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Mob Rules - Beast Over Europe Award winner

Mob Rules
Beast Over Europe
by Rachel Montgomery at 01 October 2019, 11:56 PM

MOB RULES is a German Power Metal band that formed in 1994 and has been going strong for fifteen years with ten albums under their belts. Their live album is of their 2018 album, “Beast Reborn,” which garnered international success and launched a massive tour both to celebrate the success of the album and their 25th anniversary. This is their first live album in 14 years, and as promised, their music is powerful and unrelenting.

The Beast Reborn” is simply an intro, the band coming out on stage to applause. However, the transition into the next song seems abrupt; I believe they could’ve fixed it by combining the first two tracks. Despite this, “Ghost of a Chance” is a solid song and a good opener for a concert: it’s upbeat and fast, a good choice to pump up an audience. The song itself reminds me of a more symphonic version of Sammy Hagar’s “Heavy Metal” since the riff is similar.

The vocalist is talented; he has a clear, operatic voice that he can carry through his range without the aid of studio tricks. The instrumentals have a 1980s production quality to them, but I believe it’s mostly due to the nature of a live album. It also has to do with the style, namely the hallmark high-pitched guitars in Power Metal can sound like they’re straight out of the 1980s without studio alterations.

Somerled” is done in a similar style to the previous song. The one thing I noticed is that the vocalist is less prominent than the instrumentals. The quality of both is still good, but what’s being sung can be buried by the crashing drums and guitars. The guitar riffs soar and are beautiful, though.

Black Rain” features the band’s intro monologue and an ambient opening. The buildup is slow, leading to a steady riff and thumping drums. With the ambient opening, this would be a good opening song at future concerts, steadily picking up speed as the band comes out. The guitar solo shows wonderful technique and movement, specifically the ability to change tempos in a short order. The intense ending without a studio is also impressive.

Sinister Light” is a fan favorite, starting off with its own introduction. A soft guitar melody before the meat of the song serves as a nice intro. The song itself is anthemic and pounding and includes some audience participation. Like the last song, the intensity during a live show without the aid of studio is impressive.

Dykemaster’s Tale” begins like a sea shanty and with some clapping from the audience. It’s long and begins slowly which is also a good choice here; the songs were subtly slowing down, but the monotony of fast song after fast song needed to be broken up, even if only by the first part of a song. When it picks up speed, it reminds me of an IRON MAIDEN song, intense with operatic vocals that can travel across the crowd. I enjoyed the melody changes, keeping the song fresh through its 9-minute run.

The next three songs are all fast and energetic. “My Kingdom Come” gets an introduction as well before going into a soft guitar riff. The audience is clapping the beat, so it’s obviously another fan favorite. It builds from there into a loud, pumping song.

The Last Farewell,” surprisingly, has the same flavor, but with a harder, more anthemic beat. The name suggests it would be a slow ballad. Not this song. Utilizing synthesizer scales in the chorus and pounding drums, this song rocks. The only time they slow down is to lead the crowd in a “hey, hey” chant.

Children’s Crusade” is faster, with lighter drums and soars more than the last song.  The production on all of these songs are great, and while they’re all fast, they have different tones to keep the crowd engaged and pumped.

On the Edge” gets its own introduction in a short interlude. It’s heavy on the synthesizers with a long introduction. This is not surprising; it’s a long song, so I would have liked to hear a little more variety in the intro, or a shortened intro. The rest of the song is powerful and engaging, with choir elements and drum rolls used to keep the song going. The guitar solo shows good technique as well with well-placed sweeps, melodies and arpeggios.

In the Land of Wind and Rain” features a piano intro with cutting guitars before going into a thrashing melody. The first verse is syncopated, so while it’s another fast song, it’s a significant tonal shift from the other three. Also, unlike the last song, the symphonics sound more real.
When I heard “Hallowed Be Thy Name,” I expected it to be an IRON MAIDEN cover. The band would be well-suited to cover the famous song, with a strong, operatic singer and a more traditional Power Metal sound. However, the song is solid as is with some audience participation, good instrumentals and vocals. The encore songs, “Way Back Home” and “Rain Song” are heavy hitters as well. The latter is softer though, with nice guitar technique in the intro.

I’ve noticed that there are no slow songs in this lineup. Understandably, you don’t want to put your audience to sleep, but a break or two with a ballad is standard to allow the audience to cool off for a few minutes. There was a little bit of that with a song that started off slow, but the songs thus far don’t let up. At a concert, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing: it keeps the audience pumped and engaged throughout the show. For the album? Unless you were there, it’s relentless and the songs, unless there’s a significant shift in tone, can bleed into each other.

Besides this observation, it’s a great album and shows the band has talented members, including a clear vocalist and a skilled guitarist. If you’re a fan of the band, it’s worth checking this out to see their chops live.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Beast Reborn
2. Ghost of a Chance
3. Somerled
4. Black Rain
5. Sinister Light
6. Dykemaster’s Tale
7. My Kingdom Come
8. The Last Farewell
9. Children’s Crusade
10. On the Edge
11. In the Land of Wind and Rain
12. Hollowed Be Thy Name
13. Way Back Home
14. Rain Song
Lineup:
Klaus Dirks – Vocals
Sven Lüdke – Guitar
Florian Diszybalis – Guitars
Jan Christian Halfbrodt – Keyboards
Markus Brinkmann – Bass
Nikolas Fritz – Drums
Record Label: Steamhammer
     


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