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Eternal Struggle
November 2001
Released: 2001, Lion Music
Rating: 3.7/5
Reviewer: Rick

Italian guitar virtuoso Alex Masi has returned with his melodic hard rock band Masi and has released a new CD entitled ETERNAL STRUGGLE. Lion Music seems to be the home of some of the best hard rock and melodic metal being made these days with Mattsson, Vision, Baltimoore and Masi. First let me straighten something out. I know many of you see hard rock and right away think of the 80s glam scene. Well, that wouldn’t be a proper anoalogy. The hard rock that Masi plays is more on the metal side and is more akin to Yngwie Malmsteen or Axel Rudi Pell than to Junkyard or Jetboy. Alex Masi is the son of an Italian painter and art historian who got interested in music at a very early age. In the early 80s he moved to London to join a band but after a brief stint with a local band moved back to Venice to start his own band in 1984. The band he started was Dark Lord which recorded 2 eps and toured with Saxon, Motorhead and Gary Moore. Masi soon turned his attention to solo instrumental albums and his releases include FIRE IN THE RAIN, DOWNTOWN DREAMERS and ATTACK OF THE NEON SHARK which received a Grammy nomination. His last Cd was IN THE NAME OF BACH where Masi performed the music of J.S. Bach. He then reformed his band Masi to record ETERNAL STRUGGLE.

For those of you who are wondering about the band cohesiveness on this CD I will say right up front that though Masi does tear up the fretboard on occasion, he doesn’t turn the disc into a one man circus. This is a band effort and the songs come first. After a short intro "Crow Haven’s Corner" kicks off the disc with one of Masi’s more aggressive songs. Alex wastes no time in showing that he is the master of the six string on this one. "All I Want" sees vocalist Kyle Michaels doing his best Klaus Meine (Scorpions) impersonation. Michaels voice fits the music on this Cd perfectly. He has a raspy almost bluesy voice that can go from a whisper to a wail at the drop of a guitar pick. "Lost in the City" and "Wheel Rolls On" slow things down with a couple of tracks that allow Michaels to feature the his soulful voice. They don’t keep this pace for long as "Caught in the Middle" kicks things into high gear again. Other standout tracks include "On and On" and the acoustic track "Highway to Nowhere".

Its great to see quality hard rock being made when its not the most in demand form of music today and Masi makes some of the best. Though they bill themselves as hard rock them are much more of a hybrid of hard rock and melodic metal. Masi can shred with the best of them but he also has that , dare I say "soft touch" which gives his playing an added dimension. ETERNAL STRUGGLE is one solid CD that any fan of hard rock is sure to enjoy.
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