Mad Max- Another Night of Passion

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Germany’s had its fair share of heavy metal groups, though quite a few of them have become cult bands rather than a worldwide phenomenon. Mad Max fell into the former category, as while the heavy metal/hard rock seemed ready to take over record label issues kept that from happening and led to their breakup in 1989. Ten years later the band returned and began regularly releasing albums, including this year’s Another Night of Passion. But this time around the lineup has returned to its 1987 form and the songs attempt to recapture the energy they showcased in the 80s. There are a few missteps, but as a whole this is a catchy album that’s better than you might expect.

Mad Max put what is easily their fastest song right at the beginning (“Rocklahoma”), ensuring that things start off with a bang. As some of you may have been able to guess from the album’s title, Another Night of Passion attempts to recapture the energy and songwriting prowess of 1987’s Night of Passion while utilizing modern production values. For the most part, the instrumentalists have been able to succeed as there are plenty of times where the guitar work really shines and is sure to captivate old-school fans and newcomers. But the second half of the album doesn’t manage to keep up with the first, as it is this point that much of the material goes for slower territory and some of the catchiness is lost in the process. For a release that starts off in your face, it’s a bit disappointing that it ends with a melodic solo that slowly fades out to a whimper.

Lead singer Michael Voss still sounds great, even after all these years. His voice has gotten a bit deeper over time, but I certainly wouldn’t expect him to sound exactly the same as he did over twenty years ago. Voss is still capable of some higher pitches and he does head into the upper registers on quite a few of the songs, but there are also plenty of moments where he stays at a lower range. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does leave a couple of the tracks leaving a bit flat as he stays at the mid-ranges for their entirety. Perhaps this is just my personal preference, but I really love when Voss is at his highest pitch and would love if he put even more emphasis on it.

Another Night of Passion has some incredible songs mixed in with some average ones, but the overall effort is strong enough to warrant a recommendation for old and new listeners. The fact that Mad Max can still perform with this level of energy and ability is impressive, but a few more numbers that upped the tempo would have kept the second half from slumping. It may not match some of the group’s accomplishments from early in their career, but at this point fans should be happy that Mad Max is still capable of putting out good material and hasn’t become a parody of themselves.

Full Disclosure: Review copy provided by Freeman Promotions

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