Overall Score: 8/10 Consistency: 8/10 Riffs: 7/10 Hard Rawk: 9/10 Pros: Massive Riffs Everywhere | Terrific Hooks Cons: Possibly Too Straightforward
After making waves in Australia in 2013, rockers MASSIVE have been picked up by extreme metal legends Earache Records to release their new album, “Full Throttle”, to a global audience. One listen to the opening track “One By One” and it’s obvious why these guys are now on a global label’s roster and, while Earache may seem like an odd choice at first glance, previous artists such as the mighty Dub War show that Digby Pearson isn’t afraid to venture away from the extremity he’s known to sign to his label.
Massive don’t exactly bring anything new to the table, rather they stick to the tried and tested hard rock of the 70s and 80s, but they do it with such verve and energy that you can’t help but enjoy it. The choruses to “Hollywood”, “Lacey” and “Best of Both Words” are pure anthemic hard rock which anyone will find themselves singing along to after a couple of listens, and the slower, ballad-y songs like “Ghost” are just magnificent.
The songwriting and riffage is absolutely first rate with some top quality soloing thrown in for good measure, while the production allows every instrument to be heard. The bass is allowed to take front foot in “Dancefloor” but is still perfectly audible and rumbles along nicely in the rest of the album while nothing is drowned out, and all instruments are given plenty of room to breathe while Brad Marr’s wails are marvellously performed. At 15 tracks, including 4 all new bonus tracks for the re-issue, you’ll certainly get your money’s worth too. The two original tracks don’t stray far from the sound presented on the rest of the album (why would they want to?) and the two covers, one of AC/DC’s “If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It)” and the other of Aerosmith’s “Rats In The Cellar”, are somewhat unnecessary but are still well performed odes to Massive’s influences (which, let’s be honest, they do wear on their collective sleeve quite clearly for all to see).
The only drawback that’s to be found on this album is, is it too straightforward and simplistic? Yes it may well be, but if you have a problem with that then you might not fully understand how hard rock works. This album is definitely worth picking up.
Massive’s Full Throttle is out now worldwide via Earache Records.