Subterranean Masquerade -
Mountain Fever

(CD 2021, 54:14, Sensory Records)

The tracks:
  1- Snake Charmer(4:09)
  2- Diaspora, My Love(3:15)
  3- Mountain Fever(5:25)
  4- Inwards(6:46)
  5- Somewhere I Sadly Belong(5:43)
  6- The Stillnox Oratory(5:30)
  7- Ascend(5:58)
  8- Ya Shema Evyonecha(4:36)
  9- For The Leader, With Strings Music(8:26)
10- Mångata(4:26)

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To be quite honest I have never heard of the Israelian prog rock band Subterranean Masquerade and after a couple of spins of Mountain Fever I can say that I actually like the sound of Subterranean Masquerade.
Mountain Fever is their fourth album and the ten songs featured here are a mix of rock and roll, spiritual punk, heavy metal, prog, and world music. Most of the songs at the beginning of Mountain Fever are maybe a bit too poppy, for instance opener Snake Charmer features acoustic middle eastern instruments. What I really do NOT like are the growls/grunts, reminiscent of classic Opeth, in some of the tracks, but the sound of Subterranean Masquerade is always unique and also very recognisable. Most of the tracks are a mix of darkness and light, soft and heavy and eastern/world influences, featuring African brass sections, Arabic violins, and a couple of guest appearances from members of Orphaned Land and Melechesh, while the album was mixed by Jens Bogren (Leprous and Opeth).
To me Mountain Fever is a bit of a hopscotch with too many different musical styles and the entire album sounds a bit too artificial to me...

*** Martien Koolen (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)

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