Golden Dawn Masquerade

Seven years after the release of Golden Dawn’s debut album the band returns with Masquerade. Building upon traditional folk melodies for most of the record, Golden Dawn occasionally breaks out into fits of violent black metal, and now and then even verges on goth and electronica. The combination is chaotic and fast-paced for the most part, but not without its charm. Female vocals and acoustic interludes balance some of Golden Dawn’s more aggressive leanings in a way that’s a little confusing, but endearing. There are probably enough ideas on Masquerade to develop several projects, and the record suffers from the resulting crowding. That makes for a listening experience that feels more like hearing a carefully planned compilation than the work of one band, but the individual tracks are worth the attention. (Napalm)