MASS “Voices In The Night” – Revisiting A Hard Rockin’ and Feel Good Album From 1989


MASS – Among the 80’s resurgence of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal bands these last several years, there is one band from that era that cannot be overlooked. This band is from Boston, Massachusetts and their world known as MASS.

This band’s strong and memorable contributions to 80’s Hard Rock and Heavy Metal are forever forged on their 1984 debut & self-titled EP, along with three other albums from that loud, proud and colorful 80’s decade. One such album from MASS that I’ve been listening to (non-stop it seems) since this past Winter is 1989’s Voices In The Night.

Released on Enigma Records and produced by the legendary Michael Sweet, of the also legendary Stryper, Voices In The Night is a triple threat of: Hard Rockin’, feel good and elevated vibes. Yes, I do feel good listening to this album and it only seems to become elevated with each passing song. For those unfamiliar, MASS plays hard and heavy in the vein of Stryper, Steelheart, Slaughter and Nelson. MASS sold their share of records back in the 80’s and even made it on the rotation of a music network that used to be cool, known as MTV.

The vocals of Louis St. August are tailor-made for Arenas on this album… and still are in 2011. Where Vince Neil of Mötley Crüe has a pissed-off flair vocally and Tom Keifer of Cinderella always bestows a bluesy vibe with his voice, Louis St. August displays that assured, energetic and commanding vocal style. Louis gives the songs on Voices In The Night that elevated atmosphere; it’s his tones, range and notes he hits that dictates the highs you can obviously hear and actually feel.

As with every band, the debate will surface as to which album is their finest in their discography. I’m not aiming for Voices In The Night to be declared their best work, what I am pointing out however, is Voices In The Night is an album that should be remembered for its overall late 80’s hard and heavy luster, coupled with its melodic appeal and strength of songs. Metal be thy name, if this album was newly released today, it would be noticed for its old school glow and Classic Rock relevance. Well, in my Metal opinion, of course.

The ballad Chance For Love is realistically one of the finest of its kind, spanning Hard Rock to Hair Metal, from the mid to late 80’s. I’m no ballad freak, still Chance For Love makes me realize that when done with an acute awareness of not going overboard on the sappy meter; a band can achieve excellence with some Rockin’ tenderness. Uh, oh… Stone is in trouble now, I’m revealing my softer side. On songs such as the title track and Nine Tonight, the tempo is high, the rhythm section grooves, while the guitar of Gene D’Itria crunches out melodic licks and head banging’ riffs. In essence, that can easily sum up this entire album. One song that Gene flat-out shreds on is Staying Alive. Metal as my witness, it’s a cool song.

The chorus in these songs are not just harmonious, they are undeniably sing-along. Reach For The Sky is one song that never fails to have me pumping my fist into the air while (trying) to sing along to. Louis makes it sound so easy as he sings Carry Your Heart, he more than likely was born with that confidence factor. Carry Your Heart is an edgier song, with a psyche-you-out guitar solo that beckons me to play some vintage air guitar. Miles Away can be pointed out as an anthem on this album, one that can supercharge the Metal senses into indestructible mode, with its music alone.

Overall, Voices In The Night has an old school echo happening within its wall of sound and I’m not whining about it. The semi-rawness that this album radiates only makes the songs sound more real and fortified with a Hard Rockin’ punch. With a Christian Metal approach to positive reinforcement, I can’t see how this album couldn’t make anyone’s mood better. Then again, not everyone will like what Stone digs. Seasoned MASS fans already know this, yet new recruits to this band should be informed the following: Voices In The Night is an album to be revisited, enjoyed, Rocked out by and recommended to fellow Rockaholics.

* Voices In The Night was reissued by Retrospect Records in 2008, with the bonus track: Stevie.

MASS: Lineup on Voices In The Night:

Louis St. August – vocals

Gene D’Itria – guitar

Kevin Varrio – bass

Joey “Vee” Vadala – drums

Voices In The Night – Track Listing:

Voices In The Night

Nine Tonight

Reach For The Sky

Chance To Love

Turn It All Around

Carry Your Heart

Miles Away

Follow Me

Call Out Your Name

Staying Alive

Still Of The Night

_____________________________________________________________

* For more info on MASS, click on the link below:

MASS – MASS ROCKS.COM

LONG LIVE MASS.

The word “tenderness” was used in this post. Whoa.

Stone.

3 Responses to “MASS “Voices In The Night” – Revisiting A Hard Rockin’ and Feel Good Album From 1989”

  1. I saw Mass play in a club in New Jersey back in 1986 and they were awesome and I think my friends and I made an impression on them because they came over and shook our hands after the gig.
    Brilliant, thanks for bringing back good memories.

    • metalodyssey Says:

      Anytime 80’s Metalman, anytime! \m/

      I never caught MASS live. 😦

      Yet I still can possibly, someday… ’cause MASS is still Rockin’! 🙂

  2. […] MASS “Voices In The Night” – Revisiting A Hard Rockin’ and Feel Good Album From 1989 August 8, 2011 […]

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