SPV/Steamhammer [Release date 13.09.19]
Germany. Spiritual home of power metal. Influenced by British classic rock of early to mid 80s (think Saxon, Iron Maiden et al), the scene started in mid 80s mid Europe and it’s come a long way since then. Mob Rules, formed in Germany in the mid 90s as a quartet, soon became a five piece and following their 1999 debut, a six piece. And they remain proof that two guitars with keyboards work in classic metal.
After 9 studio albums, a best ff and the 2005 live album ‘Signs Of The Times’, we get a second full live set, recorded on the Beast Reborn tour.
A solid intro sees the band take stage and the crowd roar, and opener ‘Ghost Of A Chance’ sees some strong clean cut vocals, plenty of fast guitar and some intricate keyboards (just audible in the mix), and some standout guitar solos. ‘Somerled ‘has a darker and chunkier feel, the band still tight as ever. “Are you ready for some heavy metal?” Well yes of course, there’s many a cliché delivered, but that’s no bad thing, it’s what we go to gigs for sometimes. ‘Black Rain’ is a solid track, the keyboards adding an orchestrated gothic edge in places. It’s nice to get some chat between songs, as any good frontman does.
Founder member and vocalist Klaus Dirks sings his heart out, and guitarists Florian Dyszbalis and Sven Ludke work well together. The band are completed by bassist Markus Brinkamnn, drummer Nikolas Fritz and keyboard player Jan Christian Halfbrodt. And they sound very well rehearsed here.
‘Hollowed Be Thy Name’ is always a good track, great riff, and ‘Way Back Home’ gets the crowd clapping along.
The music is there, so is the energy and the performance, but at 75 minutes it could be longer, and not much in the way of extended arrangements. Even so, Mob Rules have always been good entertainment. ****
Review Joe Geesin
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