MASCHARAT - Mascharat
October 31, 2017, 9 months ago
Debut release from Italian self-proclaimed “Renaissance black metal” act Mascharat is a conceptual album inspired by the ancient Venetian carnival tradition. Split into two parts (ignoring the instrumental opener and closer), the first three tracks proper tell the story of a man being challenged about his Christian beliefs by Venetian masks ('maschera' in Italian). The latter half, encapsulating four tracks, navigates through the man's search for truth via an initiation rite only to come up empty handed ... and now lacking in Christian faith as planned all along by The Masks.
Musically the core sound of this release is well recorded ‘90s Scandinavian black metal with acoustic/piano/symphonic interludes and intro/outro giving it its ancient/esoteric atmosphere. Part one ends up being a tad repetitive with one track being an over-long 11 minutes. Thankfully things pick up in the second half where the man's confused state is reflected in more powerful passages, soaked with anger and insidious melodic guitar within the maelstrom. The vocals also become more pronounced and desperate in the latter half, very much of the tortured troll variety. Altogether an interesting and worthy journey to take.