I think supergroups are so hit and miss. They have so much hype that has close to nothing to do with their actual music. As a result, it always seems their albums fall beneath expectations. Adrenaline Mob’s 2012 release, Omertà, was met with a lot of “…eh…” responses from critics and listeners but still with its fair share of positivity. Now that a couple of members have left and have been replaced with members of other bands, we’ll be able to see if much has changed on Men of Honor, their latest release.
Before I go on, I must fully acknowledge that I “get” this band. They’re not reinventing the wheel of metal or trying to be the greatest band evarr or anything like that. It’s a bunch of seasoned professionals who wanted to collaborate on a musical project and have a lot of fun doing so. Also, I get that this is a hard rock album from a hard rock band, and that it’s trying not to be anything more than that. There are some faster-paced, heavier songs, and there are slower-paced, emotional songs as well. Other popular hard rock albums have had the same criteria followed by much acclaim. But all that being said, Men of Honor hits the mark on a pretty solid “…eh…”.
"Mob Is Back"
Not much has changed from Omertà, other than a little less intricate drumming from A.J. Pero of Twisted Sister (who replaced previous drummer Mike Portnoy). Russell Allen, (Symphony X), is at the front of the stage with much of the same performance; hard and gruff vocals most of the time with some high wails or more melodic in choruses or in the slower numbers. Guitarist Mike Orlando’s riffs are the backbone of each song ranging from a little double picking to power chords and with the occasional frantic guitar solo. There’s actually a good dynamic contrast of hard to slow songs and doesn’t really suffer from much monotony. So really, all the pieces are in place for a great album, and yet I just found myself getting bored with every listen-through.
"Come On Get Up"
The fact remains that this is all stuff that we have heard before. As I stated before, I feel that Adrenaline Mob IS NOT trying to do something new, but really this is, in essence, Omertà repackaged. “Behind These Eyes” from Men of Honor is basically “All on the Line” from Omertà. “Let It Go” from Men of Honor is basically “Undaunted” from Omertà. I wasn’t expecting anything monumentally groundbreaking from Men of Honor, especially nothing that deviates their trademark sound or anything, but I just feel that we got a carbon copy here. Lots of bands can put out sophomore releases and still contain the bands identity while being able to expand, or at least present something a little fresh. And I guess I was just hoping for something a little fresh when I think about who exactly is in the band.
"Feel The Adrenaline"
Now, I don’t want to come off as being mean. To be completely fair, this is mostly, if not entirely based upon Omertà, as opposed to a standalone album. Taken completely out of context, Men of Honor is a pretty awesome album. If you’ve never heard of Adrenaline Mob until now, then you should take a listen. It’s great, no tricks or gimmicks, hard rock, coming from a band of metal veterans. But if you are more than familiar with their works, well, you’ve pretty much listened to Men of Honor already.