Mad Max: Interceptor review

\"MadFrom the band’s inception in 1981, melodic rockers Mad Max have been considered Germany’s premiere crossover Christian metal band. The band, comprised of Michael Voss on guitar & vocals, Jurgen Breforth on guitar, Axel Kruse on drums and Roland Bergmann on bass have been together a staggering 30 years. Even more impressive, is the fact that they have maintained the current line-up for the last 25 of those years. Their sound is an amalgamate of some of Germany’s most prominent melodic rock bands, like Bonfire, Shakra and Jaded Heart combined with one of America’s most beloved Christian metal band, Stryper. Their new opus, Interceptor, is overflowing with monster guitar hooks, huge sing along choruses, stunning vocal harmonies and unreal guitar solos that would even make guitar gods like Joe Satriani or Steve Vai jealous. It is also, by far the heaviest and most compelling thing they have done in well over a decade. The heavier direction, akin to what Stryper tried to accomplish with Against The Law, is also reflected in the post apocalyptic cover art, inspired and created by the artist who did the artwork for the first Mad Max movie.  Front man Michael Voss says the album is “Full throttle start to finish” and sums it up by adding “It rocks.” The infectious guitar riff of opener, “Save Me,” immediately grabs the listener and sucks them in.  “Godzilla” sounds like Jaded Heart crossed with Fair Warning and features some stellar dual lead guitars. “Rock All Your Life” is going to thrill Def Leppard fans, while Bon Jovi enthusiasts will instantly fall in love with the heartfelt ballad, about the further destruction of this planet’s precious resources, “Five Minute Warning.” “Bring On The Night” and “Streets Of Tokyo” could have been written by Don Dokken and George Lynch themselves and would have been right at home on the Dokken classics “Under Lock And Key” and “Breaking The Chains.” “Show No Mercy” is an updated version of a song that was only available as a limited edition bonus track on the “Night Of Passion” cd, that has layers of killer guitars where keyboards used to be and ends up being one of the album’s best tracks. “Revolution” is equal parts Treat and Von Groove and has more unbelievable dual leads. The disc closes with the obligatory cover song. It’s a reimagining of the Sweet classic “Turn It Down.” Here’s the bottom line. After a few somewhat inconsistent releases, Mad Max have delivered a monster of a comeback album that is a true return to form and is the current frontrunner for AOR album of the year. If you enjoy bands like Gotthard, Pink Cream 69, Last Autumn’s Dream or Harem Scarem, you really should give this a spin. Rating: 9.5 out of 10. -Eric Hunker