Returning with their notable comeback album in 2007 Crack of Dawn on Escape Music, Massachusetts based Mass rose from American rock obscurity. Formed in 1980, this fine band had a run in that decade, yet with little national attention. It's a shame really, but considering the mass (no pun intended) of other bands, mostly fomenting in southern California, it's not surprising. Mass always had genuine talent, and a solid 80's melodic hard rock sound. Their latest release, Sea of Black proves both these characteristics.
While delivering strong melodic rock, Mass mixes things up by often combining some acoustic measures making songs such as All the Years Gone and Coming Home more lively and entertaining. In the latter, there's some solid old school Hammond for texture. Then, with songs like Thru the Rain and Falling from Grace, Mass gives a them a heavier edge, yet with plenty of melody and huge hooks. In the midst of their surprisingly creative rock numbers, Mass can still pull off a smooth rock ballad, More than a Friend, and without sounding cheesy or syrupy. Finally, the title cut has a huge sound thanks to the vocal arrangements and the mesmerizing mix of melodic hard rock and metal. Big kudos go to Louis D' Augusta who has one of the best rock voices in the industry.
With Sea of Black I hope Mass will no longer muddle in relative obscurity. They are a fine talented band, and Sea of Black is a rich, diverse, and fresh platter of melodic hard rock. Don't pass this one by. Very recommended.