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Masks can be menacing when hiding a pro wrestler, mysterious when adorning a Mardi Gras reveler or sad when concealing the pain of everyday life.

It’s those invisible, but very real, masks that hide anxiety, fear, shame and guilt that the rock band Thousand Foot Krutch addresses in its new album "Welcome to the Masquerade."

Frontman Trevor McNevan explains that we all hide portions of ourselves from others — "things we don’t want other people to know we think or do."

However, the rocker from Canada hopes the new album reveals the truth about those masks.

"It’s OK; none of us are perfect," McNevan said. "… Let’s all love each other and get along."

Part of that loving is listening — especially when "the person feels like they have no one to pour their heart out to."

"A lot of time we just need each other to listen, we need to make ourselves available," McNevan said.

"We just need to get back to loving each other and loving who we are."

While the title track discusses the need to pull off the mask, other songs describe specific sources of pain — many based on accounts provided by fans who’ve opened up to the band about such topics as child abuse, cutting and thoughts of suicide.

"Each of the songs kind of represents the things that we hide behind our masks," McNevan said.

But the songs also point to a source of hope.

For example, "Outta Control" describes a hurt and confused teen, who calls out to God for help and comfort. And McNevan says the pounding "Bring Me To Life" describes the need to be revived when "you go through those phases where you feel like you’ve let things bog down."

"It’s a cry out to God, for sure," he said.

Despite the serious theme running through much of the album, TFK still knows how to have some fun. "The whole record’s not heavy topics," McNevan said. "There’s a lot of fun pedal-to-the-metal rock ’n’ roll."

First and foremost is the rousing "Fire It Up," which McNevan calls a super-hero-inspired rock song. The crunchy song has already been used during Versus’ Indy Car races, NASCAR racing on ESPN, the "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" movie trailer and EA Sports "NHL Hockey 10."

"It fits so perfectly, like a piece to the puzzle," McNevan said of "Fire It Up" and other tracks on "Masquerade.""I think because I love film and fusion of music and film and professional sports, there’s a lot of that on this record."

"Smack Down" takes a similar assertive, but fun, tone.

"We’re Christian guys and we like making music and having fun with it, too," McNevan said. "There’s nothing like having a high-energy rock song that has a positive message."

"Welcome to the Masquerade" covers a lot of ground — and covers it well. It tackles weighty topics with depth and intensity, but also dishes out plenty of fun in the form of "big, crunchy, adrenaline rock," as McNevan calls it.

On the Web: www.thousandfootkrutch.com

Today’s Praise focuses on the contemporary Christian music industry.

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