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Kirk - 'Masquerade' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/52/b6/a1/KirkMasquerade-37-1401837533.jpg Hot

Added by Franco     June 03, 2014    
 
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And let's not wait another eleven years for album number three.

I like Swiss Rock music. From back in the eighties when Krokus ruled the world (well, almost), Gotthard and Shakra from the nineties onward to more recent bands like Motherockers, there's a certain precision and efficiency, associated with the whole country in fact, which seems to ensure a certain level quality and reliability in their music. Kirk prove to be no exception to that theory with 'Masquerade', which whilst unlikely to make them a household name, should undoubtedly allow them to carve out a strong reputation across Europe on the Rock / Metal stage.

It may be eleven years since Kirk's debut album, but that time seems to have been well spent in other bands and projects, slotting back together with apparent ease. The band sounds equally at home switching between the out and out Metal drive of opening salvo 'Devils Claw' and 'Supersonic Speed' to the Classic Rock vibe of 'Masquerade'. 'Supersonic...' harks back to early Iron Maiden days, although lyrically, the rhyming of "I – like arrow" with "Fly like a sparrow" does provide an unintentional somewhat bizarre feeling.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Where Kirk do score well though is in their use of Bruno Benger's keyboards. With one guitar and keyboards, the Metal riffs have a subtle texture underpinning them without losing the power. More prominent in the mid-paced Rock tracks such as 'Masquerade' and 'Nothing Else But Lies' there's some genuine melody and harmony to add the muscle of the songs. Highlight is 'Fight Or Die', full of power and passion with the simple challenge of the title being spat out in the chorus as guitars and keys intertwine. 'Time' is another full on Maiden-esque romp, whilst 'Face In The Crowd' and 'The End Of The Universe' are Melodic Power tracks, heading towards the sound of Gary Hughes' Ten.

Production on the album is somewhat raw and limited, the double bass drum kicks sound a little flat and too high in the mix, but a strong vocal performance from Thomi Rauch and some quality songs pull everything together and prove that there can be a place for keys in a Heavy Metal band. It's that bit of quality and the aforementioned efficiency that makes the album flow with ease. Get a major league producer involved next time round and there could be no holding these guys back. And let's not wait another eleven years for album number three.

Ian Parry

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