“Adrenaline Mob” by Adrenaline Mob

Artist: Adrenaline Mob
Title: “Adrenaline Mob”
Label: Independent Artist
Release Date: 8/9/2011
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 4/5

Before we begin this little overview of the debut offering by Adrenaline Mob it’s important that you let go of any preconceived notions about its content based on the group’s membership roster. I lay this out in the open because when you look at their names on paper with Russell Allen (Symphony X), Mike Portnoy (former of Dream Theater) and Rich Ward (Stuck Mojo/Fozzy) you might be expecting some kind of stratospheric tour de force project and this is NOT that kind of band my friends. What it is to me is a type of Groove Metal band with a bit of an homage to the Traditional side and perhaps even a touch of Nu-Metal to it. Sadly I fear that I have just made some Progressive fans faint, but oh well. That cannot be helped since this will not be something up their alley at all. This is however the kind of music that more of your modern day Metal head is looking into because it is absolutely heavy from beginning to end and has sufficient enough flare to get the fists pumping and dare I say the adrenaline levels rising. It begins with “Psychosane” and we immediately can note the different register that Allen is singing in. There is solid drumming put out by Portnoy and I expected this much but do not look for intricate nuance and instead indulge yourself in the steady pounding. Joining Ward on lead guitar is Mike Orlando who might still be something of an unknown to many people who listen to Metal but I believe his participation in this group will change that. A solid track but I do tend to agree with those who say Mike P. should stick to the drums instead of taking a chance on the microphone solo. I was not all that keen on his vocal input in the tune while at the same time I loved the big chorus vibe we got in a few sections.

“Believe Me” had a Sevendust groove to it and I think fans of that band might enjoy the similarities and perhaps even take to them as a new “to follow” band. It was interesting to hear Allen singing outside of the register that I know him best for but that is what makes him one of the industry’s best providers of vocal talent. He has diversity and he is not afraid to explore different avenues with his voice. Want the kind of notes he does in Symphony X, then please go grab a copy of their latest effort “Iconoclast” as these notes are there in abundance. “Hit The Wall” was instantly my favorite tune when it began as there was a lot of everything going on with this one. Intensity in the vocals and total drive in the rhythm section under the blistering leads that make for a good piece of Metal. Part of my musical mind envisioned the circle pits starting up with this one breaking into a slow mosh when it became appropriate. Good stuff. More like this please when the debut full length comes out. “Down To The Floor” felt so much like a “live tune” meaning that I just had the gut reaction of this one kicking my ass when done in the live sense. There was also a heavy reference to the term “adrenaline” in this one so it might end up being their signature number or theme song in a sense. I viewed this as a close second to my other favorite. The EP closes up with the bands rendition of Black Sabbath’s “The Mob Rules” and this is an obvious tip of the hat to the Godfather of Heavy Metal, Mr. Ronnie James Dio who we lost in 2010. While a good version it’s not the best in my humble opinion but I think that I am getting tired of everyone thinking that they need to do something like this for additional attention. The material and lineup of the Adrenaline Mob has enough potential and promise to become something special for the fans of heavy music.

All in all this was an admirable effort and one that is getting a decent ranking based on their bravery in doing something that was off the expected mark. It was still heavy and I managed to make it through the five songs without going “oh God get done already”. Beyond that this is most probably a band better enjoyed live than on stereo. There are clips from their debut performance in NYC and one can easily see the camaraderie and togetherness that they share. This is a band that is enjoying every moment and every note together. I cannot fault them for that at all. The EP is available both physically and digitally and those who get the real deal copy will find that the insert features some photos but no lyrics. The question remains though about this particular project having any real extended life to it. Will it be a band that we find consistently active or will it be one of those occasionally visited enterprises that periodically come out of the blue to treat whatever fans that they have come to establish with this work. I’m saying this based on Ward already seeming to have a full plate with Fozzy, Hail and more while Allen is very constrained in time based on the activity of Symphony X and their rapid domination of the Progressive Metal genre. I’m sure everyone reading this knows how Portnoy has become even busier with his schedule since leaving Dream Theater. In the end I wish this new project the best and look forward to seeing them in concert and hearing more music. If you want to enjoy your favorites in a slightly different framework then check this out. If you don’t, well, then I am afraid that I cannot help you with your issues.

Track Listing:
1. Psychosane
2. Believe Me
3. Hit The Wall
4. Down To The Floor
5. The Mob Rules

Official Website: http://www.adrenalinemob.com

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