CD Review: Adrenaline Mob / Men of Honor
Russell Allen may well be the greatest singer on the planet at this time and I was really looking forward to the Mob’s second album Men of Honor. What really was going to be the wild card with this release was new drummer A.J. Pero of Twisted Sister fame. With the success of The Winery Dogs, Mike Portnoy had to leave yet another band he created.
Let’s face it A.J. has nothing to prove in terms of his chops to Mob fans and the metal community at large but it has to do more with his style and it fitting into the rest of the band while making sure there is no drop off with the departure of Portnoy. Well I’m happy to report that not only is Pero a welcome addition to the Mob family but this record truly represents a milestone in the Allen legacy as this album is better than the first record Omerta (2012) and quite possibly my favorite Allen album ever. Full of vigor, melodic charm and beastly range Allen carries Men of Honor which is now my favorite album so far in 2014 and will be tough to top moving forward.
“Mob is Back” brings forth some serious shred from guitarist Mike Orlando and gives fans a taste of what’s to come in terms of the attitude that this record represents. Allen gives the track some serious whoop ass with plenty of attitude. Pero means business on this record and gives those who may have doubted, some reason to cheer. It serves as a terrific opener.
“Come on Get Up” will definitely be a crowd pleaser in the live environment. Up-tempo and fast moving yet the bridge has some great melody to it. That’s the strength of Adrenaline Mob – power with melody. The solo is as fast moving as Orlando has ever delivered.
“Dearly Departed” is as good as Adrenaline Mob gets. It’s a very commercial sounding track but still quite heavy. Allen shines throughout with some sick harmonies on the chorus. Best song on the record and the best Adrenaline Mob has offered thus far.
“Behind These Eyes” shows the lighter side of the Mob with some acoustic guitars from Orlando and Allen dropping his range down a tad. Almost 80’s sounding..what’s wrong with that?
“Let It Go” picks up the pace again and back to the angry Allen. Pero really shines on this song with some serious heavy beats throughout. Orlando also has an intense solo.
“Feel the Adrenaline” actually has a bass solo from John Moyer which is not something you hear a lot of any longer in metal songs. Allen is totally nasty on this track almost snarling on the chorus. With the mention of ZZ Top during the song..a real roll down your window and turn it up to 10 track.
The title track “Men of Honor” has a lot going on. It starts off slow and then just picks up the pace in a matter of seconds. I absolutely love the chorus. Very, very melodic which is Allen at his best. Most of the track is very aggressive and heavy.
“Crystal Clear” is another slower acoustic number from Orlando and Allen once again adds his melodic touch on every lyric. The dynamic from hellion to smooth giant is what separates Allen from the rest of the pack because he’s able to pull it off with such ease. Evidence is supported never better here.
“House of Lies” is just plain evil; Allen belts higher and heavier than anywhere else on the record. The chorus is still melodic enough to be enjoyable as the rest of the album. A sick lead from Orlando also.
“Judgement Day” is almost too heavy. Not crazy with the Allen vocal tone on this one, too nasty for its own good. It has some cool parts at about the 2:00 minute mark and a really slick solo but otherwise the weak link on a jem.
“Fallin’ to Pieces” has some really cool acoustic parts and Allen at the top of his game with some serious melodic tones throughout. Strong track and really ends the record on a high note.
Adrenaline Mob has delivered the best record I’ve heard so far in 2014. Tight, aggressive +melodic = enjoyment. They certainty don’t take themselves too seriously in terms of lyrical content but I don’t think they care to. The Mob is a throwback band that can offer everything you would want – Loud guitars, bombastic drumming and solid bass work. The Mob indeed has something for everyone in the metal community but of course with Sir Russell Allen on vocals it has everything I’m looking for in a metal band – top notch vocals with incredible range is a multitude of enjoyment for the ears. Thanks, Russell!