Thousand Foot Krutch shows admirable ambition on Welcome to the Masquerade, deftly juggling metal, pop, rap and post-grunge. The trio mostly succeeds in making it all appealing, and the album’s sound is ultimately more inventive than derivative—this is not just another mainstream-aping Christian rock band.
The clean cohesion and pop sensibility owe much to producer Aaron Sprinkle (of Poor Old Lu fame), who impressively keeps all the sonic plates spinning. “Fire It Up” fades in as if from a nimbus cloud, then grabs the listener with jagged guitar riffs and a half-spoken, half-shouted refrain. (Listen for the guitar solo by Pete Stewart of Gramma train.)