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MASS – ‘Still Chained’ – Review

Released by: Pride & Joy Music

Release Date: Out Now!

Genre: Hard Rock / Melodic Rock

Links:  www.mass-rock.com

Album Line-up:

Günther V. Radny (bass)
Matthias “Wauxl” Pfaller (vocals)
Hannes Heid (guitars)
Andy Gmeinwieser (drums)
Clemens Matejka (organ)

Tracklist:

1. Back To The Music
2. Straight To Hell
3. Break Out
4. Kick Your Ass
5. Chained
6. Devil’s Gate
7. Restless
8. Dark Night
9. Shoot Out
10. Cry It Out
11. Born To Lose
12. Time Runs Out
13. War Law
14. It Is Done
15. We Are Back

On first listen you might be fooled into thinking this could well be a NWOCR act, however this international band actually formed back in 1973 in Regensburg, Southern Germany and also featured members hailing from Switzerland and the USA. Although not to be confused with the American hard rock band of the same name, Mass recorded 8 albums over a 13 year period, sold over 200,000 records and at the peak of their career were voted fourth best German rock band by readers of a well-known German hard rock magazine, just behind The Scorpions, Accept and Warlock. At the height of their fame, like many others at the time, the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle took its toll and Mass split up in 1987.

Some years later, four of their eight albums were successfully re-released on the SPV label – it was then that bassist Gunther V. Radny started to think about resurrecting the band. Sadly with many of the original members suffering ill health, he knew it was time to bring in some fresh blood and in 2017 he recruited vocalist Matthias “Wauxl” Pfaller, Hannes Heid on guitar, drummer Andy Gmeinwieser, with the addition of organist Clemens Matejka, a sound Radny had been keen to use in his music for some time. The Hammond tones are prolific throughout the album which is a strong hint to the era of their original formation, reminiscent of early Deep Purple and Uriah Heep.

For a comeback that fans have waited over 30 years for, it must be noted that this album is in fact a compilation of re-worked tracks from previous albums, with the exception of the two new tracks, “Restless” and “We Are Back”. The album gallops off to a thunderous start with “Back To The Music” which features a ripping guitar solo that solidifies the announcement that they are definitely back! Swiftly followed by a muscular drum beat and some fierce shredding in “Straight To Hell”, the album continues at a fast pace into “Break Out” and “Kick Your Ass” which are delivered with immense energy and vigour. A throbbing bassline ensues for “Chained” with a simple chorus and some impressive guitar work from Heid. “Dark Night” is given an AOR makeover with a catchy sing-along chorus, while “Cry It Out” and “War Law” take the band into Saxon territory with Pfaller resembling a growling Biff Byford.

These re-recordings are substantial enough that hardcore fans of the band shouldn’t be disappointed with the new life that’s been delivered to them and for anyone not familiar with Mass, they should also enjoy these hard rocking, kick ass classic tracks dispatched with passion and new enthusiasm.    
      
     

Ratings: 7/10

Written by: Caroline Blood

My Global Mind – Contributor

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