I was so excited to be able to review this album as I am a huge Adrenaline Mob fan, their vibe and their style makes me one happy metalhead. Also, with Mike Portnoy departing amicably due to touring schedule conflicts, and AJ Pero (Twisted Sister) taking over on the drums, I was interested to hear how it sounded. So, let’s get down to brass tacks, as they say, on “Men Of Honor,” which is out now through Century Media.
Kicking off with ‘The Mob is Back,’ and yes they are! Great opening riffs from Mike Orlando, seeming to set the mood for the rest of the album. Unfortunately, this song reminds me of one or two songs from other bands, it is NOT a unique sound, there are maybe a few riffs here and there, killer drum work too but not a stand out in the crowd song.
‘Come on Get Up’ follows. Now this song fucking rocks. This was the single they released for airplay and the minute I heard it I wanted to hear the rest of the album. With good vocals and drums, nothing sounds out of place on this song… It’s a party anthem for the moshers out there to get rowdy to. ‘Dearly Departed’ is not as heavy as the first two songs but there is really good guitar work on this one. The vocals start a bit on the mellow side and build up as you go but never get out of hand. A good song!
‘Behind These Eyes’ is a very mellow song that I am really on the fence about, I don’t know if it fits the style of this album but it’s a great song for the women who like ballads such as Firehouse. It reminds me of a way mellow hair band song…I feel like I was transported back to the 90s.
Picking back up from the previous song, ‘Let It Go’ is a relief with heavier guitars, great vocals and drum work. Although nothing stands out super on this song it’s good but not a “hey burn down the barn” good song. ‘Feel the Adrenaline’ is a good song, kind of what I expect from Adrenaline Mob.
‘Men of Honor’ starts off like another ballad before going into a tougher riff and I for one am very glad for that. It’s a good solid good song and one that I think will get some good airplay. And here we go with another ballad, ‘Crystal Clear,’ like ‘Behind These Eyes’ it never picks up any steam. I am not saying I hate it but if I had to listen to it a couple times in a row I might need a few drinks.
‘House of Lies’ has a really good opening that makes you want to listen to it over and over again.There are some good vocals again from Russell Allen. It gets pretty heavy, which is a relief after the sugar pop of ‘Crystal Clear’. ‘Judgement Day’ opens with heavy drums and a good overall sound. However, I am again confused as to where it fits in on this album, a theme running through the last few tracks of the album.
‘Fallin’ To Pieces,’ even though it a bit mellower, I love it! It’s not to much of a ballad nor is it too much of an ‘in your face’ kind of song. It has more of a rockabilly metal vibe to it. However, it feels a little out of place on the album. Then finally we are treat to an acoustic version of ‘Crystal Clear.’ You know my feelings on the original version so I won’t beat a dead horse!
Overall, as much as I love these guys, and have listened to them since “Omerta” in 2012, I am a bit confused with “Men Of Honor”. It’s like they know what style they want to be and then suddenly they veer way off the path. You can hear different musical influences, which is not a bad thing. I waiver between them sounding like Five Finger Death Punch, Soil and Texas Hippie Coalition. There are moments of brilliance and then a few that let the air out of you.