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Mad Max - 'Another Night Of Passion' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/47/0b/08/2178_MadMaxAnotherNightofpassioncover_1336665405.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     May 10, 2012    
 
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A massive step in the right direction.

Wow, is it really 30 years since Mad Max’s debut was released, way back in 1982 at the height of the NWOBHM revolution? Seems an age, although vocalist/guitarist Michael Voss was only 17 years old when ‘Mad Max’ was released. However, it wasn’t until the fourth album, 1987’s ‘Night of Passion’, that the commercial viability of the band was recognised by those in the industry, and the stage was set for Mad Max to conquer the USA as Europe’s answer to Dokken. Unfortunately, record company politics and brinkmanship soon put paid to that idea, leaving the band frustrated, angry and soon after, splitting up. ‘Burning the Stage’ indeed! Michael Voss took a detour through Casanova, Silver and Demon Drive before resurfacing in 1999 with an abortive Mad Max relaunch which quickly petered into nothing. It wasn’t until 2006 that all the members from ‘Night of Passion’ finally got it together to release a string of, if I’m being brutally honest, underwhelming albums. Not bad, per se, just not in the same league as that 1987 mini masterpiece. I guess the band must have agreed, as on the 25th anniversary, they have released what they claim to be the logical successor – ‘Another Night of Passion’.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Good points? The band have certainly rediscovered riff-based rock, the cool Scorpions vibe of opener ‘Rocklahoma’ setting their stall out right from the off, the 80s Leppard flavoured ‘You Decide’ and the heads down rocking ‘Black Swan’ (this album’s ‘Dive Through the Sky’, and in my opinion should have been album opener) adding colour to the palette. Down side? The songs, in general, are not as memorable as the original ‘NoP’. ‘Metal Edge is brooding … some may say plodding, with the ‘Jukebox Hero’ steal on the verses, while ‘Back Alive’ and ‘The Chant’ towards the album’s end simply scream ‘filler’, lacking either hook or melody. ‘Welcome to Rock Bottom’ also drags a little, and with poor English lyrics such as “My mind be forever free”, is at times cringing. Thankfully we have the haunting and evocative ‘Fallen From Grace’, with its classic Bonfire meets Dokken feel, to help distract us from such failings. Lyrics by one Don Dokken, strangely enough.

Then just to ram the comparison to the 1987 release home once more, last song is a Sweet cover, here ‘Fever of Love’ mirroring the original’s ‘Fox on the Run’, and a very fine version it is too! The last track, ‘True Blue’, is a short instrumental, dedicated to the memories of Gary Moore and Steve Lee. A nice sentiment, and a relaxing way to end the album.

In summary then, a massive step in the right direction, revisiting the hard rocking melodic metal of the 80s with an up-to-date production and embracing the riff and catchy choruses. But will we be talking about this album 25 years from now? Hmmmm, I very much doubt it.

Bruce Mee

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