MASS – Sea Of Black

MASS - Sea Of Black
  • 8.5/10
    MASS - Sea Of Black - 8.5/10


Escape Music
Release date: April 23, 2010

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

“Can my faith be gone? Only Heaven knows.” This quote from the first track of Mass’ Sea Of Black, beckons that if your faith involves the revival of the classic 80s Metal sound, you have found a friend in Mass. Mass has been producing their brand of Metal since their debut release in 1984. Sea Of Black is their sixth studio album.

The quartet known as Mass hails from, where else, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. They are Louis St. August on vocals, Gene D’Itria on guitar; Michael Palumbo and Joey Vadala on bass and drums respectively. The music itself is raw and pure. The sound resembling that of a band that plays live in the studio.
The production however is less than flawless; the drums sound “tin-like” and the vocals were not mixed well. Nonetheless, the greatness of the resulting music far outweighs the lackluster engineering.

The vocals of St. August could be matched up note for note with such heavyweights as Don Dokken, Jon Bon Jovi, or Tom Kiefer in their prime. He has an amazing range and the ability to captivate the listener with either the fury of screams or a passionate ballad. D’Itria’s guitar work may not be the fast shredding attack of a George Lynch or a Steve Vai. Rather D’Itria likes to bring you into his realm with a classic “Grunge-esque” style of playing. He does have the ability to burst out some great solos in many of the tracks, none of which will completely blow you away. However, his talent does leave you appreciating his work.

Regarding the tracks on Sea Of Black, the album does not really follow a central musical theme. There are fast songs, slow songs, hard rocking songs, melancholy songs, and soft ballads. Because of this, it is hard to label this album to a specific genre. There isn’t really one weak song on this album; however, the flow is hard to follow as you listen from start to finish.

The standout tracks are able to shine though as you listen to each one. The opening song “Falling From Grace” will get you energized and ready for more. “Thru The Rain” will give you a steady head banging. “More Than A Friend” will encourage you to get a lighter out, wave it in the air and sing along. Then other tracks like “Ashes To Ashes” and “All That I Need” are both melancholy and uplifting. The best song arguably is the title track “Sea Of Black”. This is a Maiden style track with a catchy chorus that leaves feeling very satisfied that you made it through.

One of the most surprising elements of Sea Of Black are the inspirational lyrics. Each song may represent a somewhat different musical style. The lyrics, however, are both uplifting and spiritual. There are several religious references, and each track contains many positive messages.

The last page of the CD booklet states the following as a self description of their music; “Music composed to unite the masses and arranged to inspire the individual.” That is indeed a perfect summary of this album. Mass music has a good dose of passion and heart, combined with some heavy Rock and Metal. All of which makes a great album, and definitely worth a listen.


  • Sean Meloy

    Sean Meloy was a reviewer, interviewer and DJ here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Iowa , USA. By day he is a straight laced, buttoned up, number crunching accountant; armed with his portable calculator. All other times he is a hard rocking Metal head! He spent many hours listening to records and 8-tracks with his father. Classic bands such as Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, Kansas, Led Zeppelin, and Eric Clapton just to name a few. His father bought him his first record, Kiss Alive II, at age 6. By the time he reached his teens he was discovering all the Classic Metal of the 1980’s; Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Twisted Sister, etc. He became a huge fan of the Thrash Metal of the time as well; Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, Exodus, and Overkill. During the 1990’s he experimented with the Grunge and Hard Rock. However, by the time the millennium came he found himself going back to his roots and rebuilt the music collection he started in his teens.

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