After a short intro, we hear the title track. It is classic TFK with many elements from Phenomenon. "Welcome..." is one of my favorite songs on the album. Following that is "Fire It Up", which will obviously be the arena rock song, already appearing in various videos and a video game (EA Sports NHL 10). "Bring Me To Life", has slightly lighter rock sounds but still features Trevor McNevan's powerful vocals. After "E for Extinction" comes the first real power ballad, "Watching Over Me"--finally a band who waits for the ballad instead of sticking it in much too early. My dad really likes "The Part That Hurts the Most (Is Me)," which continues the rock side of the album with an interesting distorted vocal part leading into the chorus. Following this is "Scream," another of my favorites. It passionately declares:
Scream when the pressure breaks me/ When it's too hard to see/When I feel like I'm at the end of my rope one more time/Scream when the fire burns me/When it's hard to break free/When I feel like I'm standing on the edge of it all this time/… You make me want to scream
Next is "Look Away." It sounds like a song off of an FM Static album. Steve Augustine's drumming has no snare (the main drum in most songs) until the end of the song, so it has a very unique sound. The song also features a strong string section, and is the only one that mentions Jesus by name.
"Forward Motion" continues the album. It has been released as a single. The hard-hitting "Outta Control" addresses child abuse. "Smack Down" has an excellent rock sound, but the lyrics seem rather pointless. Though it is still good, it is probably my least favorite song on the album.
Welcome to the Masquerade is probably the best album of its genre to have been released in the last few years. The return to, and expansion of, the Phenomenon sound will bring back fans that lost interest due to The Flame in All of Us--it will certainly sell well. If you are a fan of TFK or of arena rock music you should definitely be excited for this release.
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