Friday, October 25, 2013

Mad Max-Interceptor


For those of you out there who are not in the know Mad Max, named after one of the greatest "dystopian future" films of all time with Mel Gibson of course playing the title character, Mad Max) , is a German heavy metal band that first came together back in 1981. One year later the group released their full-length debut, "Heavy Metal", and they were originally active between 1981-1989 before taking a 10 year break. By my count this is album number 11 for this Münster, North Rhine-Westphalia band. Now, I actually have the group's first 4 albums on CD and I love each and everyone of them for different reasons. Still, after the group's 4th full-length album, 1987's "Night Of Passion", I lost touch with Mad Max so their more "modern" albums and "modern" sound was a mystery to me as I went to listen to "Interceptor". Up front though I've just got to say how can you not love a band that names itself after one of the coolest cult films of all time, but also names it's new album after Max's own police cruiser! Awesome. Of course the beat-up beast of a truck that is featured in the album art above doesn't look like Max's sweet police cruiser, but that's neither here nor there. On album number eleven it's vocalist/lead guitarist Michael Voss (Wolfpakk, Silver, Demon Drive, Casanova and Bonfire) doing the high-speed pursuit/reckless driving and even after something like 30 years in the business, which is a long time for any band folks, he still sounds pretty freaking good! In fact it's his lead vocals and lead guitar solos that are the highlights of "Interceptor".  The thing is, music-wise at least, the album seems to lack a central theme as it goes from nearly AOR material like "Rock All Your Life" to more "heavier" hard rock moments like "Godzilla" (no, it's not a cover of the B.O.C. classic). That translates into an album that is a bit hit or miss. The opening number, "Save Me", is a surprisingly effective take of groove-heavy rock and features some earthy guitar tones that start things off in grand fashion. The down-side is that from there (or rather after the second cut, "Godzilla", which again is fairly cool) it ends up as one of those albums were it goes up, down, up and down. Still, the positives (including a neat cover of  The Sweet's "Turn It Down" and a heaver, no keys allowed, re-working of the band's rare cut "Show No Mercy") do seem to out weigh the negatives though so that's a check in the positive column. Overall I'm glad that I gave Mad Max a chance with their new music. Is it as good as their early material? In my opinion no. But it's still an album I'd recommend to fans of the group. It might not be as good as it's predecessors and it might come off as a tad uninspired at points, but it's still a solid enough addition to any one's hard rock collection.

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