Thursday, September 8, 2022

MAD MAX: "Wings Of Time"

Rating: RRRR

Label: ROAR! Rock Of Angels Records 

Review by Kimmo Toivonen

Can you believe that Mad Max are celebrating their 40th anniversary this year? Yep, it's true, and can you believe that after all these years, they've come up with an album that's one of their best ones? I wasn't expecting this either.

The band had a good run of few years during the eighties, with "Stormchild" and "Night Of Passion" making some waves in Europe. They made a short attempt at reunion in 1999 with "Never Say Never" album, and in 2006 they reformed for good. The albums they've released since then have been of varied quality, and at times it seemed like they were a bit lost, looking for direction. The first years of reformation they re-branded themselves as a Christian Metal band, but slowly they've moved away from the religious lyrics. They've also tried to re-capture the vibe of those two albums mentioned above with "Another Night Of Passion" and "Stormchild Rising", but didn't quite succeed.

With main songwriter and vocalist/guitarist Michael Voss now out of the picture, guitarist Jurgen Breforth has taken over as the "captain" of this ship. Under his command, the band has finally mangaged to re-capture the vibe of their best eighties albums. There are even some obvious lyrical nods to the "good old times" with songs like "Days Of Passion", "Heroes Never Die" and "Stormchild Rising". The latter wasn't on the album by the same name... confused yet?

New vocalist Julian Rolinger is very impressive, he's no Voss clone but I'm sure he can do justice to the old songs. And the new songs - they're good! There are plenty of catchy riffs and good choruses, which have been missing from the band's recent output. Some favourites of mine are "Days Of Passion", "A Woman Like That" (which does owe a little to Rick Springfield), the harmony-laden, Nelsonesque "When It Stops" and "Miss Sacrifice".