Mob Rules - Radical peace 4/5

Reviewed: 3-1-10





Tracklist:

1. Children of the flames
2. Trial by fire
3. Warchild
4. Astral hand
5. The Oswald file
6. Waiting for the sun
7. The glance of fame


German melodic power metal band, Mob Rules, have certainly come a long way since the times of ‘Savage land’ and ‘Temple of two suns’. Over the years, Mob Rules have carefully moulded themselves into the band they are today, releasing some very solid metal CDs, including ‘Among the gods’ and most recently the powerful and impressive ‘Ethnolution A.D.’. That release, I believe, to be their strongest effort so far; with the band making their claim in the unrelenting metal world.

Mob Rules have taken quite a serious approach to their music of late, with lyrics detailing real life struggles and events in the world, rather than the typical power metal topics that you find in most bands’ lyrics. You might call Mob Rules’ current musical evolution a progressive metal band in a power metal body, as their songwriting contains both the hard aggression and melody found in power metal, but also the structure and complexity that you find in prog metal, including the lyrics.

Aside from the increasing use of keyboards over the years, Mob Rules also uses orchestration in their sound, including horns, strings and piano. These inclusions have added further depth to their sound and is a great element in the picture they are wanting to portray. You can also hear a strong Iron Maiden influence in their music too, as well as similarities with other European melodic metal bands.

The new approach the band has taken with ‘Ethnolution A.D.’ has continued on here with their new 6th studio release, entitled ‘Radical peace’. On the CD, you’ll find further progression of their sound and style with yet another fulfilling, powerful and emotional effort. Like ‘Ethnolution A.D.’ and now ‘Radical peace’, you won’t find any guitar wankery or super heavy and fast riffs and licks. Rather, calculated, creative and precise guitar chords, powerful but not overly heavy riffs and a heap of melody, keys and choirs to keep both the power and prog metalheads happy. Similar to the way Swedish metal band Evergrey constructs their songwriting, it is a pure blend of both prog and power, which is heavy but also meaningful and smooth-flowing. ‘Radical peace’ also marks Mob Rules’ first release under the AFM Records banner, after 3 studio releases and a live disc with SPV Records.

‘Radical peace’ is an intricate mixed bag of great tracks, whether being an emotional power ballad like the touching “Warchild” or the soaring “Astral hand”, which was also released as a single before the CD became available. One of the best tracks on the release, however, is the bombastic speedy number “Waiting for the sun”, a brilliant track full of great riffs, orchestration, heavy bass and piercing vocals by Klaus Dirks; a true highlight in anyone’s language.

Other excellent tracks appear on the CD, such as “Children of the flames” (an epic 7 minute track, full of melody, heaviness and diversity), “The glance of fame” (mid-paced melodic track with a memorable and catchy sing-a-long chorus) and “Trial by fire” (An Iron Maiden influenced speedy track, with heavy head-banging riffs and a great vocal performance by Dirks).

However the opus of this great release is the incredible 18-minute track “The Oswald file”. The track is divided up into 6 chapters, detailing the events of the 1963 assassination of American President John F. Kennedy through the eyes of the alleged assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald. This track has to be heard to be believed, and a short description of it here will not do the song justice.

Overall, I would say that ‘Radical peace’ is a huge release from Mob Rules, surpassing their previous excellent effort with ‘Ethnolution A.D’, in my opinion. Some fans have not liked the sound of the band’s current form, preferring the sound from previous early releases, but I can tell you that Mob Rules have never sounded better than they are right now. Those who enjoyed ‘Among the gods’ and ‘Ethnolution A.D.’ will definitely find ‘Radical peace’ impressive and exceeding their expectations. Melodic metal fans should also find this CD enjoyable as well as progressive metal lovers, particularly fans of Evergrey.

‘Radical peace’ is a sure-fire winner in my book and Mob Rules have continued to impress me ever since hearing them for the first time, back with ‘Temple of two suns’. Things have certainly changed for the best with the band since then, and like a good bottle of wine, they have only gotten better with age.



SEAN




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