Album review for “Welcome to the Masquerade” by Thousand Foot Krutch

            Although Thousand Foot Krutch’s music has been used in loads of commercials, TV shows, sports segments, and even a movie trailer, they haven’t particularly broken out into the secular mainstream yet. If there’s any album that can do that, however, it would be the band’s latest project, “Welcome to the Masquerade.” The album starts off with an introduction, “The Invitation.” Is it an invitation to rock? I believe so. The song builds up quite nicely and leads into the title track, which speaks of the “masks” that we tend to put on in order to hide our feelings, insecurities, and flaws. After this, the energy-charged single “Fire it Up” comes at you full force. It doesn’t let up there, even when the eerie piano that begins at “Bring Me To Life” makes an appearance. The single was a product of a battle of the band’s contest, put on by Taco Bell called “Feed the Beat.” One thing’s for sure, it will feed your itch for rock n roll. Speaking of which, the next track, “E For Extinction” is easily the strongest song on the record and you’ll want to listen to it again as soon as it’s over. The first slow track is “Watching Over Me,” and for all of the greatness this album possesses, this is unfortunately it’s one minor flaw. The song seems a bit forced and doesn’t fit so well with the rest of the record. But, things pick back up with “The Part That Hurts the Most (Is Me)” and “Scream.” After some more rocking out, things slow down again, but this time the result is an amazing and beautiful ballad, “Look Away,” that gives hope and comfort to those who have fallen victim to self-abuse. “Smack Down” may seem a bit gimmicky at first, but no one can deny that this is a kickin’ sports anthem. Originally written as the theme song for the WWE, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was picked up by the NFL and used to feature the “top 10 hardest hits” of the week. TFK has a good reputation of creating great album closers and “Already Home” is no exception. Its hopeful message and pleasant string arrangement make for a great way to end the awesome journey that is “Welcome to the Masquerade.”

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