Goad - Masquerade

(CD 2011, 77:07, Black Widow Records BWRCD 122-2)

The tracks:
  1- Fever Called Living(6:32)
  2- Eldorado Parts I-II (Heavy Run)(5:18)
  3- Last Knowledge Pt. I-II(6:44)
  4- The Judge(5:10)
  5- Valley of Unrest(6:07)
  6- To Helen Pt. I-II(7:34)
  7- Alone(6:00)
  8- Masquerade (Fast & Short)(2:25)
  9- Intro (Classic Guitar Prelude)(1:36)
10- Slave of the Holy Mountain(4:26)
11- Dreamland(7:12)
12- The Haunted Palace(4:43)
13- Masquerade (With Dance Macabre(13:27)
         -   pt I (The dream)(4:21)
         -   pt II (Incubus)(3:32)
         -   pt III (Disturbance)(2:15)
         -   pt IV (Sunrise)(2:31)
         -   pt V (Final)(0:48)

Goad Website        Black Widow Records

The album In The House Of Dark Shining Dreams (2006) from the Italian band Goad impressed me a lot. The music of these musicians from Florence attracted me right from the start in 1994. I felt the same while listening to their latest release Masquerade. The music is as obscure as the cover of this new CD-release. Band leader Maurilio Rossi (lead vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards) and his fellow band members Francesco Diddi (flute, violin, guitars, sax), his brother Gianni Rossi (guitars), Louis Magnanimo (bass), Antonio Vannucci (keyboards), Vick Usai (drums) and Tommaso Baggiani (drums) created again a fantastic album, but I'm afraid that it won't appeal to the taste of most progressive rock devotees.

The thirteen tracks sometimes contain very complex music referring to bands as Van Der Graaf Generator, King Crimson, Jethro Tull, Genesis and Steve Hackett. Especially the vocals of Maurilio Rossi won't be of every one's liking. His voice is sometimes as high-pitched as those of Geddy Lee (Rush) and David Surkamp (Pavlov's Dog), but also influences of Bernardo Lanzetti (Aqua Fragile, PFM, Mangala Vallis), Peter Gabriel and Peter Hammill can be heard throughout the album. However, for me his voice sounds very well; he sings with a lot of passion and emotion, just the way I like him to sing. All the lyrics written for Masquerade have been inspired by Edgar Allan Poe. The lyrics fit the music perfectly since they also have mysterious hints just like the stories of Poe. This famous American author of mystery tales inspired the band once before on their debut album Tribute To Edgar Allan Poe (1994).

Sometimes it's difficult to explain why you like certain albums so much. Masquerade is such an album. I clearly noticed influences from the above-mentioned bands, but if you let other people listen or even review this album they probably name influences from other musicians. Or they don't even like the music at all and that's what music is all about, I guess! I'm already looking forward to the band's next release.

**** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)

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