I’m gonna have to set up a Burnt Coffee Hall of Fame or something, because Egor Lappo is the first artist to appear on our site three times! After this premiere, he will have appeared on the site once for each year we’ve been active. This time is a little different, but I’ll explain that later after you’ve checked out his new single “The Mask of Kindness”:
So why is this time different? You may remember our site used to have a letter scoring system. I ditched it somewhat recently, as I felt it was too subjective and constraining. However, before I ditched the scores, Egor earned two B+’s for his 2019 album Azimuth and his 2020 EP Make the Sun Shine More. While I won’t be scoring his upcoming album Trancevoicer, if I had to, it would easily get an A! “The Mask of Kindness” is the first single off the upcoming album.
Previously, Egor had dabbled a bit with the dark wizardry of fusing prog with pop, but this new album sees him perfecting his craft. “The Mask of Kindness” is a strong example of this, as the song is equal parts catchy and enthralling. What I appreciate most about the song is its meticulous balance. The verses, while ultimately serving to build to the choruses, have their own alluring character. Egor makes use of cosmic atmospheric and surreal chord voicings to draw the listener in. He also makes masterful use of key changes, both between and during verses. A great example of this is the fourth verse, which is a darker variation on the dreamlike first verse.
Of course when I describe a song as catchy, it’s got to have a massive chorus. Egor delivers here, with a hook that would be best suited to shake the rafters of an intergalactic space arena. It’s also worth noting the massive improvement the man has made in his singing when compared to the first time I reviewed his music. Hell, Lappo even makes an inverted millennial whoop work here. That’s one of the many tricks in his bag, but my favorite is the glitchy repetition of the line “the mask of kindness falls” used to connect the second guitar solo and final chorus.
That’s right, this song has two guitar solos. Sure, prog + the phrase “guitar solo” pluralized may smell of danger, but that’s not the case here. The use of solos is not over gratuitous or pretentious. While Egor certainly has the chops to do blindly technical solos, he instead uses these solo spots to serve the song, focusing more on tone and inflection rather than fretboard gymnastics.
There’s a ton going on in “The Mask of Kindness”, but it all comes together nicely. It’s prog pop in the truest sense of both words. I hope you’ve enjoyed the early listen for this single, I truly can’t wait until you all can hear the rest of Egor’s new album Trancevoicer. Oh, did I mention this album will be a space prog rock opera?? Be sure to put this on your radar and prepare ships for hyperdrive – more great music coming soon!
“The Mask of Kindness” will be available everywhere on February 22nd. The song will appear on subsequent album Trancevoicer, which is out on March 19th via self-release.
Egor Lappo can be found on:
FFO: Devin Townsend, Ghost, Rush, Lonely Robot