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catchy 80's metal!!! - 84%

dragons_secrets, September 26th, 2003

This album is the second Masi album from 1988. What is offered here is 11 tracks of catchy hook oriented AOR/80's metal, made even more intense my Alex Masi's bombastic and energetic guitarwork...and of course his shredderiffic soloing. Most of the album is mid paced in nature, with only one track (Hellraiser) that is all out speed metal mayhem that sounds kinda like the Ozzy song "Secret Loser" (from his "Ultimate Sin" album, which consequntly sounds similar to a few songs here at points). The rest of the album (barring a song or two that are more bombastic) is slower, occasionally bluesy, metal that sounds similar to Testament's album "The Ritual". The vocals of David Fefolt are of the mid range style, (thats right, no high pitched cheese at all!) he kinda sounds like a cross between David Coverdale and Jeff Scott Soto.
The production here is in the 80's metal format. A "big" sounding snaredrum, and the in-your-face guitar bombast is in the forefront. Combine with that excellent songwriting and driving basswork and what we have is an output that is really very good. "God Promised a Paradise" is probably the best song here (and the reason I purchased this record after seeing the video for this song) and is one that gets stuck in your head the easiest. This is due to the (over) repeating of the chorus, in a sentence..Alex's unique and very cool way of playing drives the song while the chorus pulls you in.
"Thunder And Lightning"..oh my..here we move on to a slower bluesier track that sounds like it could be used as a song for a stripper to dance to. No kidding. Its not overtly cheesy like a Whitesnake song, it actually has more crunchy and metallic moments and especially contains some great leads similar sounding to that of Testament's Alex Skolnick (in particular on the song "Return to Serenity" )(If you've heard that song...you know what this songs sounds like)
"Movin' On" is an energetic "arena" sounding number. It *doesn't* have a "hair" metal feel though ; ) A simple bass line and dazzling guitar harmonics drive the song while the infectious chorus makes it the most interesting. "Undercover (Rock N Roll Lover)"..dont let the name fool you, this song's not bad at all. Granted, if you take out this song's catchy as hell chrous then all you'd have is Alex Masi shredding and wailing like the bad mo-fo that he is! Eh, ..guitar effects are here in big way here.
"Hangin' On" is the obligitory power ballad. It starts with clean guitar and some great singing and most of all transcendental guitarwork.. Here is where we make our Yngwie Malmsteen comparisons, kiddies! Take any Yngwie ballad and add more masculine vocals and you have this! Oh yeah, and make the soloing more intense and listenable to! Other than that this song isn't far removed from sounding like an Ozzy ballad either...(heard Time After Time or Road to Nowhere?) "Foggy Day In Hollywood"...guitar virtouso worshippers rejoice!!! This is an instrumental of shredderific proportions with the breakdown of INTENSE (and downright passionate and "sexy" sounding) slower guitar wailing. Then it speeds back up....to 200 MPH!!!!
I wont go into the rest of the songs....I'll leave that up to interested parties!

In conclusion, if you are into guitar virtuosos (like George Lynch, Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen) then this album would make you quite the happy camper. Other than that, soundwise on a whole, if you like bands like Ozzy Osbourne or Dokken, or even Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force, then I think you'd enjoy this. Thats right, this is pure 80's metal with better than good songwriting!