Mad Max – “Thunder, Storm and Passion” 2CD (Steamhammer / SPV)
Formed in 1982 during the same year as their namesake movie sequel came out, Germany’s Mad Max have existed in one form or another over the decades, moving from metal to hard rock and these days melodic hard rock. In over 30 years they have established themselves in central Europe touring with bands like Axel Rudi Pell, Pretty Maids, Yngwie Malmsteen, Uriah Heep and Stryper as well as playing internationally renowned festivals like Wacken, Bang Your Head and the legendary Dynamo Open Air! Going back to their roots this year to revisit their very successful period from 1984-87, Michael Voss & co have decided to release a ‘best of’ culled from newly re-recorded classics from their early albums “Rollin’ Thunder”, “Stormchild” and “Night Of Passion”. Despite being the sole remaining founder member, vocalist / guitarist Voss has lost none of his passion and it’s reflected in his fiery but passionate playing on the heavy, yet swanky opener ‘Fly Fly Away’ that encapsulates the essence of the band from its heart breaking melodies to its hard crunching guitars. Like a harder Scorpions, yet a milder Priest its hard to describe Mad Max’s obvious yet somewhat unique style, but the undoubted lure of mid tempo rockers like ‘Never Say Never’ or the power ballad ‘Thoughts Of A Dying Man’, with its tender acoustic guitars contrasting superbly with Voss’s heaven sent guitar god solos is undeniable across the 12 superbly re-recorded tracks that bring back all the mid 80s memories from AOR to stadium rock and MTV! With CD2 containing 8 live tracks from the band’s Bang Your Head 2014 set, “Thunder, Storm and Passion” is everything that the title promises, and a whole lot more…..