German power metal band Mob Rules is back after a
three-year absence with its sixth release, "Radical Peace," celebrating the
band's 15th anniversary. Although not as popular as Helloween or Gamma Ray, Mob
Rules create dynamic power metal. Their sound is more along the lines of Edguy
and Ivory Tower when compared with German bands of this genre. A hint of
Savatage, Rhapsody of Fire and Stratovarius come to mind as well.
"Radical Peace" has a tougher exterior than on previous
records, with each song a well-crafted story of mood and emotion. Loaded with
symphonic interludes and progressive guitar solos, its keyboard- orientated
power metal is executed nicely within the framework of the songs. Vocalist Klaus
Dirk's melodic vocals cut through the aggressive guitar riffs and atmospheric
CD opener "Children of the Flames" is about German SS
physician Josef Mengele, who performed human experiments at the Nazi
concentration camp in Auschwitz. The most famous Mengele-inspired song is, of
course, "Angel of Death" by Slayer, and while their version describes specific
acts and experiments performed by Mengele, Mob Rules' version explains more of
the emotion and psychological aspects of the children that were experimented on.
"Trial By Fire," with its Stratovarius influence, has an
uplifting chorus and excellent guitar solos by Matthias Mineur and Sven Lüdge.
The album's first single, "Astral Hand," inspired by
Italian Renaissance painter Michelangelo's fresco painting "The Creation of
Adam," has a similar Stratovarius sound to it with its keyboard- induced
Mob Rules also sticks with its obsession of songs about
political moments in world history. The 18-minute epic "The Oswald File," is
brilliant, musically and lyrically. The song is based on the assassination of
U.S. President John F. Kennedy and the speculation of his alleged killer, Lee
Harvey Oswald. An excerpt of Kennedy's famous speech in West Berlin in 1963, "Ich
bin ein Berliner," is used as the intro.
"Radical Peace" is a record that needs the listener to
soak in every nuance, emotion and concept. It's a great display of power metal
prowess that will leave fans already into Mob Rules impressed, and will likely
gain new fans.