After Mike Portnoy made the announcement that he would be departing from Adrenaline Mob in mid-2013, people started to question the future of the band. Come December 2013, the band announced that they will be releasing their sophomore album Men Of Honor in early 2014, and the band also made the announcement that their new drummer is none other than A.J Pero of Twisted Sister. Men Of Honor is full of heavy sledgehammer grooves and pure rock n' roll swagger, but is also a more versatile offering compared to their debut Omerta (2012).
"Mob Is Back" kicks off the album and the music does the title justice, with a slamming blues influence played in perfect heavy metal style. The wailing drum work of A.J Pero compliments Mike Orlando's frenzied fretwork and John Moyer's thundering bass lines extremely well. The grooves are relentless throughout the album and executed to perfection on the heavy hitters like "Come On Get Up", "Feel The Adrenaline", "Judgement Day" and the title track "Men Of Honor". "Feel The Adrenaline" is up-tempo, it's aggressive, and you just can't help but obey Russell Allen as he snarls the commanding lyrics, and is sure to work well in any type of live setting. Russell Allen incorporates a wide variety of vocal styles from angry to melodic, which keeps the album fresh and exciting.
The band takes their foot off the gas a little bit on the melodic tracks such as "Dearly Departed", "Behind These Eyes" and the album's closer "Fallin' To Pieces". "Dearly Departed is one of the album's best tracks which contains the best melodic groove on the album and a soulful melodic chorus. The groove in "Judgment Day" is devastatingly destructive, it's impossible not to headbang, and it features an extremely hooky chorus. “Crystal Clear”, while it’s not a terrible track and there’s nothing wrong with acoustic guitars, I just think the song feels like it was rushed in the writing and recording process, and the song lacks some of the passion that the other melodic tracks contain. While A.J Pero is known for being in Twisted Sister since the 70s, he just proves that you’re never too old to throw down this hard. While it seems like we won’t be getting any new music from Twisted Sister in the near future, at least A.J will keep the creative juices flowing in Adrenaline Mob.
Simply put, Men Of Honor is an excellent effort worth picking up, and is sure to be featured on the lists of 2014's best albums for critics and fans all across the globe. Pick up the album when it's released, and be ready to feel the adrenaline because the MOB IS BACK!
Highs: Mob Is Back, Dearly Departed, Feel The Adrenaline and Judgment Day