like on “If It Wasn’t For You”.

  • Scorned Disciple – The Cosmic Dance of Shiva (2014)


    Arriving from Sweden, today we have a very unique single under the title “The Cosmic Dance of Shiva”, from the band Scorned Disciple. Featuring two tracks of very catchy and intricate Progressive Death Metal, this is one release that truly stands out from all the other bands just trying to copy somebody else.

    The release opens to some Djent-like passages that quickly shift into traditional Death Metal territory with the growls and basic riffs. Being always in the move, this track constantly changes tempos and delivers very unique sections that while not straightforward, are very well put together. The band’s musical-style/vocals combination has a certain Sepultura-esque vibe to them, something that might not be apparent at first, but you will soon realize.

  • The Hourglass – Through Darkness and Light (2014)


    Hailing from Romania, today we have The Hourglass and their majestic Symphonic/Gothic Metal release “Through Darkness and Light”. With countless bands in this genre, it is quite hard to find standout bands and releases, but The Hourglass managed to surface from the pile and claimed our attention for more than several hours – a feat considering the amount of CD’s we review every week.

    Avoiding any filler intro track, the band gets down to business with the lush “Dying Star”, a song that is quite dynamic and features some interesting electronic elements thrown into the mix. This track reminds us a bit of a mixture of Nemesea and Edenbridge. The band’s vocalist Alma Vomastek delivers an incredible performance with her excellent vocal talents. As the band delivers bombastic songs like “Rise” and “Away”, our attentions are greatly focused on the ballad “Dare”. In this very dramatic song we greatly appreciate the band’s intricate songwriting skills that perfectly outline every single element in their sound.

  • Mastabah – I Hate You (2014)


    Arriving as one of the most brutal releases we have received in 2014, today we have Mastabah and their devastating “I Hate You”. Pouncing on the listener with brutal blast beats and crushing vocals, this release can be compared to a more chaotic Anaal Nathrakh rooted in Death Metal foundations.

    Blasting things wide open with the incisive “Shackles of the Past”, the band is very serious about making their point of being super brutal. The crushing drumming is perfectly produced and shines through the heaps of growls, shrieks and relentless riffing. The band goes back and forth between insane brutality levels and Death Metal grooviness in tracks like “Spectacle of Human Existence” and the excellent “Deck of Life and Death”.

  • Midnight Sorrow – At First (2014)


    Hailing from France, today we have a new entry into the Symphonic/Gothic Metal category with Midnight Sorrow and their debut EP, “At First”. Delivering over 15 minutes of well-crafted traditional Symphonic Gothic Metal, the band can easily rival the likes of Edenbridge, Xandria, Delain, etc. with their very direct and easy going music.

    As it is usual to open with an instrumental track, “Crystal Drops” sets a very magical atmosphere and generates expectation for the listener to keep reading. In a very bombastic manner, “Waterfall” instantly delivers and intense opening with fast guitars and very lush instrumentations. Maureen’s vocals are quite potent and very fitting to the music, she reminds us of Helena Iren Michaelsen from Imperia/Trail of Tears fame.

  • Destitution - Beware the Fury of the Patient Man (2014)


    With the Netherlands being a huge supplier of female-fronted Metal bands, it is always quite refreshing to hear bands trying different genres. Desitution delivers ten tracks of old-school Thrash Metal with modern production values and the original attitude of the 80’s. Featuring a very retro sound and packaging, this digipack is one solid debut release.

    Instantly channeling their inner Kreator, “Mr. Greedy” opens the release with solid vocals and excellent guitar leads. The vocals have that very distinct Thrash ring to them that allows them to fully take command of each song. Not being slackers, Destitution delivers plenty of songs over 3:30 minutes long, with some of them even clocking 5 or more minutes. This allows the tracks to fully develop by themselves and features a wide variety of guitars leads and melodic sections like “Criticize”, “”Vigilante” and “Alcathrash”.

  • Kvity Znedolenykh Berehiv – Za Nebokray Mriy (2014)


    Being huge fans of any variants of Death/Doom Metal, when we received Kvity Znedolenykh Berehiv - (Kvity - for short) demo release “Za Nebokray Mriy” (aka “Beyond the Horizon of Dreams”) we instantly put it on our stereo system. Featuring two songs of monumental atmospheric Death/Doom Metal, this release will intoxicate you with sadness and melancholy for the 20 minutes it runs for. Both songs deliver elements from the genre greats like Saturnus, (old) Anathema, My Dying Bride, Lethian Dreams. Morgion, etc., making them quite awesome.

    Opening with “У обіймах (Тихі води)”, the release sets a very dramatic and engaging tone. Merciless weeping guitars surrounded by heavy growls and bleak atmospheric elements. This one-man band provides an excellent rendition of melancholy through music thanks to its lush keyboards/piano arrangements. Clocking in at nine and a half minutes, this track reminds us of Draconian minus the female vocals with some Forest of Shadows influences.

  • NovaReign – Reign of the Infinite Sun (2014)


    Hailing from the USA, where we do not have a lot of Power/Progressive Metal bands, today we have Power/Progressive Metal California outfit NovaReign and their first demo release. With “Reign of the Infinite Sun”, the band delivers four very promising tracks that with a little more work could be outstanding.

    Opening with the exciting “Call on the Storm”, the band showcases excellent musicianship and technical proficiency. The thing that brings down the experience is the not-there-yet vocals of David Marquez. While his range has potential, it still needs to be definitely worked on. As the epic riffs, tight drumming, and proficient guitar work continues on tracks like “Crimson Shield” and “Beyond the Cold”, we also noticed that for a demo in 2014, the production is a bit flat. A better job when mixing should do the trick and elevate the band’s sound.


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