For those who need a break from time to time from the instrumental guitar hero shred fests that Alex Masi regularly has recorded in his career, look no further than this little gem that he released back in 1988, just now released by Lion Music. Using his last name as the moniker for the band, Masi and his co-horts put together a crunchy fest of commercial, 80's metal, that has as much hooks as it does lethal guitar licks.
Alex sure had a penchant for starting off his albums with killer tunes. "God Promised a Paradise" has MTV Headbangers Ball written all over it. Featuring a strong sing-along chorus performed by singer Dave Felolt (who sounds like a more macho Rob Rock) and loads of whammy bar guitar theatrics, this is 1988 cheesey yet cool metal in all its glory. Masi does the Van Halen/Lynch thing quite well here, as opposed to the more neo-classical style he favors on his solo releases. In fact, his style here more closely resembles a mix of Vito Bratta from White Lion and Zakk Wylde, utilizing metallic chords, whammy bar, and harmonic squeals. Sure, there are a few generic metal romps here, like the cliche "Movin On", or the Scorpions influenced "Undercover (Rock and Roll Lover)", but for the most part this is well intentioned and fun to listen to. There is even a ripping instrumental titled "Foggy Dity in Hollywood" and the obligatory power ballad "Hangin' On", which actually is one of the stronger songs on the CD. For an all-out metal attack with a touch of Van Halen, you can't go wrong with "Hellraiser", which contains some of Masi's best guitar work on the CD.
The lyrics for the most part are pretty bad, but really, none of us expected to be mentally stimulated much from the metal community in the 80's, save for a handful of bands like Metallica or Iron Maiden. Masi and the boys put out a respectable effort here, that in actuality is probably better than many of the bands who sold millions of albums back in the late 80's.