To be quite honest I have never heard of the Israelian prog rock band Subterranean Masquerade and after a couple of spins of Mountain Fever I can say that I actually like the sound of Subterranean Masquerade.
Mountain Fever is their fourth album and the ten songs featured here are a mix of rock and roll, spiritual punk, heavy metal, prog, and world music. Most of the songs at the beginning of Mountain Fever are maybe a bit too poppy, for instance opener Snake Charmer features acoustic middle eastern instruments. What I really do NOT like are the growls/grunts, reminiscent of classic Opeth, in some of the tracks, but the sound of Subterranean Masquerade is always unique and also very recognisable. Most of the tracks are a mix of darkness and light, soft and heavy and eastern/world influences, featuring African brass sections, Arabic violins, and a couple of guest appearances from members of Orphaned Land and Melechesh, while the album was mixed by Jens Bogren (Leprous and Opeth).
To me Mountain Fever is a bit of a hopscotch with too many different musical styles and the entire album sounds a bit too artificial to me...
*** Martien Koolen (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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