Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.
Drummer Guido Richter Makes Another Appearance for the Band Sodom
Masquerade in Blood is the 7th studio release by German thrash metal veterans Sodom and it also marks the return of drummer Guido Richter and this would be the last album that he would work with Sodom as he would leave the band in 1996 due to personal reasons.
The Title Track Sets the Tone for This Album
The opener of this album which is the title track opens with speed, aggression, and heaviness as this war based song sets the tone for the album. “Gathering of Minds” has a great chorus as the song is lyrically about someone whose mind and body are diseased. It is not possible to fly without broken wings is it?
Masquerade in Blood is an Album That Deserves More Credit Than It Gets
As usual, they have stuck to the tradition of also including songs that have German lyrics in them and in this one, there are two such songs. On the website Metal Archives there are six reviews about this album as of this writing and the reviews score averages around 64%. I’m here to say that Masquerade in Blood deserves a score higher than just 64% especially because of the ending of the song “Shadow of Damnation” as Guido’s drum finish is solid.
"Murder in My Eyes"
Masquerade in Blood is Better Than Some Metal Albums That Came Out in 1995
Looking back at this studio album by Sodom, it certainly does better than some of the other albums released that year. In terms of thrash metal albums there certainly are ones that are better than this one. But if you enjoy German metal bands but don’t mind experimentation, then this one will be enjoyable for you. This is especially the case for the song “Murder in My Eyes” which is lyrically about a person that is so resolute that he will go after his targets without being stopped. He then ends up being locked up. There is a death metal vocal style in certain songs. The anger and aggression is still there but it is just that this is not an album that would exclusively focus on just thrash metal without experimentation. It wouldn’t be too overly descriptive to say that Germany is the country that is the best at thrash metal because you could certainly make that argument. They can do thrash metal that is hardcore, thrash metal that is like Kreator and thrash metal that has a more experimental edge like the album we are reviewing. In terms of thrash metal, this release also has a sort of industrial feel to it in some respects as well.
Listening through this album again, I get the sense that it beats Iron Maiden’s The X-Factor because the songs don’t drag on and the music just flows rather nicely. I realize that we are somehow trying to compare apples with oranges but for 1995 metal albums that are under the radar, Masquerade in Blood gets more credit than it might get.
© 2021 Ara Vahanian