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Subterranean Masquerade

Experimental/Post Metal

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Subterranean Masquerade Vagabond album cover
3.92 | 15 ratings | 3 reviews | 7% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2017

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Place For Fairytales (6:53)
2. Nomad (5:56)
3. Waves (4:41)
4. Carousal (1:52)
5. Kippur (6:56)
6. Daled Bavos (4:41)
7. As You Are (3:05)
8. Hymn Of The Vagabond (7:35)
9. Space Oddity (6:15)

Total time 47:54

Line-up / Musicians

- Eliran Waitzman / growling
- Kjetil Nordhus / vocals
- Tomer Pink / guitar
- Or Shalev / guitar
- Shai Yallin / keyboards
- Ilan Arad / brass
- Golan Farhi / bass
- Matan Shmuely / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Ben Danzig

CD ViciSolum Productions ‎- none (2017, Sweden)

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Vicisolom Production 2017
$13.80 (used)

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SUBTERRANEAN MASQUERADE Vagabond ratings distribution

(15 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(7%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(60%)
Good, but non-essential (27%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sagichim
4 stars That one came out as a surprise for me, I wasn't expecting another album by the band so soon, after waiting for about 10 years between the highly regarded debut Suspended Animation Dream and The Great Bazaar, this is a treat especially considering that this has now become my favorite album by them. So this is the third album by multinational band Subterranean Masquerade, now seems to be comprised mostly by Israeli musicians, the line up from the previous album is pretty much intact, only with a slight change Paul Kuhr is not participating this time. The album continues where the previous Great Bazaar album stopped. More over the middle eastern influences picked up in the Great Bazaar are even more evident and now brought to perfection, also the orchestral almost symphonic influences are still present, helped by the heavy growling and the metalic nature of the bands sound, giving the music a very rich and colorful blend. Strangely enough although the music is metalic and some impressive growling vocals are involved (sparsely actually) the outcome is not that heavy because, first of all the always present rich instrumentation softens the music, but also the melodic nature of the songs, and the somewhat cheerful vocals of Kjetil Nordhus (Green Carnation) definitely do the trick. The arrangements overall and particularly to string instruments, and brass are stellar, a real craftmanship. I love how every part with its own different instrumentation flows so naturally to the other, making this a very fluid and accessible album.

Place for Fairy-tales is a fantastic opener, going through several parts, from the middle eastern falvored intro it then continues with a saxophone and piano, great sound! it gets heavier half way while the saxophone is wailing and continues to a middle eastern party, the Orphaned Land connotation is inevitable here. Nomad although doesn't abandon the middle eastern influences, is perhaps the heaviest song on the album introducing us to Eliran Weitzman growling, man this guy is good! his vocals suits the music perfectly adding that missing edge to the metalic riffing. Kippur is another killer track here, beginning like something off of Yossi Sassi's head (Orphaned Land) an exploding klezmer metalic riff drive the song until it slows down to the sound of vocals and no less than an accordion! top that with some violins as the growling comes back, this is good. Half way through distortions gives way to a danceable 80's like synth, I did not see this coming, beautiful work. Daled Bavos is again a very rich and textured instrumental, besides the excellent melting pot of heavy metal and middle eastern influences, there's some beautiful emotional playing here, check out those clarinets and violins! The final Hymn Of The Vagabond again blending all the band's styles together in a perfect way, there's a strong Indian feel here with tablas and female vocals, all go together so well as the songs ends in a big celebration. I can't help but feel that the David Bowie Space Oddity cover closing the album is out of place, there isn't much to it only it is played slower with an almost doomish flavor, good but nothing special.

Subterranean Masquerade continues to push the boundaries of their music to the point where the debut now is entirely different beast. This is their most coherent album imo, and marks a peak in their creativity, songwriting and sound. Don't miss on this album! Easy 4 stars.

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars US formed, Israel based band SUBTERRANEAN MASQUERADE have been around for two decades at this point. Those 20 years have seen them release two EPs and three full length albums. "Vagabond" is the most recent of the latter and was released through Swedish label ViciSolum Records in the early fall of 2017.

This is a band that made a name and a reputation for themselves as a highly creative progressive metal band back in the day. These days I'd say that they are primarily a progressive rock band, using elements from progressive metal to flavor their compositions rather than the other way around. That being said, these folks are rather more creative and innovative than merely combining genre elements from these two genres, as there is a lot going on here in addition to that.

Even of one didn't know that this band operates out of Israel, most people would probably guess as much. If not pinpointing this band specifically to Israel then at least to the Middle East. This due to the liberal amount of world music elements from that region that is a mainstay throughout this album. Additional percussion details, violins using the tonal range particular to that part of the world, reeds and brass doing pretty much the same, and occasionally also female backing vocals of the kind you would have to be uninformed to not categorically place somewhere in the Middle East as far as origins goes.

These elements are used in material that does, indeed, combine elements from progressive metal into a greater whole that correlates closer with progressive rock. Folk music details are obviously a big part of this greater picture too, and a few token jazzier details does appear here and there too. The saxophone is used frequently throughout as well, complementing both the rock and the metal oriented escapades, and effectively in both modes too I should add. The piano also has a central role throughout, often alternating with the organ to supplement whatever guitar mode that is present - be it wandering plucked guitars, firm guitar licks or more majestic and dominant metal riffs.

The band have opted for clean lead vocals in the greater majority of the vocal sequences, but still with room for some dark growls to take over now and then, either taking the lead vocal spot or as an underlying contrast to the clean and melodic lead vocals. Both aspects works very well too, surprisingly also when the band isn't operating inside a metal context.

Subterranean Masquerade describes themselves as a symphonic prog powerhouse these days, and that description comes across as rather appropriate. More progressive rock than progressive metal these days, and with something of an emphasis on easy to like material. Despite some rather advanced structures here and there this album comes across as both compelling and inviting, a production that should have a fairly broad reach despite of rather than because of it's at times complex and sophisticated movements.

A slight letdown is the cover of Bowie's classic Space Oddity at the very end. It is difficult to replicate the sheer amount of emotion in this song, especially when you decide to alter the song, even if only ever so slightly. In this case by reducing pace and adding a darker, heavier sheen, plus adding violins at the end to possibly emphasize the drama. This take on it is rather good, but it lacks the momentum and subtle emotional grip of the original. An interesting cover, but not a cut that elevates the overall album experience as far as I'm concerned.

If you tend to enjoy innovative and creative progressive rock, and finds the notion of a band that blends in a liberal amount of world music elements, quite a few metal touches and a select few extreme metal details into a progressive rock context to be appealing, then this latest production from Subterranean Masquerade is one that warrants an inspection.

Latest members reviews

4 stars The multinational / Israel based band Subterranean Masquerade with its rather unique sound is back with a brand new album! I learned about them with the release of their previous work The Great Bazaar (2015). It was an album I really liked, listened to it a lot, and played lots of its songs ... (read more)

Report this review (#1814069) | Posted by The Jester | Wednesday, October 18, 2017 | Review Permanlink

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