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Mason - 1992 Big Illusion
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on August 17 2009, In 1992 Articles , 1 Comment , 2701 Reads , Print

ALBUM: Big Illusion
LABEL: ASP (Andric Stanelle Productions)
YEAR: 1992


LINEUP: Thomas Zigann - vocals, guitars * Marco Alvino - bass, backing vocals * Rick Sinoni - keyboards, backing vocals * Mike Parson - drums, backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Rockin' Round The World * 02 If Looks Could Kill * 03 Two Hearts * 04 Hard Life * 05 Cool Woman * 06 The Eagle Cries * 07 Someday * 08 Laurel N Hardy * 09 Can't Stop Loving You

WEBLINKS: www.myspace.com/andricstanelle

Mason were a German band who hovered on the lower tier of popularity and visibility, within the general melodic rock industry during the 80's and 90's. Formed and based in Pforzheim (on the road between Karlsruhe and Stuttgart), Mason kicked off their history in 1983. This outfit first came to my attention via the AOR Classics fanzine. It was about that time they had reviewed their brand new CD 'Inside Your Head'. Digging deeper I was interested to find this earlier release 'Big Illusion'. Musically, they sound like a bunch of bands, probably the one that sticks out the most is fellow Germans Craaft.

The Songs
It's mostly well played melodic hard rock and though there are keyboards, it doesn't dominate as one might expect. 'Rockin' Round The World' opens their account, sort of play-by-numbers melodic rock, but by track 2 'If Looks Could Kill' they get a bit serious, pomping out in a Javan like style, but without the killer hooks that band had. My favourite track is the upbeat rocker 'Two Hearts', somewhere between Balanx and Craaft. Zigann has a bit of guitar fun on this track. 'Hard Life' is a pleasant enough ballad, 'Cool Woman' also has some good moments too, the solo section in particular. A cool drum solo/intro precedes 'The Eagle Cries', a fast paced rocker with those double kick drums dominating throughout. Probably the pick of the bunch is 'Someday', which sounds as if Mason have lifted Russ Ballard's 'The Last Time' off his 1984 self titled album. Not quite, but still the melodies are straight out copy-cat, as is the chorus. Patent lawyers should be called in! lol.. I have no idea what the band were attempting with 'Laurel And Hardy'. It sounds like a bit of a musical mash-up - hi tech AOR meets west coast in a lounge club.. Saving face, Mason finish up with the superb 'Can't Stop Loving You', a mid paced AOR (as opposed to hard rock) track with some tinkly keyboard melodies. Very nice.

In Summary
A nice little album, but not enough to set the excitometer up to danger levels. The band went on the road with Uriah Heep during this period, and in 1993 supported Doro Pesch on a national tour. 1995 saw Mason release their second album.. 'Inside Your Head', and though released on the defunct Long Island Records label, I gather that this was actually recorded during 1989. Another rare hard rock outfit to discover.

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#1 | george_the_jack on August 19 2009 02:02:42
One of those forgotten shinny little diamonds that came out from Germanyn and they represent a pure AOR feeling. The Javan reference is spot on.A good reference point could also be Fate or Dalton.Definetely worth checking out!
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