STYLE: Hard Music RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 115015-18083 LABEL: Retroactive FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Peter John Willoughby
It is always amazing that master tapes can languish such a long time in storage and yet still remain intact. Back in the early days of hair metal, Mass were gaining a reputation as a melodic heavy metal act in their native Boston. Unfortunately, there was friction between their manager and A&M Records, which eventually led to protracted legal wrangling. Understandably A&M lost interest in the 1982 recordings and shelved the album. A few tracks were rerecorded and rearranged to appear on subsequent releases, but as the band did not have a copy of the original recordings it didn't see the light of day until 2010! Though I may want to deny my age, I have fond memories of the band and still like to crank out their 1989 album 'Voices In The Night'. So you have to remember that this was recorded at their inception and will not sound as polished. It was produced by Tom Allom (Judas Priest), who tried to capture their raw energetic performances. Opening with an overheated, uptempo tale of unrequited longing "She's got a style/She's got a way/You better listen to whatever she say/Driving me crazy/I don't want to fight/I just want to hold her and love her tonight". The guitar work is scorching and leaves plenty of space for at least one guitar solo in each song. Also there are power ballads in "Do You Love Me" and "Can You See It Again". But don't let that put you off as "Voyager" has muscular riffage to accompany the ship-bound journey to discover the edge of the world. Whereas "Fighter" is a full-throated bluesy rocker that transforms into a galloping romp, "'Cause I'm a fighter/Nobody's there by my side/A born tiger/Or is it just my foolish pride". Surprisingly for a release from this era there are few overt references to faith. Going back to the management dispute that could have easily destroyed the band, they vent their frustrations in "Bad Man's Reputation".
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