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Badhoven - 2001 Behind The Masquerade



ARTIST: Badhoven
ALBUM: Behind The Masquerade
LABEL: ATS Records
SERIAL: -
YEAR: 2001

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: KC Greilberger - lead vocals, guitars * Gerhard Paar -keyboards, vocals * Jacky Greilberger - bass, vocals * Gerd Sojka - drums, vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 All Or Nothing * 02 Rolling * 03 Wasted Time * 04 Girl Like You * 05 Money * 06 Behind The Masquerade * 07 I Am * 08 Dying For That Miracle * 09 Movie Of My Life * 10 Rockin' Old Radio * 11 Spirit Of The Lake * 12 Let Yourself Be Beautiful

RATING:

WEBLINKS: www.badhoven.com


Background
It took a while for me to get hold of this release. After originally locating a copy from a shop in Wales back in 2005, only to be disappointed when they apologised and could not locate the said item. Fast forward, nearly 5 years after my first enquiry, again browsing the same shop on the website, still in stock it declared. So assuming they had not updated their site, I tried again, not hoping for much, and in true JR Hartley fashion, 'YOU HAVE!' excellent, my name ...... What a strange turn of events. I must admit, being released in 2001 on an unrecognizable label, ATS Records I had expected to have unearthed an album to be just a one-off. However much to my surprise they are still very much a going concern. In fact even better they had released a 2nd cd, 'Believe' in 2005, again on the fast becoming recognizable label ATS Records. Even better still, you can pick up both releases. Not wanting to stand still, they released a live DVD in 2007, and it seemed that during this period, the core of the band has stayed together, although with a revolving door of bass players. However they are still looking to release new songs during 2010. Essentially this group from Graz, Austria, who as a country have been pretty limited on melodic releases, in fact any type of music, play a nifty style of melodic rock, with heaps of melody and professional musicianship. Composition wise, I am very impressed with the songs showing flair, quality and a high level of consistency and injecting many different aspects to their songs. This is very much like German neighbours Second Way; both groups seemed to stake out an existence without much critical acclaim or coverage. Badhoven managed to have their own website and MySpace, but obviously losing out to the opposition in terms of commercial appeal, which is a shame.


The Songs
We start unveiling what's behind the masquerade with a couple of dashing numbers, that take their station from Deep Purple and show that there is considerable weight behind my argument of this being a sound, high quality release. The second of the pairing, being 'Rolling' has an FM feel stretching towards Captive Heart, a touch harder maybe, but show Badhoven as capable of writing some genuine nerve twitching for your brain to accommodate.

Be warned this is not just a straight ahead motorway (or should I say autobahn) with no derivations from standard rock tunes. 'Wasted Time' and 'Girl Like You' displays a lot of tight corners, crossroads and junctions to negotiate. 'Girl Like You' has some lovely pop textures which seemed to be inspired by Don Henley's 'Boys Of Summer' and snippets of Mr Mister, but added with sprightly guitar solo which make it the standout track by a country mile. This revitalised AOR continues with the title track that has another golden centre of pure honey. Magnificent, seductive in its smoothness, while softly spoken, creeping melodicness.

Yes, they do take the odd wrong turn, like on 'Money' which they mix a keyboard riff which dates back to Men Without Hats only to be partially saved by some crunching guitar riff as they then started playing in the hi-tech AOR backyard. As with 'Rockin Old Radio' which is a fast paced acoustic with harmonica, and conveniently the shortest track on offer, I am not keen of these rock 'n' roll romps.

With 'I Am' they manage to come across similar to the great Italian band Elektradrive, it's very much a happy sounding song, uplifting lyrics and an incredibly well put together tune, it can seem remarkably easy sometimes. 'Dying For That Miracle' is surprisingly the first ballad we come across, again a credible chorus, and similar to say Danger Danger, Tall Stories and Blue Tears when they take the foot of the gas. Classic laid back AOR is continued with 'Movie Of My Life', where you can take your pick, either it's a Def Leppard or Diving For Pearls riff, and even finishes off with some Jimmy Barnes bagpipes.

The Deep Purple return on 'Spirit Of The Lake', with a moody Europe style, and a good classic rock tune prevails. We end well with 'Let Yourself Be Beautiful' and the piano aspect of this song really helps. It's an upbeat tune which has more of a Simple Minds feel especially with the jangling guitars during the chorus, concluding a fine display to leave a dozen of tasty and well cooked songs in the (Badh)oven.


In Summary
I can only wonder why this album sat sitting in those CD racks in Wales for so long without being picked up? Because many of the songs have a permanent presence in my music banks. It may be due to the cover, which I like very much, but may have given an image of a power metal or black metal band, especially with the red piercing eyes coming from the composer. Whatever the reason I am more than happy that I finally got to pick this one up. Very fresh sounding tunes, a melodic encounter you will want to revisit on a number of occasions.


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Comments
#1 | swazi on June 10 2012 22:06:15
I am quite surprised that there are no other comments yet. I did get "Believe" already a while ago and I can report that it is also a very good release.
 
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