Madam X - 'Monstrocity'

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Madam X - 'Monstrocity'

A sleazy Metal gem that deserves to be heard.

After a single album in 1984, Madam X fell apart in 1988 after recruiting a cocky young singer called Sebastian Bach (who never recorded with them) and they all went their separate ways. That is until now, obviously, as the original line-up has reformed and that includes sister act Maxine and Roxy Petrucci (guitar and drums respectively) and original vocalist Bret Kaiser.

Sensibly, Madam X have been careful not to just release a thinly veiled copy of their original release. What they have done is keep the energy and vibe they had in 1984 but remove some of the cheese (and there was plenty) and replace it with steel.

Although the band have redone their best-known song 'High In High School' here (not sure why, but it's still a good song), the rest of the album is heavier and more intense. The sense of fun, of telling the world how all we wanted was to rock (yeah!), is hidden behind some pretty kick-ass Metal tunes. It's still there, don't get me wrong, but it's no longer sat on the surface sticking its tongue out at you.

Opener 'Resurrection' really sets the tone for the record nicely, it's an in-your-face track that has a definite eighties feel to it but doesn't sound too dated. What's evident is that Madam X can still deliver the goods, with big riffs, pounding drums and very tight vocals from Kaiser, who can still scream like a Metal God when he has to. To be honest, it's pretty much like a Judas Priest track in a cool way. It's a high benchmark for the rest of the album, and whilst the quality doesn't continue at this high level throughout, there's not a duff offering in sight.

There's no reason why 'Monstrocity' shouldn't appeal to old fans and make new ones along the way, as against the odds it's something Madam X can be proud of. This isn't an old band trading on former glory, it's an old band coming back and making great music that celebrates their legacy without simply trading on it. Better than the debut, and better than it had any right to be, 'Monstrocity' is a sleazy Metal gem that deserves to be heard.

Alan Holloway

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