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Mob Rules - Cannibal Nation Award winner

Mob Rules
Cannibal Nation
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 01 November 2012, 5:37 PM

It has been years since I heard new material from this veteran German band by the name of MOB RULES (That old BLACK SABBATH classic). I think that the last time I took a listen to something of theirs was back in 2005, right before checking them out live in Wacken Open Air of the same year. I listened to their third album, released in 2004, “Hollowed By Thy Name”. Nonetheless, I didn’t really need that album to remind me that these guys are insanely melodic and true to the 80s form. I had a chance to check their first two albums back in 2000, prior to my joining to the military service, and what a great time did I have. Though keeping a sort of resemblance to old HELLOWEEN of the Kiske & Hansen era, MOB RULES has been living up to be great followers of IRON MAIDEN, early days of QUEENSRYCHE, Tony Martin’s epoch with BLACK SABBATH, DIO and even 70s major acts as RAINBOW and DEEP PURPLE. The band’s new album, “Cannibal Nation”, via AFM Records, proved to me that my assumptions were closer being correct than wrong and also once again allowed me to inhale their magnificence and splendour. As it seems, after eating away this album, MOB RULES are currently one of the most melodic and urbane Metal bands in Europe, and in Germany in particular.

In comparison to the older material of the band ranging between 1999 and 2004, the albums that I know of the band, MOB RULES took a closer step into becoming an harmonic form of IRON MAIDEN, more or less of today’s type. As a matter of fact, MOB RULES has been keeping their music rather steady when it comes to heaviness and composure. However, stable as it is, like a straight line, it seemed to me that their harmonic approach, or melodic whatever you wish to call it, stepped into the MAIDEN zone rather to the classic Euro Power Metal streams that was quite evident in full form in the older material. Frankly, I wouldn’t mind this or that because these guys have been doing both with elegance and immense talent, alongside notable passion for the 80s and for melodiousness hymns, and should be reckoned as a powerful drive in the Metal communion.

The journey began with “Close My Eyes”, following a majestic intro served for kings as MOB RULES has been crafting for years. The song itself is a great floater, amazing lead vocals, crispy main riffing, fascinating NWOBHM meets traditional German Metal and as usual peak intonations displaying multichannel quire vocals for a bombastic turnout. You know that amazing thing is that “Close My Eyes” wasn’t, at least for me, the greatest song MOB RULES could offer. Trust me that there is more to it. “Lost”, as if continuing where the previous ended, unleashed yet another harmonic attack of traditional Metal riffing made by German hands and insanely grandiose chorus that made me close to shed a tear, and it has been rather hard to excite me in the last few years so have faith that it doesn’t happen a lot. “Ice & Fire” sent me back to MAIDEN’s golden moments adjacent to their later period of the last decade. Though less grandiloquent than the previous and later on turnouts, MOB RULES demonstrated how crafty they are with melodic harmonies and sweet catchy passages, especially that Irish like overpass right in the midway point that really turned up things. “The Sirens” became as a sort of spin between RUNNING WILD, QUEENSRYCHE and MAIDEN, sounds pretty tasty, especially for melodic Metal enthusiastic fans, and boy it sounded so right, 80s oriented riffing as always, tight playing and immeasurably smooth flow. When it came down to the chorus, led as always by the unending Klaus Dirks on vocals, I was captivated and mainly strapped in my seat not moving so I wouldn’t ruin the moment. At first I thought that “Sunrise” would be like those closing ballads smeared with opus elements, yet the opening acoustic verses where only a built up to an a fuse that was lightened up as the lead guitar provided a soft melodic lick. Gradually, right in the midpoint of the track, as if like a final gasp for air, MOB RULES let it go with howling of “Sunrise”, the dawning of a new clear day, a time for more music and classy soloing.

I know that I babbled a lot about this release, but I don’t really care. MOB RULES didn’t fail to impress me once again and I regret not listening to their releases after “Hollowed Be Thy Name”. I suggest that you would pack your things and dash, rush or whatever to purchase this to be classic new album of this German crew, you won’t be thwarted.

4 Star Rating

1. Close My Eyes
2. Lost
3. Tele Box Fool
4. Ice and Fire
5. Soldiers of Fortune
6. The Sirens
7. Scream for the Sun (May 29th 1953)
8. Cannibal Nation
9. Sunrise 
Klaus Dirks- Vocals
Matthias Mineur- Guitars
Sven Lüdke- Guitars
Jan Christian Halfbrodt- Keyboards
Markus Brinkmann- Bass
Nikolas Fritz - Drums
Record Label: AFM Records


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