Magnificent German classic melodic hard rockers Mad Max, who formed nigh on forty years ago, have confirmed the release of their stonking new studio album Stormchild Rising on August 21st, 2020 on Steamhammer/SPV as a Digi-Pak CD (+ bonus track), limited edition (500) blue vinyl LP (with printed inner sleeve + bonus track), download and stream.
Stormchild Rising is an unambiguous, gloriously melodic hard rock opus packed with unashamedly retrospective, irresistibly hummable, hook laden classic rock anthems. Stormchild Rising celebrates a musical direction that has never lost its significance, despite all trends and short-lived fashions; which is exactly what the band’s myriad fans want.
“On our last tour we talked to fans from lots of different countries every night and found out that they don’t want us to experiment, they want to hear exactly the kind of songs that Mad Max have been known for since 1981,” states guitarist Jürgen Breforth, reflecting on the important insights gained during the band’s tour following the release of their last studio album, Thirty 5, in August 2018.
The title itself refers back to 1985’s Stormchild album; ever since release the group’s fans have consistently requested the resurrection of this character. “Stormchild” is our warrior who battles for everything good in the world, not with weapons but with rock songs. We had Kai Brockschmidt (Pretty Maids, Pink Cream 69, among others) update him for the new cover artwork and practically revived him,” state the band, forging an arc to the early days of Mad Max’s career.
Hurricaned, the first single, was released in June, will be complemented by a brilliant video clip with a socio-critical message; “We’re all subjected to a veritable hurricane of media overkill every day and can hardly process that flood of information,” notes guitarist Jürgen Breforth in explanation of the lyrics, which were written before the Corona crisis and hence have almost prophetic traits. “With the relentless coverage of the pandemic since spring 2020, the media overkill has grown even worse.” Musically, Hurricaned is Mad Max’s homage to Rainbow and their frontman Ronnie Romero, whom they met during their joint tour with CoreLeoni and who shares the vocals on Hurricaned with Michael Voss.
Take Her, the band’s cover of the Rough Cutt classic, was recorded with none other than original band member Paul Shortino in the studio; “Paul is not only a close friend, he’s also one of our all-time favourite singers. To record this song together with him was a great honour for us and a lot of fun. I think that’s something that you can tell from every single note.”
The haunting solo on The Blues Ain`t No Stranger was recorded by Stryper guitarist Oz Fox, who Mad Max have stayed in touch with since they toured with Stryper in the 1980s; states Breforth “A lot of people know that he’s really ill, so his awesome solo is all the more remarkable.” This song’s lyrics are also unusual for Mad Max; “It’s our very first song featuring the word ‘blues’ in its title. We wouldn’t have dared something like that in the eighties, but with more life experience and maturity it seems only apt to sing about crises and defeats for a change.”
Two versions of one particular song, Ladies And Gentleman, are included on the album; on the one hand a German version, recorded with children’s song star Detlev Jöcker and students of a German music school, which was released as a single in April 2020, and on the other the English-language typical Mad Max original.
Stormchild Rising tracklisting
02.Talk To The Moon 4:12
03.Eyes Of Love 3:31
04.Ladies And Gentlemen 4:51
06.Rain Rain 4:25
08.Kingdom Fall 5:01
09.The Blues Ain’t No Stranger 4:16
10.Taake Her 3:32
12.Ladies And Gentlemen (Single Edit, Bonus Track feat. Detlev Jöcker and the Rock and Roll Children) 3:40
Michael Voss – lead vocals, lead guitars
Jürgen Breforth – rhythm guitars
Thomas “Hutch” Bauer – bass, vocals
Axel Kruse – drums
Mad Max online