Adrenaline Mob

1. Undaunted
2. Psychosane
3. Indifferent
4. All on the Line
5. Hit the Wall
6. Feelin' Me
7. Come Undone" (Duran Duran cover)
8. Believe Me
9. Down to the Floor
10. Angel Sky
11. Freight Train  

Russell Allen (Lead vocals)
Mike Orlando (Lead guitar)
Mike Portnoy (drums & percussion)

Adrenaline Mob (EP 2011)

Lizzy Hale (Vocals on 7)

Russell Allen (Production)
Mike Orlando (Engineering & mixing)
Jay Ruston (Mix)
Maor Appelbaum (Mastering)

Released 13/3-2012
Reviewed 3/6-2012

century media

I think it's easy for most people to just reject 'Omertá' as an album too heavy, hard and aggressive if you haven't given it a proper chance to prove what it's capable of achieving. It's just like with bands like Nevermore, Grip Inc. and such bands that are on the border between really heavy and too heavy, if you want to listen to these bands you have to "invest" time in them to grow and show what they're capable of. This is something I can't help but feeling a bit divided about because on one hand it's grat with album that, like this one, gets a longer run-span than most albums, yet somehow it feels a bit negative that you as a listener needs to put a couple of hours or more to find out if you really appreciate this album or not as it's earliest by then you're able to see this for what it really is.

My spontaneous feeling from 'Omertá' was, as I expect most of you will feel when you play this album, that it was really heavy and hard - too hard to really say anything really. It was just aggressive, angry, heavy and hard more or less all the time and this wasn't too exciting. But after a few runs the album just started to grow upon me and many of the songs I had previously dismissed being too aggressive to say anything just started to speak to me and once they did I soon heard how clever and ingenious they actually were. As I then serched through the album information it didn't feel very surprising to see that the two founding members of this band were two of the progressive metal-scenes biggest names as Russell Allen and Mike Portnoy, with about 50 full length-releases on their combined discography, along with guitarist Mike Orlando was responsible for 'Omertá'. Their debut EP was released late last year and this March saw the release of their debut full-length album.

If you know Russell Allen through any of his previous vocal performances, you know his powerful but quite high pitched and soft voice. Knowing this, it's quite surprising to hear him on this album sounding like a battering ram going through anything and everything that gets in his way. Honestly, I would never have expected this man to have such an aggressive tone and my guess is that somebody must have brutally assaulted his whole family with Allen tied up in the room to witness the whole thing before he entered the studio and roared through these vocals the way he does because that's the only thing I can imagine that would make him sound like this. The funny thing with the whole thing is that it's not just Allen that sounds this way, but also guest starring Lizzy Hale that contributes with her voice on the Duran Duran cover Come Undone sounds just as pissed-off. Like if someone had spent the whole day pointing his finger in her saying "booh" until she finally could scream all that annoyance out of her system. Russell Allens voice, though, is not just aggressive but also very heavy and he sounds almost like a wasp in the size of a Rolls Royce. The string-section is just as angry and this whole production will crush you like a wasp stuck under a Rolls Royce. The only real exception is the ballad All On The Line which is a really, really nice track in the first half of the album.

The opening track on 'omertá', called Undaunted' is otherwise the real eye-opener on the album. This is a song that isn't too different from the rest, working from heaviness and hardness to aggressiveness. The song has some really nice melodies and both verse and chorus feels good with quite simple yet striking instrumental performances playing in a comfortable tempo. Most of the songs on the album works after the same conditions but none of them really reminds me of Undaunted. However, many of the songs are evern heavier and angrier.

Despite it's obvious position on the front edge of the music, it's still not the aggressiveness and heaviness or hardness and anger that makes the biggest impact on me with 'Omertá' but those ingenious melodies and clever instrumental performances that you don't even hear when you play the album the first couple of times due to the heaviness taking all your attention. Honestly, I can't say there's too much on this album that reveals the history of these great musicians the way they play in Adrenaline Mob but you can still scent the smell of their past in their intelligent song-construction where they play their instruments impressingly with genius melodies that still manages to have a great flow. On the production side there's still some to wish for but overall I think they get the music out the way they want it to be presented but it's still a shame they can't present it in a way that would get you there faster. i've read plenty of reviews from reviewers that haven't given this album enough time and therefore write a lot of rubbish due to the fact that they don't understand the album and it's easy to see why because I don't know many people that would have the patience to let this album get there either. Why would you spend hours on listening to an album that isn't great and hope what it will be so after a few runs? Most people would just keep Undaunted, All On The Line and the concluding Freight Train as well as one or two others and moved along before the rest of the songs would have had a chance to shine because after hearing this album as many times as I've done by now (13 times) I can't say there's a single song on this album that I don't like, despite the album feeling so heavy and aggressive as it does.

All concluded it's with mixed emotions I summarize this album. While it's an album that's really good it's still hard to escape from the fact that the album is too heavy to really reach as far as the potential in the album tells us it can because all that aggressiveness drowns too much of this albums real qualities. Somehow I can't help thinking of Symphony X and Dream Theater after all, because all though musically very different from where these guys have spent most of their musical past both of these bands have presented a similar emotional game. First they release something that's so good that not even gold or diamonds can compare, only to completely disappoint us with their next release. I'm not saying that the songs on 'Omertá' mixes good with bad because they're, as I've said already, all good but they're still presenting disappointment following feelings of greatness. Adrenaline Mob have so much potential that they could be there at the top all the time, just like Symphony X and Dream Theater, but none of them really do. And so I recommend this album with some caution - you will probably like this album… the question is wether you'll think it's worth it.



Label: Elm City Music/Century Media
Three similar bands: Grip Inc./Nevermore/Strapping Young Lad
Rating: HHHHHHH (5/7)
Reviewer: Caj Källmalm

läs på svenska