ON FIRE - Masquerades

On Fire - Masquerades

10 songs
29:16 minutes
***** **


It’s obvious from the first moment on: On Fire from the Southern parts of the Netherlands are an uncompromising old school hardcore band that doesn’t even try for innovation on their second CD Masquerades. When you’ve learned your lessons as well as they did, that’s not necessarily a disadvantage. Instead of opting for a bullshit macho attitude, On Fire have the right feeling to add searing metallic guitars and enough melody to make their music entertaining for more than only hardcore fans. The vocals are shared between two band members who exclusively sing, and both of them have their characteristic voices, which prevents them to fall into the cliché of the melodic and the angry voice. Actually both of them sound melodically angry.

Masquerades starts with a burst of short songs that at times really know how to win me over (The Last Crusade). The second half of the album has a few longer songs, in this case longer than three minutes, and On Fire prove that they are even better at this, or how can you explain that some of their better material is placed so much towards the end, like Swarms Of Destiny or the epic closer Sign Of The Times, the highlight of the album?

As good as Masquerades is, its short running time and its slightly derivative nature prevent a higher rating. Hardcore fans who like the muscular old time stuff from bands like Cro-Mags or Gorilla Biscuits might still get a whole lot of fun out of this.

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