NOTE: An edited version of the same review I have posted via Facebook Notes.
Welcome To The Masquerade (Tooth & Nail)
Thanks for my accidentally stumbling upon TFK's "Falls Apart" video, I got to know this Canadian Christian rock band fronted by FM Static's Trevor McNevan. And thanks to my brother who got a copy of this album, I got to listen to more of their works.
At first, I didn't like it much. I don't know; maybe I was too preoccupied with heavy metal back then. But when I listened to it again and again, I started to appreciate it.
What I loved the most about the album is that it's got an excellent mix of hard-rocking and mellow, relaxing instrumentations. It's amazing how they included soft tracks like "Watching Over Me" (the first mellow track you'll hear in the album), "Look Away" (which is really in FM Static style), "Forward Motion" (a theme about moving on), and "Already Home" (a perfect song for concert crusades--in my opinion. Peace!) with the other adrenaline-packed songs in the album. Wise control of dynamics is evident in "The Invitation," the intro track. I love the guitar delays in "Welcome to the Masquerade," the title track, and its prechorus reminds me of The Eagles' "Hotel California" (in speaking of the guitar plucking in that part of the song). "Fire It Up", a song about "[letting] your light shine," is fun with the screaming vocals ("I got a, bad case! Of turnin’ it up!/It’s getting’ cold in here!/So, somebody, fire it up!!!). I like the rap in "Bring Me To Life", as well as in "E for Extinction" and "The Part That Hurts The Most (Is Me)". "Watching Over Me" is relaxing, and its lyrics soaring, encouraging that there's someone "watching over [us]". "Scream" is one of my favorite songs here; I liked the chord progression in its intro and I could relate well with the lyrics. "Outta Control" really sent me out of control; it was as if the song's about me! I loved the psychological/spiritual dilemma presented in its lyrics. "Smack Down" is fun as well; it reminds me of... well... WWE's Smack Down (LOL). Anyway, the drumbeat in its verses sounded like Queen's "We Will Rock You"...
If you're curious about Christian rock, it's better to start listening with this album. Although there are... yes, screams, it's not so ear-piercing, so it's friendly even for non-hardcore rock listeners. And this album contains inspiring lyrics that reflect our everyday lives--the everyday mental fight between good and evil, being in need and having it fulfilled, feeling like giving up and finding hope again. And if you're a musician trying to improve your guitar chops, you can "cifra" the songs... =)
So, indeed, welcome to the masquerade--walk in.
Gems: The Part That Hurts The Most (Is Me), Look Away, Scream, Outta Control
April 28, 2010
Special thanks to Jesusfreakhideout.com for the band information, and to Amazon.com for the picture.