Masque — Ten Ways
(Musea FGBG 4116.AR, 1994, CD)
by Henry Schneider, 2016-06-09:
After every fifth or sixth release Musea issues a CD by a contemporary band. Ten Ways by Masque is one of Musea’s recent new music offerings. Masque is a Swedish band that plays music more aligned with New Wave than Musea’s other progressive rock offerings. Interestingly enough, Masque sounds similar to an obscure German band Blue China that released one LP Spiritual Beauty in 1983. In fact, both albums feature dogs on the cover. Whereas Blue China was charting new territory in 1983, Masque merely plays jazzy rock influenced music akin to Blue Nile or Sting. If you are looking for innovation or experimentation, you won’t find it here. However if you like your music slightly more adventuresome than Sting, you will enjoy Ten Ways.
by Peter Thelen, 1995-03-01:
This is the second offering by the Swedish five-piece Masque. This is a major improvement over their debut from '91, which seemed too derivative of Saga and other 80s neo-proggers. Here they have found their sound, and seem very comfortable and assertive with it. That doesn't mean that everyone is going to like it, though. Like Landberk, they have taken a bold step in a more mainstream rock direction, sticking with a fairly accessible sound and not straying far from the song format. If folks like Depeche Mode and Split Enz don't bother you, then you'll probably enjoy this a lot, because the sound here is more than anything centered squarely on the lyrics, the vocals and the use of melodic hooks. Lead vocalist Jerker Rellmark is in fine form, and the rest of the band supply an energy level that fits his spirited delivery. There is good variety within the album's nine tracks, several of which have an almost other-worldly feel, while others adopt a more dark and moody approach. This is, to be sure, fine music of the highest caliber, but we could get into a good argument over whether it's 'progressive' or not. I think it's safe to say that if this hadn't been issued on the Musea label, we probably wouldn't be reviewing it here.
Related artist(s): Masque
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more
Mani Neumeier + Friends - Terra Amphibia: Deep in the Jungle – Terra Amphibia is the project which occupies Mani Neumeier during time away from Guru Guru. World music and East Asian culture appropriation are Mani’s hobbies, which find him jamming and flirting... (2004) » Read more
Opus Avantra - Introspezione, Lord Cromwell & Strata – Led by composer/keyboardist Alfredo Tisocco, and fronted by vocalist Donella del Monaco, Opus Avantra – much like their name might imply, offers a music based in avant-garde classicism mixed... (1995) » Read more