War Without End Masquerader - Singular Point (Independent) 2013

1. Atomic Funeral (5:31)
2. Thrasher Commandos (4:06)
3. S.A.T.A.N. (3:41)
4. Symbiosis (3:06)

Masquerader are a Taiwanese neo-thrash band. "Singular Point" is the band's second EP release.  Masquerader's sound is directly inspired by bands like Exodus and Slayer. They have all the ingredients for good quality thrash; infectious riffs, fast tempos, quick down-beats, chaotic guitar solos, and a good production quality that is both heavy and raw. The four songs here don't present anything new to the genre, but then that's not really the point either. Masquerader are obviously dedicated to a classic, retro, thrash metal sound and they do it well. They certainly fit neatly in with the current crop of retro-thrashers who have resurrected the classic 80's thrash metal sound.

I doubt that English is the band's first language but it is the language chosen for these four songs. As such, some of the lyrics come off as a little odd, corny, over-the-top or possibly offensive. For example, "Thrasher Commandos" is a thrash anthem in which Masquerader makes a call to "kill the faggots". Regardless of the context, the line which is repeated several times in the song, is completely unnecessary. "S.A.T.A.N." sounds like it could have been written in the early 80's by some NWOBHM band. "Bow down to the dark lord, Lucifer his name, sacrificial rights unto him, covered in blood, bow down to the dark lord, Lucifer his name." Didn't Venom already use those lyrics? Oddly enough, the cover, booklet and even the band photos give the impression that the band is into sci-fi imagery, like Vektor and Voivod. While that would have been very cool, the lyrics for these songs aren't really of that nature.

If Masquerader can come up with some better lyrics, they could be a force to be reckoned with. They definitely have the chops. Hopefully this EP is just a taster for better things to come.

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