(8/10) Ups. Have I put the new Iron Maiden into my CD player? A cover-check tells me: No. But what I hear reminds very much of what I'm used to from the Steve Harris & Co. However, it's really the new Mob Rules album that seems to be very inspired by what the NWoBHM legends did recently, at least when it comes to the guitar melodies and solos on "Dykemaster's Tale", and also the epical length of eight minutes comes close to songs from the latest Maiden output.
After such a start I was curious if this journey continues or if the opener was more the exception than the rule. "Somerled" has a windy start, before a bagpipe and marching drums bridge to the actual song. A galloping rhythm builds the foundation for this rocking tune that represents typical German metal. There might be some smaller Maiden cross-references but in the end this tune stands far more on its own feet than the opener.
The same goes for the mid-pace number "Signs" which is next. Things get faster again with "On the Edge". It's a heavy number with a catchy chorus, a song that can do a great job during live shows.
The heart of the album is the trilogy "Tales From Beyond" which is based on Andy Weir's bestseller "The Martian". Mob Rules used the novel and the movie as an inspiration by enriching it with own personal references. The three songs itself sound pretty good. 'Part 1' feels almost like Queensryche in their "Rage For Order"-phase merged with some 'Flash Gordon' links in the chorus. The second chapter is in genral more silent and reflecting. What stands out here are the excellent vocals of Klaus Dirks who comes across as a storytelling singer with a lot of emotions connected. The final leg of this trilogy is called "Science Save Me" which is another well-crafted piece of music with a multi-layered approach.
To sum up: Mob Rules' newest longplayer became a well-done metal album that has a bit too many crosslinks here and there. But in the end it also comes with well-done power metal tracks that are a done in a balanced combination of heaviness and catchiness.
- Dykemaster's Tale
- On the Edge
- My Kingdom Come
- The Healer
- Dust of Vengeance
- A Tale From Beyond (Part 1: Through the Eyes of the Storm)
- A Tale From Beyond (Part 2: A Mirror Inside)
- A Tale From Beyond (Part 3: Science Save Me)
- Outer Space (Bonus)
Genre: Heavy Metal
Release Date EU: March 18th, 2016