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Released: 2002, Lion Music
Alex Masi. Guitarist Extraordinaire. I have here before me the re released versions of some of Alex Masi’s work. Instead of putting them all in one big review I am going to give them each their own separate review. A couple of them are so unalike that I figure it’s the least I can do. As I have already dealt with the history of this guitar wizard I won’t go into detail again. If you want to read more about him you can search for my review of ETERNAL STRUGGLE which I did only a few months ago. In that review I delve into the past of Alex Masi.
The disc that I am going to start with is DOWNTOWN DREAMERS (1988). This is the second disc that Masi recorded for Metal Blade Records with the first being FIRE IN THE RAIN. The CD’s opening track “God Promised a Paradise” helped the band get on MTV as the video for this track went into rotation. “Thunder and Lightning” follows with a dirty bluesy feel that fits the guitar playing of Masi to a T. David Felolt has the kind of rough edged bluesy type voice that it seems Masi has as the vison for his vocalist as Kyle Michaels, who sings on ETERNAL STRUGGLE fits the same mould. “Hangin’ On” slows the tempo down with a great ballad that should have been a big hit on the radio at the time of this albums release. “Foggy Day in Hollywood” is about the only place on the Cd where Masi actually lets his guitar rip. he plays the rest of the Cd pretty straight, preferring to let the songs speak for themselves. On this instrumental track, however, he shows why he is considered a six string god. Not only can he play with emotion but he can shred with the best of em. “Hellraiser” opens with a short acoustic intro but then kicks into a ripsnorter of a track that is the fastest and heaviest on the disc. A highlight for sure and again some great guitar from the man.
Being a big fan of 80s hard rock and metal I am a bit surprised that this CD didn’t make a bigger splash back at its time of release. Seeing as how much of the material stands the test of time its not surprising. Though there were lots of great bands in the late 80s and the early 90s the labels were starting to become obsessed with style over substance. I guess that is where Masi missed the boat. Maybe he didn’t have enough style but this Cd should be remembered for substance alone.
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