This one is the latter.
Formed by members from bands like Purplesnake, Athlantis, Mastercastle and Sadist, Italian heavy metal act Ruxt has the necessary background to be a solid player in the game. Their debut simply does not sound like a debut. Even more so, this sounds like the whole thing started way back in the late eighties and the nineties. With a strong hard rock and heavy metal sound, Ruxt are definitely ready to take on stages all over the world.
The songs are well-written, not too complex and often thrive on catchy choruses, reminding me of acts like Whitesnake or Dio. So yes, this sounds pretty old school, but still relevant and still well-able to entertain large audiences on rock and metal festivals. Other acts that often come to mind, include Led Zeppelin, Bon Jovi, Dokken, Foreigner, Gotthard and Black Sabbath, just to give you an idea of the quality delivered by these Italians.
Highlighting in songs like 'Scare My Demons', 'Where Eagles Fly' and 'Between The Lies', this is a long album, almost seventy minutes. However, like all good hard rock bands, Ruxt easily manage to keep things interesting. There is an excellent amount of variation between heavy rock anthems and emotional ballads, some of them perfectly capable of reaching billboards and charts everywhere.
In all, 'Behind The Masquerade' is an awesome piece of modern day hard rock, loyal to the old school but also looking forward. As a lifelong fan of quality music, I can only recommend this one to fans of all the bands I mentioned in this review. I'm sure that this album has something for every single one of you. I cannot imagine Ruxt disappointing, not on this album, not on stage. There is still hope for the world of hard rock, and its name it Ruxt!!!