Exposé Online banner

Subterranean Masquerade — The Great Bazaar
(Taklit, 2015, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2016-03-13

The Great Bazaar Cover art

If pressed for a stylistic label for Subterranean Masquerade, progressive metal is a good starting point, but like many Swedish and Norwegian bands with that background, there’s a lot more going on than just metal. Several tracks are infused with a Middle Eastern influence, with percussion and scales and bent notes evoking somewhere between Egypt and Kashmir. Most of the vocals are clean and melodic, though a metal growl crops up from time to time, but I suppose that’s de rigeur in certain circles. Prominent keyboards are not just pseudo-symphonic pomp vehicles, but are really integral to the arrangements. One thing I appreciate is the variety in subject matter – so many bands coming from a metal background are focused firmly on dark topics, but Subterranean Masquerade seems to be more like a “normal” progressive band in that respect. Listeners who prefer their genres to be applied purely will be put off by the variety, but if you’re that narrow-minded, you’re probably not reading Exposé anyway. With its longest track clocking in at just over nine minutes, these guys also resist the temptation to stretch things out too far, keeping the songs concise without sounding rushed or short on ideas. I would hope that most fans of progressive metal would go for this, and it seems like listeners coming from the progressive rock side should enjoy it as well (unless the Cookie Monster parts, infrequent as they are, are non-negotiable). Subterranean Masquerade is a band with lots of promise, and hopefully they’ll avoid the temptations of pretentiousness and taking themselves too seriously.


Filed under: New releases, 2015 releases

Related artist(s): Subterranean Masquerade

More info
http://submasq.bandcamp.com/album/the-great-bazaar

Latest news

2018-02-18
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more

2018-02-15
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more

2018-02-14
Tom Rapp RIP – Singer / songwriter Tom Rapp, best known with the band Pearls Before Swine, passed away on February 12, at the age of 70, after a battle with cancer. » Read more

2018-01-30
Bill Bruford Ventures into Uncharted Territory – Drum master Bill Bruford, veteran of some of the most creative bands in history (King Crimson, Yes, Genese, etc.), is sharing some of what he's learned about being a drummer and a musician in his new book, Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer, out on University of Michigan Press. » Read more

2018-01-18
Christian Burchard RIP – Multi-instrumentalist Christian Burchard, who founded the seminal band Embryo in 1969, has died at the age of 71. His January 17 passing was announced on the band's Facebook page. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Pink Floyd - Atom Heart Mother – Back in the heyday of symphonic rock, it was natural for Pink Floyd to take an occasional stab at "serious" composition, their most assiduous attempt being this 1970 album's daringly...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues