Welcome To The Masquerade

Canadian rock outfit Thousand Foot Krutch has been one of the reigning Christian rock bands throughoutits successful run on Tooth and Nail Records. The band has had quite the claim to fame in the Christian rock realm and has been able to dip into the mainstream arena as well. The band knows how to rock and continues to demonstrate that album to album. What we get here is a polished rock effort onits 5th studio release.

Welcome To The Masquerade is loaded with radio rock singles and songs that follow TFK’s typical structure. That structure would be loading their album with great anthems, rocking tunes, and the occasional rock ballad. But while some may find this nothing new, others will be pleased to have an album full of catchy heavy rock tunes.

I really like the bands theme on the album. The idea is that we all wear masks that cover up whatever we are feeling, thinking, or dealing with. The band wants for people to look past all that by taking offtheir masks and just letting it all go. I think it’s a great concept and something everyone struggles with. It’s great thatthe band tackled that issue and provides some great tunes dealing with this. They counter all these feelings of shame and all the held-back secrets by providing the message of great encouragement and comfort that comes from Christ.

The album starts with those instrumentals that I think in most cases should just be included on the first track since in this case the track happens to be just a build-up to the title track. It serves its purpose as it slips right into the heavy riffs of Welcome To The Masquerade.” The song is intense and does a good job of sucking you into the album. This song pushes the theme the most that TFK is going for butthat themeis touched upon all the way through the album. It becomes a perfect segue into the track “Fire It Up ” which has garnered a good deal of mainstream success. Lyrically this song doesn’t give much to sink into but instead mainly just a fun rocking song. Next is “Bring Me To Life ” which while a good rock track reminds me a little too much of the title track. However it is still a great track and does have a good message of Christ bringing us to life.

“E For Extinction” is one of my favorite tracks off the album that is really fast paced and features some intense vocals from Trevor McNevan. I guess now would be a good time to touch on Trevor’s vocals. He has a solid range and what I consider a strong rock voice. It works well for their heavier tracks as well as the ballads; while not the best voice it melds perfectly with TFK’s sound.

Speaking of ballads. this album featuresthree ballads that may remind you a lot of the band’s side project FM Static which features Trevor and TFK drummer Steve Augustine. “Watching Over Me” is the first we encounter. This is a nice comforting track that reassures us that Christ is always there and he truly is watching over us no matter what happens. This shows off some solid song writing from the band:

And I know it’s not that simple/But I think I’ll get it right/Cause no one else is listening tonight/I know you’re out there/And I know you care Cause I feel you/Like an angel Watching over me

“The Part That Hurts The Most” and “Scream” both are solid rock tracks that are mid-range in quality for the album. After the early rock tracks are so strong these kind of stumble a little but they still hold up well enough and keep up the album’s momentum going.

The next ballad “Look Away ” does feature some more solid lyrics but I don’t think it holds up as well as the other ballads. “Forward Motion” is another highlight that is a perfect pop/rock tune that has a cool instrument arrangement that combines the band’s rock flavorings nicely with some pop sounds. With some great lyrics and an irresistibly catchy chorus you will have this one stuck in your head for a while:

I’m not trying to tell you how to live your life/ But let’s keep it moving in a forward motion/ If we can hold on we can cross this ocean/ There’s no sense in lettin’ our emotions/ Get in the way until the door keeps closin’

“Outta Control” brings the rock back to the forefront. This is another one of those average tracks on the album that’s not great but it’s good enough. “Smackdown” is my least favorite track off the album. It’s the perfect pump-up anthem for a sports event but the lyrics come off rather cheesy and this is just not my kind of track. Some may like it though; you can sing along easily and it has a stomp clap beat to it as well. The album ends with possibly the best song on the album. “Already Home” is a laid back ballad and is a breathtaking track. The song (the chorus in particular) shows our longing for Christ and that he is everything we need:

I am on my knees/andlsquo;Cause You’re everything I need/And I’ve made a mess of myself On my own/Now I am on my face/And I’m calling out Your name/And I won’t run away/andlsquo;Cause I’m already home

Overall this is a strong release from Thousand Foot Krutch. The album is made up of average to really good rocking tracks and rock ballads. It’s nothing groundbreaking but that doesn’t mean it isn’t any good. TFK knows how to rock it out have a good time and still deliver an uplifting message focused on Christ. The band doesn’t depart much fromits last album The Flame In All of Us but the band builds off that album and has matured even more. The album delivers by TFK keeping their traditional sound but making some slight improvements. I personally think it’s one of the band’s best and recommend that you check it out.

Guest Writer