“Coverta” by Adrenaline Mob

Artist: Adrenaline Mob
Title: “Coverta”
Label: Elm City Music
Release Date: 3/12/2013
Genre: Heavy Metal/Groove Metal
Rating: 4/5

I’ll start by hoping that you already know a little bit about the band Adrenaline Mob, and if not this is the high-energy Groove Metal band originally formed by Russell Allen and Mike Orlando that also features both Mike Portnoy and John Moyer. Last year they released their debut album “Omerta” and now have given us an album of cover songs that goes under the clever title of “Coverta”. There. You are all caught up with us so let’s discuss “Coverta” which is by the way an album of cover tunes. Now I am sure that an EP of this kind might surprise some new folks to the band because it is their second release, but its existence will be something that the more tenured fans are welcoming with open arms based on the fact that the band is known for doing some covers during the context of a live show. I’ve seen them in action twice since this lineup was fashioned and can honestly say that they do this for the love of the bands being covered more than a need for set filler. Now let’s talk a little bit about what they opted to deliver on “Coverta”.

The EP begins with an unexpected treat of “High Wire” by the group Badlands. That was the group with Jake E. Lee and Ray Gillan. They do the track justice but I didn’t expect any less since I’ve long felt the vocal register of Russell Allen is perfect for this kind of cover and Orlando is truly a versatile axe-slinger. We get three contributions that pay homage to the late great Ronnie James Dio with a cover of his solo work on “Stand Up And Shout”, a tip of the Rainbow hat on “Kill The King” and then with Black Sabbath’s “The Mob Rules”. Honestly each of these tunes is fantastic in my opinion as they also are very clear favorites of my own from the works of the original masters. Allen delivers a very solid Dio-vibe and makes me feel how he might have been a great choice had Heaven And Hell chosen to remain together for future touring with a couple of quality vocalists under their command. I’ll admit to not finding any interest in The Doors inclusion based on my hearing this tune done to death by regional cover bands and feeling that the guys should have stuck to the Metal on the EP but they sold me with the powerful rendition of Van Halen’s “Romero Delight”. This one not only kicks ass from the very first note, but it also lets Mike Portnoy show off his best Alex Van Halen by showcasing the drum solo found in “Light Up The Sky” (from “Van Halen II by the way) and a brief “Whole Lotta Love” by Zep to bring you back to the main tune. Whew was all I had after this one. I could not help but do some air drums and air guitar while this tune was blasting. Fortunately for all who are sitting at home with the album and focus on the drumming, Mister Portnoy does not disappoint for a second. He sticks to the original format of the tunes being covered but also throws in his unique flair that lets you know it’s him behind the kit. He is still one of the music industry’s most exciting skin bashers and that is all I have to say about that.

Listeners will also get Led Zeppelin’s “The Lemon Song” and Heart’s “Barracuda” but I will not speak deeply on these and instead leave the pondering to the buyer’s scrutiny rather than spoil the whole thing. If you wondered whether I enjoyed this pair of tunes, well, I will give you the thumbs on that but say no more. Sorry. Now as I’ve reviewed the release via a digital streaming I cannot speak to what might be found on the packaging but let’s hope there are some solid liner notes about the track selections and their reasons for being chosen for such a release along with a few photos. The bottom line is that this is an affordable enough release that is an enjoyable listen so give it a shot and do go to see The Adrenaline Mob in concert if they are paying a visit to your town.

Track Listing:
1. High Wire (Badlands)
2. Stand Up And Shout (Dio)
3. Break On Through (The Doors)
4. Romeo Delight (Van Halen)
5. Barracuda (Heart)
6. Kill The King (Rainbow)
7. The Lemon Song (Led Zeppelin)
8. The Mob Rules (Black Sabbath)

Official Website: http://adrenalinemob.com/

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