Catalog Number: RAR7903
Packaging: 12 page full color insert
ABOUT THE ALBUM
The Boston-based band, MASS, is a juggernaut in melodic metal circles. They self-released a self-titled debut vinyl-only 4 song EP in 1984, selling 10,000 units in the Boston area alone! By 1985, the band released the legendary New Birth album on RCA Records. The band resurfaced in 1988 with the classic 6 song EP, Take You Home, on Enigma Records. 1989 brought fans Voices In the Night produced by Stryper’s, Michael Sweet.
What most fans never knew was that MASS actually signed an ill-fated record deal with A&M Records in 1982, when the band was still full of teenagers! Fighter was recorded on a budget of $150,000 with the intent to release on their new label. Conflicts between the band’s manager and A&M escalated and legal issues prevented the release from ever seeing the light of day. Almost 30 years later, the Iowa-based Christian record label, Retroactive Records now brings this MASS-ive metal record to fans across the world!
Four tracks from the 1982 A&M Fighter album, “Too Far Gone,” “Voyager (Look For The Edge),” “Do You Love Me” and “Watch Her Walk,” ended up on the band’s 1985 RCA album, New Birth. This release is special because the 1982 A&M Fighter album was the way MASS originally wrote these songs during their teenage years – different recordings, different tempos and even different lyrics.
Tom Allom (Judas Priest) produced this classic metal release from 1982. It’s the same musical genius MASS has provided on every release - full of hard-charging metallic guitar riffs and powerful melodies! For fans of Bloodgood, Stryper, Saint, TNT, Quiet Riot, Warrant, and Scorpions!
KEY SELLING POINTS
**Full radio/media/online promotional campaign
**Major releases on RCA and Enigma Records in the 80’s
**Two successful modern releases on Escape Records (2007’s Crack Of Dawn and 2010’s Sea Of Black)
**Significant fan base in both mainstream and Christian metal circles
**Band maintains active online presence (massrocks.com)
**For fans of all 80’s-based classic hard rock and metal
01. Watch Her Walk
02. Part Of Me
03. Too Far Gone
04. Do You Love Me
05. Voyager (Look For the Edge)
07. Can You See It Again
08. Slip Of The Lip
09. Change Your Way
10. Bad Man’s Reputation
METAL TEMPLE DOT COME REVIEW
by Jonathan Maphet at 18 December 2010, 8:12 PM
MASS is a band from Boston that sounds exactly like they came from the UK. I get a really huge ANVIL vibe here. What I mean is they are a really great band that never made it big, but really deserved to. They are a Christian Metal band, but it is hard to tell that from simply looking at many of the song titles, although, “Holy One” makes it obvious. The JUDAS PRIEST influences are more prominent on the full length album than it is on the EP. “Part of Me” is my favorite song from both of the albums. The beginning riff is catchy as can be. The harmony vocals are very well done. The song is mid tempo and has some killer vocals. It is hard for me to understand why this band didn’t make it bigger than they have. They do seem to still be active so I won’t count them out. As I mentioned earlier, like ANVIL they didn’t make it to the big time but they deserved to. Maybe MASS can get their own documentary video that propelled ANVIL from the bottom into the public’s consciousness. That would be a very fitting thing to happen. Someone grab a camera quick! They have a song called “Do you Love me” (no relation to the KISS song) that deserved to be a big hit. It is not really a ballad since it gets pretty heavy towards the middle of the song. It does seem to me to have an appeal to it that could gain mass acceptance if only people knew who MASS was.
The production is certainly not a reason for them to remain obscure. It sounds really good for being over 20 years old. The drums are huge. The vocals are not bad, nothing about MASS is bad. Someone needs to hire a better manager immediately. Perhaps they should have shipped their albums to a better label before getting them re-issued. I hope my review can get a few people to take the plunge and check these guys out. Don’t let the “Christian Metal” tag scare you. I truly don’t hear it more than twice. I don’t think it’s fair to pigeon hole a band that has so much to offer. I am finding myself to be very thankful for these labels that skim through the past trying to find hidden gems to release upon a new generation of metal fans. It doesn’t always work, how could it? But in this case it most certainly does work. I find it very odd that someone hasn’t dedicated a Myspace page to them by now. Hopefully that will change in the future.
I find myself liking the songs on “Fighter” more than on the self titled EP. That said, both are great works of traditional Heavy Metal. They fit in perfectly with the great bands of the 80’s that had major success. You owe it to yourself to listen to the song, “Bad Man’s Reputation” it’s the closest to JUDAS PRIEST of all of the songs. Not that they are ripping them off, it’s just that the drums and guitar are very similar. I find it odd that MASS slipped by me all these years. I have always been very good at finding hidden gems. Perhaps it is due to the other band named MASS. I am sure I got them confused and heard the inferior version. It’s been so long I cannot really recall. Overall, if you like the traditional Metal from the mid 80’s, I think you will really love this band. It’s hard to find on the net, actually song samples I mean, but if you go to their site, they do have a few. Give MASS a try, you might just be pleasantly surprised, I know I was.
EP = 7/10
“Fighter” = 9/10
METAL MARK REVIEW
Retroactive Records 1982/2010
Recorded in 1982 by Tom Allen (legendary producer who has worked with Judas Priest and Black Sabbath) for A&M Mass's debut album was left to collect dust after problems arose between the record label and the band's manager. After fighting to regain the rights to the album for several years they started over and released a self financed EP. Selling over 10,000 copies of the EP the band was eventually signed by RCA. They released New Birth and moved on with their career. Finally after all these years Retroactive Records worked with Mass to re-release their debut album. Remastered from the original source material Fighter is a look back at the 1980's metal scene. In fact this is classic 80's metal. The title track is a heavy rocker which would have been one of the first singles from the record. It has a doom feeling to as well. While several of the tracks did show up re-recorded for New Birth (incl. the minor hit Do You Love Me) they were too polished taking away from edge they originally carried. Had this record come out in 1982 it very well could have made Mass more well known. Tunes like "Change Your Way" (with it's Iron Maiden feel) were made for 80's radio. These young lads showed a lot of promise and A&M messed up by allowing this to slip into obscurity. Vocalist Louie St. August really doesn't sound like any other singer. He has his own sound and really makes Fighter stand out. Retroactive Records has done a great job with this re-release. Packaged with a booklet that gives you the band's history this CD is a real find. Fan's of 80's metal take note. Mass has the right balance of heaviness, harmony and melody. There's rockers and ballads that are typical or the era. With Fighter your given the chance to uncover a lost treasure that slipped by us all the first time around.
Note: Not to be confused with the Mass from Germany.