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Review Dreams of Sanity "Masquerade" the Album That Is Based off of the Phantom of the Opera

Updated on March 25, 2023
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Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

Why Is Dreams of Sanity's Masquerade a Significant Gothic Metal Release?

Austrian Gothic metal band Dreams of Sanity started their career in great fashion with their debut album Komodia. Their second studio album called Masquerade released in 1999 is different and for an interesting reason. The album is based off of the famous opera called The Phantom of the Opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Martina Hornbacher is no longer with the band to assist Sandra with the vocals but that makes little difference as Sandra shows that she can handle the vocal duties herself and make it count. In a case such as this, we could classify Dreams of Sanity as a Gothic metal band or we could use the simple classification of heavy metal. Either one of these classifications could work for this album.

The Front Album Cover for Masquerade


The Motivation for This Album Review of Masquerade

Where did the motivation to review this second studio album come from? When you are at a point in your life that you know that you have to redeem yourself because your behavior throughout the past two months has not been good enough for your standards, music can help you gain a different perspective on life. Austria may not be a heavy metal hotbed but I will admit, Sandra Schleret has a beautiful voice and even looks beautiful so that is another reason to give this band a chance even though they have disbanded years ago.

"The Phantom of the Opera"

Analyzing Masquerade Acts 1 and 2

Masquerade Act 1 features some pretty ancient lyrics that deal with monsters that need to be vanquished before they cause trouble. There is a reference to ghosts in this album. There is a rhythmic part that sounds like something American progressive metal band Kamelot used in their album called Eternity. The next song called Masquerade Act 2 sounds like something that symphonic power metal band Edenbridge would use on their first album. The song is about two lovers that depart on a journey. The charm of good luck seems to have fallen on the man’s face. Where are they going to go to? The rivers known as Styx or Hades cannot hurt their resolve to succeed. Those two rivers are rivers mentioned in Greek mythology. The masquerade parts are separated into four separate songs and one called Interlude. Interlude starts with acoustic guitar that is clear and crisp. That would make the Gipsy Kings proud! The song is about someone that is eager to sing throughout the night when she closes her eyes and shields her mind from the negative thoughts and influences of the outside world.

The Part Before The Phantom of the Opera Called Opera (Amazing!)

Masquerade Acts 3 and 4 and Within (The Dragon)

Masquerade Act 3 shows once again the power of Sandra’s vocals especially in that first line where she sings: “I close my eyes and wonder: where is this man?” It is narrative account between the characters Christine and Eric. The final part of this series Masquerade Act 4 has piano and acoustic guitar that is slow at first but it speeds up slightly as Sandra’s voice dominates. Within (The Dragon) may have Sandra’s best vocal performance as she makes an effective switch from her soothing power to the operatic vocals. She then uses operatic vocals that are spread out in short bursts and this shows her range! The song is about a powerful dragon that stands tall until dawn comes so he can fly to his next destination.

"Masquerade Act 2"

Masquerade the Review Part 3: Lost Paradise 99 and The Maiden and the River

The Maiden and the River starts with some sitar before getting into Gothic metal. Lost Paradise 99’ in terms of the riffing and guitar style sounds like hard rock singer and band Bob Catley. The song is about someone that remembers the paradise that is now long gone. As winter has come and the darkness has come upon the land, she is filled with sorrow and hate. As an album Masquerade is the weakest of the three albums that Dreams of Sanity composed but it is still a good one to turn to when you need to hear creative Gothic metal.

"Masquerade Act 3"

© 2017 Ara Vahanian


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