Masquerade is the ninth Running Wild album from 1995. Masquerade marks the beginning of a conceptual trilogy for Running Wild, with a theme on good versus evil. Some versions of the album include a couple of bonus tracks taken from the band's early days, namely the ones that appeared on the reasonable well-known Death Metal split from 1984 that also featured Helloween, Hellhammer and Dark Avenger.
While Masquerade has always seemed to be quite a big step back from Black Hand Inn for me, this is still quite a strong release from the band. I find that Running Wild became a bit more modern sounding when it comes to producing power metal with this album, opposed to the distinctly old-school vibes that they'd maintained up until this point. There are several highlights, my personal favourite being Wheel of Doom closely followed by the title track or perhaps Lions of the Sea, but overall it's just another solid release from a band doing what they do best; neither a masterpiece like Black Hand Inn or Death or Glory, but overall more memorable than an album like Blazon Stone. 4 Stars.