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German AOR stalwarts Mad Max return for their 12th studio album, 'Interceptor', which sees the original and classic line-up of Michael Voss (vocals, lead guitar), Jurgen Breforth (guitar), Roland Bergman (bass) and Axel Kruse (drums) continue their recent reunion (after 2012s 'Another Night Of Passion') to deliver another dose of late 80s style melodic rock.
A broad sweeping statement says all original line-ups are the best but my experience tells me that more often than not it's the second incarnation of a band that produces the greatest work but that is a discussion for another time or some forum somewhere for people who have too much time. Or the pub. But I digress…
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I happened to catch Michael Voss singing for Michael Schenker's band at High Voltage a few years ago and he did a fine job, especially on the Scorpions' 'Rock You Like A Hurricane' and I suppose it's a lazy comparison due to the whole German thing but he does remind me a lot of Klaus Meine in his tone and delivery.
He also occupies the producer's chair (presumably having put his towel on it in the wee small hours - groan, I'm sorry!) and the record sounds clean and pristine yet gritty and powerful in all the right places.
What we get then are 10 tracks of well crafted melodic rock done to maximum efficiency with a good number of earworms that will burrow in and leave their little eggs in your head.
Highlights for me were opener 'Save Me' that starts haunting and ends rocking. 'Godzilla' veers dangerously close to Steel Panther with it's comedy "monster" noises but is redeemed with a monster of a riff. 'Rock All Your Life' has a great Leppard style chorus and 'Bring On The Night' is a prescription for a hair of the dog to keep the party going.
'Revolution' features some cool trading guitar solos and a stonking down tuned riff and album closer 'Turn It Down' comes across as a heavy Sweet. In a good way!
Mad Max aren't exactly cracking new ground but if it ain't broke don't fix it. Hey, it's never done AC/DC any harm and it certainly won't disappoint fans of the band!
A handful of dates in Germany are booked in for November but nothing else for the rest of Europe or the UK which is a shame for fans of good quality polished melodic rock. Now if only they could get on the soundtrack to the forthcoming Tom Hardy remake of the classic Mad Max movie we could hear and see a lot more!
'Interceptor' is OUT NOW in Europe and November 5th in USA/Canada.
03.Sons Of Anarchy
04.Rock All Your Life
05.Five Minute Warning
06.Bring On The Night
07.Streets Of Tokyo
08.Show No Mercy
10.Turn It Down
LIVE 2013 with Vengeance:
06.11. D-Hamburg - Ballroom / R 'n' R Warehouse
07.11. D-Osnabrück - Bastard Club
08.11. CH-Pratteln - Rock Power Festival
09.11. NL-Tilburg - Cafe Extase
10.11. D-Frankfurt - Zoom
11.11. D-Nürnberg - Rockfabrik
12.11. D-Augsburg - Spectrum Club
13.11. D-Essen - Turock