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

Adrenaline Mob - "Men Of Honor" (CD)

Adrenaline Mob - "Men Of Honor" CD cover image

"Men Of Honor" track listing:

1. Mob Is Back
2. Come On Get Up
3. Dearly Departed
4. Behind These Eyes
5. Let It Go
6. Feel The Adrenaline
7. Men Of Honor
8. Crystal Clear
9. House Of Lies
10. Judgment Day
11. Fallin' To Pieces

Reviewed by on July 1, 2014

"Even with some subpar songwriting moments, the band displays some incredible technical skills throughout."

Adrenaline Mob's third release, "Men Of Honor," finds the supergroup sounding a little less super than on its two previous releases -- and not just because of the departure and replacement of master drummer Mike Portnoy. Some subpar songwriting, especially on the lyrical side, proves far more problematic than the replacement of a band member.

Fans who feared that Portnoy's departure would effectively end the band will be relieved that his replacement, Twisted Sister's A.J. Pero, is a more than capable replacement. Pero makes that clear in the opening salvo of "Mob Is Back," kicking off the brutal boggie is that is the disc's best track.

Guitarist Mike Orlando still manages to get some incredible shredding, with the solos in the aforementioned "Mob Is Back," as well as "Feel The Adrenaline" and "House Of Lies" standing out. The riffs are a little less interesting than those that powered the band's debit disc, "Omerta." Given that singer Russell Allen's vocal lines often follow the riffs overly closely on tracks like "Come On Get Up," it makes the deficiencies that much more apparent.

After going in a more melodic direction on the "Coverta" EP, Allen's back to growling his way through most of these tracks. Given that the riffs and rhythms are often hitting with sledgehammer force, that's not entirely a criticism. A bigger issue is that so much of the lyrical content is almost embarrassingly bad. "House Of Lies" is especially terrible on this front, with its "come on baby, drive me crazy" refrain. The ballad "Behind These Eyes" is also chock full of cliche and corniness.

All that said, when the band is firing on all cylinders -- "Feel The Adrenaline" and "Judgment Day" are among the standouts, along with the quieter "Crystal Clear" and "Fallin' To Pieces" -- it really does feel like the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Adrenaline Mob's "Men Of Honor" is definitely a step down from the band's first two stellar releases. Even with some subpar songwriting moments, the band displays some incredible technical skills throughout.

Highs: "Mob Is Back" and "Feel The Adrenaline"

Lows: Subpar songwriting and lyrics, with "House Of Lies" especially bad

Bottom line: Not as great as the band's first two discs, but still a mostly satisfying outing from this metal supergroup.

Rated 3.0 out of 5 skulls
3.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
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)