Mob Rules – Beast Reborn (Steamhammer/SPV)Monday, 20th August 2018
Hand picking their latest second guitarist Sönke Janssen because of his studies and skills under the tutelage of main axe man Sven Lüdke, the German melodic power metal act Mob Rules strides again to their own accord through this ninth studio record Beast Reborn. Because the sextet isn’t necessarily the fastest or flashiest when it comes to musicianship and songwriting they fly under the radar, but never underestimate the talent and attention to craft that takes hold during these eleven compositions. As a result, the record has a classic, sophisticated texture that unearths layers of catchy passages and sterling melodies that should satisfy a variety of metal followers.
Whether it’s the headbanging nature against organ/orchestral strains for the immediately enticing “Sinister Light” or the Iron Maiden-like epic unfolding within “War of Currents”, these musicians leave no element astray to captivate an alluring atmosphere that keeps all facilities at attention. The singing component from Klaus Dirks has a majestic quality even if it’s on that slightly high pitch plateau – perfect to accent the Judas Priest meets Helloween guitar and drum foundation for the mid-tempo “Ghost of a Chance”, while garnering that desperate calling during a more dramatic track like “The Explorer” that can be a little thrashy against some epic/folk-taken electric nuances. Jan Christian Halfbrodt as a keyboardist often lays lurking in the shadows, picking his spots for proper emphasis on the musical hooks – some of his best work shining in personal favorite “Shores Ahead” rich in twin guitar harmonies and a steady, pounding drum groove. The proverbial cherry on top of the main action is the addition of choir assistance from Seeb/Orden Ogan and the mastering prowess from Jens Bogren, ensuring that the band receive the best end game results from their hard work.
Their sound is diverse enough through the years to open tours for UFO, Orden Ogan, and Axel Rudi Pell beyond festival and headlining appearances of their own. Beast Reborn ultimately appeases the classic, melodic metal fan who wants solid mechanics and proper execution – and is a fine record that contains plenty of deeper aural treasures with successive passes. Let’s hope more people worldwide take a chance on Mob Rules – this scribe believes most people would recruit others into their fold and seek out more of this band’s rich catalog.