Requiem - Mask Of Damnation

Year of Release: 2003
Label: Sound Riot
Catalog Number: SRP 026
Format: CD
Total Time: 42:02:00

Colleague reviewer Mathieu Chamberland described the debut album of Requiem, as a pleasant and surprising album of a band who tries to be innovative. In a way this set the bar a bit higher for me, and when I received my copy of Mask Of Damnation, my hopes were high. Requiem originally started out as a melodic death / power metal band, but after a few demos, moved more in the direction of progressive power metal, which is in my opinion, a wise move for them.

However, when I played the first track of the album, "Blinded," my first reaction was reaching for my remote control to skip the song! The screams of vocalist Jouni Nikula did not really please me, although I was impressed by the fast and aggressive work of drummer Jari Huttunen and bassist Pasi Kauppinen. But, I decided to sit out the song and see how it would go. The second track, "The Dying Ember," was better, vocally, less screams and more ass-kicking drum and bass, but the second half of the song caught me ... the mood changed from aggressive to a bit softer, with a really good guitar solo, that kept going while the pace picked up a bit. The third track, however, convinced me: "Mask Of Damnation," with loads of keys by Henrik Klingenberg (a not very Finnish sounding name ... also a member of Sonata Artica). I love the guitar riffs of Arto Räisälä and Teemu Hänninen, who really know how to work their magic. The title track is really one of my fav tracks of the album.

From this moment on, I hear a great band, who plays fantastic power metal with lots of progressive elements in it. Like in "Shrine Of The Ocean," which opens with some acoustic guitars, followed by harmony electric guitars and a very good melody line. Very solid rhythm section and some virtuoso guitar parts, and just enough keys to keep it interesting, at least for me. Unfortunately the vocals did not do much for me ... Nikula has a good voice, but not one that I find standing out. Nevertheless, these guys can compete with any of the so-called "big bands" that are around for a longer time, as Requiem has a very solid and tight sound, with a good production. Mask Of Damnation is definitely a step up for the band and shows they have grown. A new player on the metal front that has claimed his position and will stay there ... will be interesting to see what they will come up next, but based on Mask Of Damnation, I'm sure it will be good!

Similar bands: Rhapsody

[This review originally appeared April 2004 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]

Blinded (5:26) / The Dying Ember (4:02) / Mask Of Damnation (5:53) / Divine Ilusion (5:28) / Ethereal Journey (5:28) / Shrine Of The Ocean (6:15) / Dagger (5:24) / The Rival's Spell (4:00)

Jouni Niula - vocals
Arto R?is?l? - guitars
Teemu H?nninen - guitars
Jari Huttunen - drums
Pasi Kauppinen - bass
Henrik Klingenberg - keyboards

The Arrival (2002)
Mask Of Determination (2003)
Requiem Forever (2005)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin FI

Added: January 1st 2005
Reviewer: Marcel Haster
Artist website:
Hits: 1094
Language: english


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