Thursday, September 30, 2010


Mass is one of those bands that have kicked around for years putting out some really outstanding melodic hard rock with a decidedly metal edge. Most fans of the band got their first taste with the Michael Sweet (Stryper) produced Voices in the Night, circa 1988 that was released on Enigma Records.

What most fans of Mass don’t realize is that they had actually recorded a full length album in 1982 for A&M Records that was NEVER released! That is until now, courtesy of Retroactive Records and the band themselves the first ever release of Fighter.

Produced by Tom Allom of Judas Priest fame, this album has a bit more live feel to it. The fact that it doesn’t feel ‘perfect’ only adds to the appeal for me, as many of the later 80’s artists continued to shoot for ‘perfect’(almost to a sterile quality devoid of feel) here is a glimpse of what Mass undoubtedly sounded like in a live setting.

Four of the songs ended up on Mass’s 1985 album for RCA entitled New Birth. The tracks of note are Too Far Gone, Voyager, Do You Love Me, and Watch Her Walk. I’m sure many fans will want to compare the differences between the two versions.

All the Mass trademarks are here, from their razor sharp guitar tones, strong melodic chorus’s, vocal harmonies, and their penchant for writing stellar hooks.

The production is probably the only thing that ‘dates’ this release, not with poor sounding tones, but with the ‘large’ reverb type sound. However on the flip side that does add to the live feel. Bad Man’s Reputation is one of my favorite tracks here and it rocks! I can almost imagine the band playing right in front of me due to this albums sound.

If you’re a fan of the bands earlier work or Stryper, Liberty n Justice you will want to get this album. Just imagine if say Stryper had recorded a complete album for a major label and it was vaulted for over 20 years, well that is what you have here.

Fighter is a solid release that will leave fans old and new very pleased and wondering why this wasn’t released sooner.

7 axes

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