Monday, June 04, 2012

Forgotten Gems: Masque-The Dead Of Night

Leicester act Masque are another one of those forgotten acts that managed to release very little in the way of official material and yet, here it is 20+ years later, collectors are still talking about them. Previously known as Wild Child this charming female-fronted band was formed in 1985. Influenced by their countries classic metal scene the band's sound drew from the obvious (Iron Maiden/Diamond Head) to the more subtle (Runestaff/Satanic Rites) to create wonderful traditional heavy metal. In another day or time period they would have fit fairly well in with the N.W.O.B.H.M. movement, but at that point in time the United Kingdom had moved on. Anyway, the band issued the "Confined Insanity" demo in 1988 followed later that same year by this relatively unknown EP. It was released on the record label RKT, who along with Masque's "The Dead Of Night", released some winners (Hydra Vein's "After The Dream" and Metal Messiah's "Honour Among Thieves") but also put out some real turkeys (Metal Duck!) seemingly without much in the way of press. Despite that the EP was warmly received among both critics and fans and Masque looked like a promising new act in the field of old-fashioned heavy metal. For whatever reason though (yes, I know I seem to say that phrase often when describing these gems) "The Dead Of Night" would prove to the only album to date by this talented band. I say "to date" as there are rumors swirling that the band might be back together in one form or another, but seeing as I can't get concrete proof of this it could just be hopeful wishing on the part of fans. Did I mention the fans? Well, despite how little you'll read of this gem in the main pages of heavy metal guides this is one sought-after piece of vinyl and Masque has amassed a nice following in the years since they disbanded. While the original EP is probably out of most people's price range you can still get a copy of this great heavy metal album. It showed up on Volume 16 of the Forgotten Metal Collector Series alongside Stream's 1988 "Outside World Within" EP and Grand Bite's 1985 release,"Al Borde Del Precipicio" (I'm pretty sure this is a bootleg) and you can find places here and there to download it online. If you want to be a bit more honest and help put aside money for the band you can follow the link below to Vibrations Of Doom. I've also provided a link to hear the EP for yourself. This is an amazing band and even if the EP is not that long it is classic through and through. The track list is as follows:

Side A]

1. Twisted Tales - (Intro)

2. Confined Insanity

3. Back with a Vengeance

[Side B]

1. The Dead of Night

2. No Light to Die By

Of the cuts I really love "Back With a Vengeance", but all the tracks are epic in their own way. Just a fun album and the one and only release from this band great traditional heavy metal group. This is another EP in desperately need of an official re-release. Something along the lines of EP with demo material and a nice booklet would really make a lot of hardcore heavy metal collectors drool. As is there are many ways to hear this cool release from Masque.

You can hear the album here:

While you can buy a burned copy here:

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