Saturday, February 9, 2013

MASS - VOICES IN THE NIGHT Retroactive Reissue

Mass is one of those bands like Y&T or Armored Saint, where everything is there; the talent, the songs, the work ethic; however main stream success just seems to elude them. In 1989 Michael Sweet of Stryper came on board to help produce Voices in The Night. The result was a stellar masterpiece of melodic 80’s heavy metal.

Retroactive Records has re-mastered and re-released this piece of classic metal history. Michael Sweet definitely seemed to add some punch in the producers chair as the presentation is straight ahead with plenty of vocal harmonies and several guitar harmonies. The songs themselves are extremely hook laden and will have you humming along (or singing along if you’re adventurous!).

Tracks like Reach For the Sky, Turn it All Around and the title cut brim with serious melodic appeal without going all syrupy and weak. They rock and bring some full on depth of song writing. Even the ballad Chance to Love avoids the syrup trap; this is the type of ballad that Stryper should’ve been writing (sorry I never was a fan of Stryper’s ballads).

I remember hearing this album back in 89 and really thought it was something special, but it seemed to get lost in the proverbial shuffle. Thankfully Retroactive brings this release back to the mainstream and they even add two bonus tracks! Still Of The Night and Stevie are added, one track was the bonus added to the original CD (the cassette didn’t have it) the other track was the Japan bonus track.

Lyrically Mass (short for Massachusetts their home state) are a clean and positive act. They shouldn’t be confused with a Christian rock band, but I will say that many of their lyrics I found could be interpreted that way. I suppose their association with Michael Sweet lends one to think they must be a Christian band. I found nothing remotely objectionable, in the liner notes this quote exists, “Mass – Music composed to unite the masses and arranged to inspire the individual.” Very appropriate.

Mass executes a solid hard rock attack that any fan of TNT, Stryper or Dokken. This re-issue benefits from the expertise of mastering guru J Powell at Steinhaus. His ear and velvet touch has brought out the best in many releases through the years and this album is no exception. Solid and clear with plenty of punch and drive, grab this album and rock yourself into a virtual euphoria. Hearing this album again has done it for me and I’m spinning a 9 axe review here.

9 axes
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