With several lengthy interruptions along the way, Germany's Mad Max has been slugging it out for more than 30 years. With Another Night of Passion, hinting to the 1987 album that was supposed to bust them out in the States, Mad Max show that they are in fine form.
This is essential melodic hard rock, sometimes nearing metal; the stuff that made the Eighties famous. Another Night of Passion boasts four guys keeping it true. Big songs with big hooks, melody, and ripping guitar solos, and no keyboards to be found. Oh yeah, no ballads either, although Fallen from Grace may qualify as a metal anthem. And the metal side reveals itself on the aptly titled Metal Edge. Black Swan, one of the finest songs here, blurs the lines with hints of power metal and melodic hard rock. But strong edgier rockers lead the charge here, with 40 Rock, Back and Alive, and Rocklahoma quite notable. The latter is an oddity: I find it humorous when a foreign band reference America and americana in a song. It makes me wonder it they've ever been. The album rounds out with the very pleasing instrumental, True Blue.
Honestly, with one spin, I was not overly impressed with Another Night of Passion and Mad Max, wanting to dismiss them as warmed over Eighties melodic metal. A listen or two later proves that, between strong musicianship and the simple maturity from time in this often thankless game, Mad Max delivers the goods. Recommended.