Just under two years since the absolutely stonking Omertá and Adrenaline Mob are back with that tricky album number two. It’s another great album but one that doesn’t quite hit the heights of Omertá.
Men of Honor is probably closer to being a more conventional heavy rock album. Is it played too safe? Perhaps. I think they hit such heady heights on their debut that it was always going to take a monumental effort to better it. Two years since its release I still listen to Omertá on a regular basis it is THAT good.
BUT, this should of course be a review about Men of Honor not its precursor! There are two things that standout for me over the course of this album and it’s once again the stunning vocals of Russell Allen and the absolutely gobsmacking guitar work of Mike Orlando. I could listen to both all day long.
I do actually feel what’s lacking from this album is the input of Mike Portnoy. The quality of the drumming on the album, from Twisted Sister sticks man AJ Pero, is without fault for sure but the tracks here seem to go between balls to the wall rock out and huge power ballad. Still mightily enjoyable but in need of a bit of mixing things up I think.
The album itself reminds me a lot of a coming together of Nickelback and the Foo Fighters. It’s the commercially viable kind of heavy rock that hits the US market in particular on the nose. Opening track Mob is Back reminds me of Burn it to the Ground in particular, while Come on Get Up reminds me of Next Go Round from Dark Horse too. Dearly Departed by contrast has a real Foo Fighters groove to it, to the point that you could swear it’s Dave Grohl singing at times.
Behind These Eyes brings us the first power ballad on the album and it reminds a lot of Angel Sky but doesn’t hit its soaring heights. It does however serve as a reminder of how versatile Allen’s vocals are right enough. His rich, throaty notes come through wonderfully both here, during Crystal Clear and closing track Fallin’ to Pieces.
The rest of the album kicks out the big-hitting, fist pumping rock numbers including single release Feel The Adrenaline that is indeed perfectly named in its attack. Likewise the title track Men of Honor too, draws you in with a Floyd-esque intro before kicking into another Foo Fighters styled attack. The album plays more like grandiose stadium rock at times, interspersed with simply awesome solo work from Mike Orlando on every track.
I may be perhaps putting the album down a bit here but at the end of the day it’s still a bloody great rock album with some killer tracks indeed. I just hold debut album Omertá in such high esteem that I feel it falls a wee bit short of its greatness.
1. Mob Is Back
2. Come on Get Up
3. Dearly Departed
4. Behind These Eyes
5. Let It Go
6. Feel the Adrenaline
7. Men of Honor
8. Crystal Clear
9. House of Lies
10. Judgment Day
11. Fallin’ to Pieces
Adrenaline Mob are:
Russell Allen – Vocals
Mike Orlando – Guitar
John Moyer – Bass
AJ Pero – Drums