Alexia Rodriguez has been enlightened: according to the press release, making music’s not just about pleasing record label honchos, or anyone else, it’s about doing what they want. No more masks, maaan, just rocking post-hardcore, select screamo blasts with a metallic edge.
It’s little surprise, then, that thematically Masks is set firmly to ‘pained’, notions of wounded hearts and dreams prevailing across its 13 tracks. True Colors seems to be a slice of pure screamo evil before melodic guitars and emotive howls weave in. Lost And Forgotten hauls Alexia’s vocals out of the underground into more commercial realms (in a good way) and while ESTK hardly gravitate from the same minor key, there’s enough passion to render them a sound live prospect.
Bouncier, almost pop-rock touches in the likes of Infected will put off hardcore heavies, and while holding back on excessive technicality results in slicker tunes, another lead instrumental flourish or two would have lent some colour. A decent affair, but it lacks lasting magic.