Mob Rules
Radical Peace
Style: Melodic Power Metal
Release date: November 13th 2009

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 keyboard accents.

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 orchestra buildup.

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.

01. Children of the Flames
02. Trial by Fire
03. Warchild
04. Astral Hand
05. The Oswald File
  (Ethnolution II: A Matter of Unnecessary Doubt)
  Chapter I (Prologue)
  Chapter II (Desperate Son)
  Chapter III (11.30 a.m.)
  Chapter IV (Unnecessary Doubt?)
  Chapter V (A Dead Man..s Face)
  Chapter VI (Did You Reach The Sun?)
6. Waiting for the Sun
7. The Glance of Fame
Label: AFM Records
Distribution: Target (Denmark)
Reviewed by: Kelley Simms
Date: October 22nd 2009