Mike’s Mini Music Review – Thousand Foot Krutch – Welcome to the Masquerade

20090805080122_0_Welcome_to_the_Masquerade_AlbumIt’s been a banner couple of weeks for stellar album releases. Skillet blew me away with Awake, and now Thousand Foot Krutch has come out with … well, it’s not the best Christian rock album of the year (Skillet wrapped that one up two weeks ago), but Welcome to the Masquerade is really, really, really, really good.

I hesitate slightly to call it “excellent” – although it borders on that – because for such a fantastic album, Masquerade has a few flaws that keep it from being one of those five-star, two-thumbs up records.

First, though, the positives: many of the songs are tremendous. I love the title track, as well as Fire It Up, Bring Me To Life, and Forward Motion. There’s a good mix of traditional-style TFK rock-rap-nu metal songs, and some more pop-rock oriented songs. The ballad Looking Away blew me away because it didn’t sound like TFK at all. Heck, when I first heard it, I thought it was a band like FM Static. (Well, at least that makes sense.) Overall, the highs of this album are very high.

The negatives? The songs are great, but the structure of some of the pieces just doesn’t work for me. A song called Smack Down (Hello, WWE, are you going to pick this up now, or, like, now?) should be more like an in-your-face rocker akin to Fire It Up, but instead it’s almost a dirge and never really finds its groove. The closing song, Already Home, is a really pretty ballad until the last 20 seconds, and then all of the crescendo orchestration just suddenly dies in favour of an acoustic finish. It’s so abrupt, it’s like the orchestra got gunned down. As a result, it’s a huge anti-climax. And my biggest pet peeve of the album is that so many of the songs just end. Stop. Done. Finish. No flourish, no fade out, nothing. They. Just. End.

But in the end, you have to love any band that can properly incorporate triplets into its songs these days.

And for the record, the album cover freaked out my wife.

I still like Skillet’s Awake more than this record, but that’s a matter of taste and degree. TFK has put out an album that deserves the superlatives it’s receiving. My frustration is that with a little bit of tweaking of a few individual songs and some better choices on production, this album could have been an all-time classic. It’ll have to settle for being the second-best Christian rock album of 2009.


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