MASS – Crack Of Dawn

MASS - Crack Of Dawn
  • 8/10
    MASS - Crack Of Dawn - 8/10


Escape Music Ltd.
Release date: May 21, 2007

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Depending on how old you are and whether or not you’re into 80’s music, the band Mass might be a name that is a “blast from the past.” This USA-based band originally started in 1981 and released their first album, a self-titled EP, in 1984. Their last “true” full album, Voices In The Night, was released in 1989 with Michael Sweet of Stryper as their producer. 1992 and 1994 saw them contribute some material to a few compilations while still maintaining a decent fan following. In the year 2000 they released a “Best Of” collection that led to some renewed brushes with fame, until this year when one of their classic releases, New Birth, was remastered and debuted for the first time on CD. All of their hard work in this century has lead to a full-fledged, newly recorded album in Crack Of Dawn.

While the band has had its revolving door full of bass players (currently on their third), D’Augusta (vocals), D’Itria (guitars), and Vadala (drums), all original members still remain fighting the good fight! In the last several years, many music fans have seen their fair share of “comeback releases,” with most falling several marks below expectations. Be prepared for a nice change of pace, as, simply stated, the last few decades have been kind to the members of Mass, and Crack Of Dawn is actually quite a solid effort!

The album opens somewhat inauspiciously with a more melodic track in “It’s You,” definitely not the album’s heaviest track. After several listens, though, it quickly becomes one of the most memorable and catchiest. The years have been good to D’Augusta, as his vocals are powerful and smooth throughout, while displaying a mid-falsetto range at times. “It’s You,” has a certain melodic hook flair to it that has the hit potential of a less “anthemic” Poison hit. The title track is heavier with some nice backbeats and an ever-so-slight Blues Rock tinge to it. This track also has some nicely placed and nicely sounding “horns,” perhaps keys, acting as a preamble to the main guitar solo. This isn’t to imply that all twelve tracks are outright “killer tracks.” There are a few slower ones that act as the obligatory ballads. Songs like “Monkey Brain,” “Sweet Lady Jane,” “Leaving You,” and the kick-ass closer “Who Am I” all rock! What’s nice about several of these tracks is that the band doesn’t stick to traditional 4-4 beats. Vadala actually comes across as a “Wildman” behind the drum kit, laying down throttled off-beats reminiscent of classic John Bonham and Frank Beard (ZZ Top).

When Mass rocks out on this CD, they tend to inspire a comparison to classic Killer Dwarfs material as Mass shares quite a few qualities with said band. The first being D’Augusta’s vocals, which remind, at times, of Russ “Dwarf.” Mass’ rhythm section lays down a solid bottom end, fueled by thick, heavy guitars, all told via solid, clean, beefy production. If you were into early Mass releases, then your certain to enjoy Crack Of Dawn with its polished, yet far from sterile, sound. This one should hold all Mass fans’ enthusiasm for a follow-up release!


Louis D’Augusta –Vocals, Backing Vocals
Gene D’Itria – Guitars, Backing Vocals
Lou Spagnola – Bass, Backing Vocals
Joey “Vee” Vadala – Drums


  • Scott Jeslis

    Scott is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He handles a lot of Metal Express Radio's public relations, screening of new music and radio scheduling. On occasion, he also does reviews and interviews. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2004.

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