ALBUM REVIEW: Powergame – Masquerade

It’s no secret that Germany is home to some household names in Heavy Metal, DORO, SCORPIONS and ACCEPT to name a few. Could newcomers POWERGAME join this growing list of legends? Judging from their latest release Masquerade it shows the band have the potential to do so.

POWERGAME went through some major line-up changes before they released their first demo entitled Raw Heavy Metal in 2013. This was followed by their self-released record Beast On The Attack in 2015. Masquerade is the latest to hit shelves and there is clear evidence of energy and enthusiasm within their sound.

First impressions of Masquerade? There is no questioning the band’s talent, dedication and energy. There are IRON MAIDEN-esque vocals, sharp riffs and solos on the guitars and pounding rhythms from the bass and drums. These are the key ingredients of the band.

All these promising elements are evident on opening track Legion Of The Dead.

The production of the album is very crisp and well put together, it gives the album the vibe that these songs should be showcased in larger venues to huge crowds, you feel like you should be in a stadium. For instance, the track Final Warning contains a marching rhythm, some air guitar worthy solos and riffs, not to mention those dominant vocals would sit well within a stadium setting.

Even though the production of the album gives the songs a certain stadium vibe, the content within each track, at the moment, is fairly average. As much as one tried to get into the album and give it a chance, it’s not attention grabbing enough, but at the same time, you are curious to see where their sound could go. Given the production which makes their material sound huge and dominant, imagine what their sound would be like after some fine tuning. Bearing in mind, it is only their second release so there is still plenty of room to grow.

Masquerade does have its stand out tracks though. The chorus of For Those Who Died is memorable, it’s one of the tracks you listen to and remember instantly when you hear it again. The guitar work and vocals are two key ingredients that help make this happen. Baptized In Fire And Steel has a Run To The Hills vibe about it with its rapid guitar work and mosh pit worthy beat. There is no doubt that this track will go down well in a live environment.

Overall, there is unquestionable talent, dedication and hard work where the band are concerned. With these elements, the band can go far. Masquerade might be an acquired taste from many fans of the modern metal community. For some it can be an album they can crank up to the max or one they simply have on in the background whilst carrying on with daily tasks. That’s the listener’s decision.

Rating: 6/10

Masquerade is out now via Iron Shield Records.

Find POWERGRAME on Facebook and their Bandcamp page

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