German hard and heavy rockers Mad Max have been around the heavy metal block for better than three decades. But their first best success came at the start, in the heyday when the New Wave of British Heavy Metal was inspiring and spawning new bands all around the world. As a sort of throw back Thursday, Mad Max looks back to those glory days to release a "best of" album, Thunder Storm & Passion culling tunes from Rollin' Thunder, Stormchild, and Night of Passion.
So, technically this is not a "new" album. Now before you say, "That's pretty lame, why didn't they cut some new material?" Think just a minute. When's the last time you saw those three albums reissued or found them in the dusty bins of your local record store? Especially, you metalheads in America. It's not happening. I kind of recall having Rollin' Thunder, but those years are some what of a blur.
What Mad Max has done is re-recorded 12 songs, call them band and fan favorites. They did this with the original line up, yet it's not clear whether it was done with bass player Roland Bergmann in the fold, as he left the band in early 2015. Nevertheless, Thunder Storm & Passion is snapshot of not only classic Mad Max, but the music of that great era. This is what we were listening to back in the day and, dammit, it never gets old. It's melodic hard rock with a metal edge with twin guitar harmony, soaring leads, a driving steady rhythm section, clean harmonious vocals, and tons of catchy phrasing in arrangements and lyrics. That basically defines classic rock and heavy metal. And Mad Max was proficient at it, still are. Those heavy melodic rocker come with Rollin' Thunder, Burning The Stage, and the rushing Wait For The Night. Anthems arrive with Heroes Day Lonely and a generous bass line, Lonely Is The Hunter, and the AOR friendly Hearts On Fire. Then there's metal ballad, Thoughts Of A Dying Man. Yeah, a little creepy, but the guitar solos are pretty epic.
Thunder Storm & Passion is all good stuff, classic melodic hard rock and heavy metal. It's worth your interest if you haven't heard Mad Max's early material. And, you get a bonus CD, Live at Bang Your Head Festival 2014. (It didn't come with my digital EPK, so I can't comment on it.)
Thunder Storm & Passion is good stuff, classic melodic hard rock and heavy metal. It's worth your interest if you haven't heard Mad Max's early material.
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