Great Metal Albums of 1986: MASS- New Birth


My first contact with Massachusetts metal band MASS, (yes, they took their name from their home state), came about in a rather unusual way. In early 1986, my local radio station, which was renowned for playing top 40, announced that MASS was coming to a local club. To generate interest for the gig, the station played the first single from their debut album, “New Birth,” “Do You Love Me” quite a bit. I listened to the song several times and was somewhat impressed. That’s why even though I originally wasn’t going to go see them that night because I came off an eight hour shift at the parking lot and had college the next day,  but when a friend said he was going to see them, it didn’t take much persuasion to come along and I’m glad I did. MASS kicked ass that night and made a great impression on me and likewise, my friends and I must have made an impression on them, Because after the gig, lead singer Louie St August came over and shook our hands.

First, let me mention the single, “Do You Love Me.” Once again, I’m cursing my Swiss cheese brain. This is a great power ballad and how it got left out of my series of posts of my top thirty power ballads is beyond me. Therefore, I posthumously put it at number thirteen, joint with “Wasted Time” by Asphalt Ballet. “New Birth” has a second power ballad in the form of “Day Without You,” which is also a good song.

Power ballads aside, MASS show that they can rock out on the rest of the album. While the first two tracks set the tune for things, it’s the third track, “Time,” which really cooks. I mean that this song is a real metal jam and it’s the first track where guitarist, Gene D’Itria, really lays down some great soloing. This carries on to the next track, “Back to Me.” The sheer power of this song cancels out what sounds a little like dodgy production on it.

Not a criticism but I wonder if the title track would have been better as the opener. Those fast power chords at the intro are just amazing and it’s probably the fastest song on the album. However, since I first got the album on cassette, it does open side two in excellent form and by then, I’m fully on the Gene D’Itria is a great guitarist bandwagon. Bassist Fevin Varrio and drummer Joey Vee Vadala show what they can do on “Left Behind” and they do it very well. While on the subject of individual talents, singer Louie St August is definitely a great singer both with the rockers and two power ballads. He can hit the high notes and that comes through with “Voyager (Look for the Edge).” In fact, it’s probably the best song which showcases all four members’ talents together. Notwithstanding, they don’t do too bad of a job of that on the rest of the album.

Track Listing:

  1. Too Far Gone
  2. Crying Alone
  3. Time
  4. Back to Me
  5. Do You Love Me
  6. New Birth
  7. Left Behind
  8. Voyager (Look for the Edge)
  9. Day Without You
  10. Watch Her Walk


Louie St August- lead vocals

Gene D’Itria- guitar

Fevin Varrio- bass

Joey Vee Vadala- drums

All of us have bands whom we think should have been more successful than they actually were. One of mine is my all time favourite Canadian band. Another one is MASS and every time I listen to “New Birth,” I say that about them.

Next post: Ted Nugent- Little Miss Dangerous

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5 Responses to “Great Metal Albums of 1986: MASS- New Birth”

  1. Never heard of these guys. Then again back in 86 so much music was out. Some stuff would slip through the cracks I’m sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have heard of these guys, but never heard these guys. I love 80’s rock but there so much back then it was hard to make it to all of them. I need to add them to the ever growing list of missed bands to check out

    Liked by 1 person

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