Mascharat – Mascharat
Label: Séance Records
When I received this material for a review, this band was totally unknown to me, never heard of them before. But when I saw that they are on Séance Records, I figured they surely need to be worthy of my time.
With the promo pack that MJM received, there was just a few basic information about the band and nothing more. So they didn’t do their best to advertise them. The word Mascharat is Arabic in origin, and means “joke, prank, trick” but also “immoral and chaotic situation”. Mascharat can also be traces back to Italian term “maschera” (eng. Mask). Conceptually, the band is inspired by the masks and traditions of carnival.
So, I logically assumed that the similar concept works on the matter of their lyrics, since we know that Italy made some of the most beautiful and scariest masks through out the history.
Their lyrics are mainly written in Italian, except “Médecin de peste”, which is in French. They mostly take concepts and elements from literature, religion and philosophy for their lyrics, which is great in my eyes. I am really glad when I can listen to metal music written in the band’s native language. That gives you another dimension of mysticism and adds intrigue.
Musically speaking, though. this band can offer you black metal enriched with melodic passages, and I mean A LOF of melodic passages. But they have done their part very well. All melodies are deeply rooted in dark medieval times of Italy. Also, there are a few memorable riffs in their music. And yet, a better part of the album is in slow paced tempos, so if you are expecting Marduk-like music, this is not for you.
The drumming on this album is perfectly placed. The rhythm section is kind of in the background, as if in some kind of a cave, which sat perfectly with atmosphere that these boys made with riffs and melodies. On a few occasions Mascharat delivered a direct black metal “blast” on the drums but they are quickly back to slow/mid paced tempo which better fits this album, their music and the atmosphere they are creating.
No need to speak much about the vocals and their impact on this material. We’re talking classic black metal vocals, in certain moments it would however, seem better if he changed his screams into maybe clean-vocal narration or even proper clean-voice singing to catch the riff tune. But either way, the vocal is well placed in this full-length which is the most important at the end. You can really hear the Italian accent during singing, patriotism in its purest form.
As I already mentioned, guitars did a perfectly good job here. Not a lot of “empty space” for some bland filler riffs or trying to innovate some bullshit. They are playing pure black metal that you were able to find in the mid-nineties in places like Germany, Poland etc. If you are a fan of bands like Aaskereia, (old) Opera IX and similar, you’ll definitely find this album interesting.
I think that Séance Records discovered another good band, worthy of your listening time and your money to buy physical copy and that way, support label, band, and underground black metal.