ADRENALINE MOB – OMERTA (CENTURY MEDIA, ELM CITY MUSIC)
Release Date: March 13, 2012
Adrenaline Mob, formed in early 2011, is a heavy metal super-group with vocalist Russell Allen (Symphony X) on vocals, guitar virtuoso Mike Orlando, bassist John Moyer (Disturbed), and the great Mike Portnoy (Flying Colors, ex-Dream Theater, ex-Avenged Sevenfold) on drums. Moyer joined after the album was recorded.
With three accomplished musicians coming together from different genres, Omertà is an amalgamation and all those sound and the influences can be noted very clearly. The lyrics are quite heavy and deep and noticeably stress on one general topic: the mob, the everyday guy. One can relate to the lyrics very easily, and coupled with some awesome riffs and powerful vocals, the listener often feels his/her inner self singing out loud, and when you have someone like Portnoy on drums, the songs have got to be groovy and with Orlando on guitars and bass, the feeling just gets better and better.
The album kicks off with “Undaunted”. The song starts off with a kickass riff, something that gets you to headbang instantly. It then progresses to the verse riff which continues throughout the song. The clean yet heavy vocals remind you of one word in particular: Mob! Allen’s vocals indeed sound like it represents the angry crowd. The lyrics are well crafted and it’s actually something you can relate to, and kinda want to shout out loud. Portnoy makes his presence felt with his complex drum lines while Mr. Orlando lets his bass boom, making the sound heavy and thick. Though Moyer joined after the album was recorded the song has a vibe similar to Disturbed.
Next up, we have “Psychosane”. This song just maintains the feeling created by “Undaunted”. The riff just seems to burst in your face with pure awesomeness when the vocals kick in. The pinch harmonics in the verse riff makes it even classier, while lines like “Let the river flow out of control into a twisted state of mind/ Put you six feet down and watch you drown” add appeal, making you love the song even more. And just as you continue to ride the killer riff, Orlando throws a short solo at you, filled with a variety of patterns which are well executed. One can’t help but notice Portnoy’s drumming which blends so well with the fretwork, adding that heavy feel to the song.
Like every great album, Omertà has a song that takes you on a sabbatical journey to your inner self, a song that makes you cry out all your feelings. This one’s called “Indifferent”. One of my personal favorites from the album, this song is unique in more ways than one. It’s like the song has the right combo of almost all elements: melody, groove, arpeggios on clean guitar, and a kickass solo to top it all. Russell Allen’s voice takes you on a journey to your past, the times you have been down, and how you can hit back hard. Lines like “I never thought you’d hear me say I’m better now/So I don’t need to sympathize” and “I’m better now/No I am no one’s tragedy” makes you feel good about yourself and you feel like screaming it out to the world. It fills you with a feeling of invincibility. The groovy riffs that follow just add to the feeling, not to mention another dynamic guitar solo. Orlando seems to be getting better and better with each track. A powerful song with a powerful message, this track is a definite future single!
“All on the Line” continues the melodic journey. Listening to this song for the first time, I was blown out by the lyrics. It revolves around your everyday guy, struggling to make it through each day, trying to get it “all on the line”. Amazing words crafted to perfection with a powerful voice that sings them and beautiful guitar lines that adds to its melody. This track is sure to remind you of bands like Skid Row and Portnoy’s former band Dream Theater. This is my personal favorite from the album.
Just after you are thrown into a reflective mood by “All on the Line”, The Mob slams you with “Hit the Wall”, and a wave of adrenaline sweeps you away. The vocals are equally powerful and are sure to remind you of Chris Cornell (Soundgarden, Audioslave). Once again a song that speaks of one’s frustration in his quest to live the perfect life. Every word seems designed to ply the listener with renewed conviction.
“Feelin Me” brings a rush of groove as you headbang to the pulsating rhythm sections. Lyrically this is another song you would simply want to scream out loud! The vocals are powerful as hell, which adds to the appeal, along with the kickass drumming and booming bass lines and a groover of a riff.
Next up we have a Duran Duran cover of, “Come Undone”. Easily better than the original. The track is given a kick in the ass with the addition of powerhouse vocalist Lzzy Hale of Halestorm playing against Allen. She gives her heart and soul to this track and at times even seems to overpower Allen. Her voice sounds fantastic and is sure to give you chills. Taking nothing away from Russell, whose own vocals seem just perfect for a song like this, especially the parts he hits the high notes. A beautiful combo of melody and groove, this song will certainly remind you the song “Life is Beautiful” by Sixx AM.
While you were regaling in the melody, Adrenaline Mob suddenly throws at you, “Believe Me”. Here the intro riff is very similar to “Undaunted”. Russell literally blows his voice out on this one, and coupled with the amazing guitar chords and a strong bass line, this song hits you hard, and is sure to stick around your brain for days at a stretch!
“Freight Train”, the next song on the line, starts off with an audio sample of a train passing by and Portnoy soon kicks in, with his strong drum lines followed by another brilliant riff and as usual, the vocals sound absolutely kickass! Allen’s powerful vocals, with good break lines, gives this song a potential to become an anthem!
The album comes to an end with “Angel Sky”. The first time you listen to this song, you are sure to feel Adrenaline Mob saved the best for the last. Starting off with a soothing line on the acoustic, Mike Orlando’s uber-melodic lead suddenly breaks like a wave and suddenly the melody is swarming all around you. Lyrically, this has got to be the best song on the album, and Allen’s vocals just add to that awesome feeling of restful solace. One can’t help but take note of the overall arrangement on this song. One can find all elements, from chords on an acoustic guitar to guitar solos, melodic lead lines and typical Portnoy drumming. With the sound spectrum covered so beautifully, and everything put together so majestically, this song is a perfect end to what is going to be one of 2012’s greatest albums!
Whether you hate them or love them, you can’t deny the fact that the album kicks some serious ass. For me, Omertà is an awesome album. It was total sonic bliss to review it and one can only hope and wish Adrenaline Mob sticks around forever and keeps us wanting for more of their groovy heavy metal madness.