Amazing album, now even better!
Justin Gaines | Northern Virginia | 10/18/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I had originally written off Lizzy Borden as not being worth my time, largely due to Lizzy's over-the-top image and theatrics. A friend tried to get me interested in the band's early albums a few years back, but it just wasn't working for me. Then one day I ran across a copy of Master of Disguise for $1.99 and figured I'd give it a try. I couldn't believe what I was hearing! This was no poor man's KISS or Twisted Sister reject; this was a serious metal album!
Master of Disguise is traditional metal with a power metal edge and the sophistication of progressive metal. It wasn't quite a concept album, but I kept thinking of Queensryche's Operation: Mindcrime as I listened to it. Not that it sounds like Queensryche, or that it is as influential as Mindcrime; it just had that same aura of maturity and intelligence that was relatively lacking in most other 1989 metal albums.
I could see this album appealing to a variety of metal fans. Fans of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and other traditional metal bands will enjoy the album's classic metal sound. Fans of Queensryche, Fates Warning, and other progressive metal bands will enjoy the intelligent lyrics and symphonic arrangements; though I should point out that Lizzy's band doesn't have the technical prowess that most prog bands have. Power metal fans should enjoy all of the above.
The 2007 reissue of Master of Disguise is a real treat. The main attraction is that the album has been given a much needed digital remastering that brings the sound quality to a level with most of today's releases. You also get a pair of bonus tracks - a spooky slow tune called Vampire's Kiss and a brief orchestral postlude called (appropriately enough) The Orchestra, which serves as a fitting end to this ambitious album. The reissue also includes a "Making of Master of Disguise" DVD with videos, live performances, and tons of behind the scenes footage. Contrary to what a previous reviewer has stated, there are more than enough reasons to buy this reissue, even if you already have the album on CD. The remastering alone made me bump my rating of this album from 4 stars to 5."
Kuds to Lizzy
8daysawk | New York, NY United States | 10/16/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I can't believe it's been 20 years already. "Master of Disguise" is a downright great studio recording. Solid songwriting, strong musical performances and powerful, emotional vocals. Lizzy always had an unique voice but it seems to have found a comfortable niche with these songs. Not really a bad song here at all.
Re-mastering the original analog recording didn't do much for the production of the CD aside from leveling out some tracks - overall the sonic quality hasn't changed much. The production of the vinyl LP was top notch to begin with. The real gem here is the extra DVD. Most bands would have slimmed on this, but Lizzy Borden pulled out a full 60min of home movies cataloging the whole process from recording, filming the videos, live tour rehearsals and live footage in the US & Europe. Seeing the recording of the orchestral pieces is interesting as you get to hear them by themselves without the rock band. Some are downright creepy sounding. And the inclusion of the rarely shown promo videos for "Love is a Crime" and "One of Us" are a nice addition.
Lots of bands should re-master their catalog's like this more often. Kudos to Lizzy and Metal Blade. A solid A+."