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Mad Max: Another Night Of Passion

More of a cult act than a household name, Mad Max recorded four albums in the five years between 1982 and 1987 that varied from good to excellent, before record company politics scuppered their attempt to break the US market, causing the band to split. The Max's best album, 87's Night Of Passion, was also their farewell and while Mad Max have with an altered line-up released a further three albums after reforming in 2000, it is the original band members of Michael Voss (vocals/guitars), Jurgen Breforth (guitars), Axel Kruse (drums) and Roland Bergmann (bass) who have reconvened to record Another Night Of Passion.

With the new album title taking such an obvious lead from that '87 release, Mad Max are making no apologies for Another Night Of Passion directly linking in sound, approach and attitude with its fourteen year old brother - something the band's fans will be more than happy about. Unlike many of the acts from the time, Mad Max never bothered with the usual sloppy ballads in the vain hope of courting brief chart success, instead hitting home with a mixture of European Hard Rock, US Sleaze 'n' Roll and the US Melodic Hard Rock of the likes of Dokken.

Another Night Of Passion wastes little time in confirming that The Max are back and with a familiar, although unashamedly up to date, retro sound. "Rocklahoma" (there's plenty of clichéd song titles on display), kicks the album off in upbeat style, with staccato riffs and howling guitar squeals ala Mick Mars and Girls, Girls, Girls era Motley Crue, showing Michael Voss to be on top form as both lead guitarist and singer, with the drum work of Kruse nailing everything down firmly. From there, late 80's and early 90's Rock is covered in grand style with the Heavy Party Rock of "40 Rock", the razor sharp riff of "Black Swan" and the Tyketto meets Accept of "The Chant" making for a great mix of styles that while feeling similar, do offer vividly different takes on the Mad Max sound. Add to that the overtly Under Lock And Key era Dokken influenced - right down to the moody intro, the irresistible harmony backing vocals and the Don Dokkenesque phrasings - "Fallen From Grace" and Mad Max really have pulled out the stops to illustrate why they could have cleaned up big time had they got their "shot" at US super stardom.

Having said that not quite everything hits home with the same long lasting consistency, with "Back And Alive" feeling just a little too generic, while the cover of The Sweet's "Fever Of Love", while being great fun, is so true to the original that I'm really not sure what purpose this version serves. These really are the only two low points, which to be fair on a lesser album would have sounded just fine and in the grand scheme of things eight cracking tracks out of ten ain't exactly a bad strike rate.

It's great to see and hear the proper Mad Max back in business and with Another Night Of Passion they have proved to be an outfit that still has a lot to say that is well worth hearing.

The digipak version of Another Night Of Passion also comes armed with a bonus "Live Bootleg" CD, which I haven't heard, but it will definitely be that version of this album that I invest in!

Track Listing
1. Rocklahoma
2. 40 Rock
3. Metal Edge
4. You Decide
5. Welcome To Rock Bottom
6. Fallen From Grace
7. Black Swan
8. Back And Alive
9. The Chant
10. Fever Of Love
11. True Blue

Added: January 27th 2012
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Mad Max Official Website
Hits: 2586
Language: english

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