"some music was meant to stay underground..."

70000 Tons of Metal - The World's Biggest Heavy Metal Cruise

Adrenaline Mob - "Coverta" (CD/EP)

Adrenaline Mob - "Coverta" CD/EP cover image

"Coverta" track listing:

1. High Wire
2. Stand Up And Shout
3. Break On Through
4. Romeo Delight
5. Barracuda
6. Kill The King
7. The Lemon Song
8. The Mob Rules

Reviewed by on April 15, 2013

"These covers are every bit as engaging as the originals — and that's quite an accomplishment, given the stellar assortment of artists Adrenaline Mob is paying tribute to here."

After blowing the doors off with their 2012 debut disc "Omerta," Adrenaline Mob is back with an EP of cover tunes, amusingly called "Coverta." Usually a band's got a little more history together before coming out with something like this, but given that this supergroup features Dream Theater drum whiz Mike Portnoy, Symphony X singer Russell Allen, ex-Disturbed bassist John Moyer and shredder extraordinaire Mike Orlando on guitar, there is plenty of individual history to go around.

As with Anthrax's "Anthems" (reviewed here), the selection of tunes is a mix of the expected (Russell Allen gets to tackle no less than three Ronnie James Dio tunes) and the unexpected (Heart's "Barracuda" and the Doors' "Break On Through"). They're all treated with a healthy dose of reverence, though the band's not afraid to add their own touches here and there.

Take, for example, the blazing-fast solo Orlando blasts out during the Dio cover "Stand Up And Shout," which bears only a passing resemblance to Vivian Campbell's original. Perhaps the greatest variation from the source material comes with the Doors cover "Break On Through," which has Moyer and Orlando splitting up Ray Manzarek's keyboard parts and Portnoy playing a drum part that has next to nothing to do with what John Densmore laid down in the 1960s. Surprisingly, the gender switch on Heart's "Barracuda," with Allen subbing for Nancy Wilson is hardly noticeable — and I mean that in a way that's complimentary to both Allen and Wilson.

"Kill The King" and "The Mob Rules" are both well-done, with Orlando essentially overlaying his own style over the solos initially played by Ritchie Blackmore and Tony Iommi, respectively. Portnoy's drumming is a little busier than Cozy Powell or Vinny Appice, but it helps to set these versions apart from the originals.

An absolute highlight is the Van Halen cover "Romeo Delight," which has Allen delivering a tougher take on David Lee Roth, and the band adding in the middle drum break from "Light Up The Sky" and Jimmy Page's solo from "Whole Lotta Love" to excellent effect. The Led Zeppelin cover "The Lemon Song" is a little overly faithful to the source material — but can you really improve on perfection?

The one track that feels lightweight in comparison to all the rest is the opener, "High Wire." It isn't just because Badlands is less well-known than any of the other bands covered here. Quite frankly, the riff is pretty basic and the band doesn't due much to toughen up the glammy sound.

Adrenaline Mob's "Coverta" may not be the revelation the band's first full-length of originals was, but it's got plenty of heart. These covers are every bit as engaging as the originals — and that's quite an accomplishment, given the stellar assortment of artists Adrenaline Mob is paying tribute to here.

Highs: "Romeo Delight," "Break On Through" and "The Mob Rules."

Lows: The comparatively weak "High Wire."

Bottom line: A fantastic album of cover versions of some of the best metal and classic rock songs of all time.

Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls
4.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)