We were sitting around the GigGuide.tw office drinking vanilla lattes when the Boss-Man slid a CD across the table.
"I think you need to hear this," he said.
A cloud of fetid smoke burst from my computer. My latte erupted, transforming into a cauldron of Mountain Dew, and my face broke out into a minefield of zits. The room smelled like ashtrays and an unfinished book report on The Scarlet Letter weighed heavily on the table.
In an instant, I was 16 again.
That'd be depressing, except that the best thing about my high school years was that it sounded so damn good.
And right here and now, Masquerader is sounding so damn good.
Able students of 80's-era thrash, the Taipei quintet's tight 3 song EP features Slayer-esque riffing and Satan on the mic. It's a 14 minute rampage.
The opening song Captilism, Canniblism (or should that be Capitalism, Cannibalism?) is an ambitious, riff-loaded sonofabitch. Dissonant Voivod chords mark the chorus, a classic refrain of "fuck the world, fuck your reality." The guitar solos are wild fun; the haunting three chord outro is just right.
Next up is a tune about things that get run over by possessed cars, Carcass. Highlighted by a grand mosh and precision playing, this song definitely sounds like a chase scene from Hell.
Closing track Samurai Slave Driver rips Imperial Japan and the system of forced labor suffered under their cruel reign. And again, the musical assault is equal to the task. It's hard to pick my favorite of the three, but this one may win out for being so unrelenting.
There is nothing deceptive about Masquerader. The band speaks fluent Thrash and articulates each metal moment with a clear sense of history, punctuated with a fist in the face - much more effective than a latte, and a hell of a lot cooler.