Rating:
5.4
Adrenaline Mob - Men Of Honor
18 February 2014


01. Mob Is Back
02. Come On Get Up
03. Dearly Departed
04. Behind These Eyes
05. Let It Go
06. Feel The Adrenaline
07. Men Of Honor
08. Crystal Clear
09. House Of Lies
10. Judgment Day
11. Fallin' To Pieces


Adrenaline Mob have lost their drummer, Russell Allen has lost a portion of his dignity, and many people who somehow stuck around after Omertá have lost interest. Not that Mike Portnoy really strained himself on Omertá, but the band still suffers from his absence.

When he left Adrenaline Mob, I had to laugh because of how bad I felt for Russell Allen. There they were, two legends, teaming up with the skilful pair of Mike Orlando and Disturbed's John Moyer - and then Omertá happened. Portnoy wisely jumped ship, leaving his proggy pal the captain of a doomed vessel. Poor Russell and his crew got stuck floundering about, and this is what they coughed up next.

Adrenaline Mob have been running in circles creatively. They followed up their debut album with an EP full of covers, and Men Of Honor is just a bunch of songs about themselves. "Mob Is Back"? "Feel The Adrenaline"? There's a time and place for self-referential posturing and capering, but usually that time is 1987 and that place is at a Beastie Boys show. To hear my dad tell it, this is like The Clash of "We Are The Clash" rather than "Clash City Rockers" - in other words, they are just wallowing in their own self-image at this point, name-dropping themselves to pull up subpar material by the bootstraps.

With a voice like his, Russell Allen has a lot of potential - which he was fulfilling quite well in Symphony X. He can wear many hats, but his tough guy fedora should not be one of them. At least he makes for one hell of a frontman, and he does some cool harmonies with himself here and there - but hearing the same guy who sang "The Odyssey" scream "ROCK AND ROLL" and "TURN UP THAT RADIO" over bloated radio rock is embarrassing and painful.

Sure, a lot of this stuff was present on the last album - the blandness, the numbskullery, the unflagging question of "why bother?" - but Men Of Honor takes it to the next level. Now they are simply reveling in the mediocrity. Men Of Honor doesn't even contain any diamonds in the rough, like the brilliant "Undaunted" from the last album; a few of the songs are enjoyable, but nothing so grand as to make up for the album's failings.

The only thing surprising about this album is that it exists. Mike Portnoy stuck around just long enough to remind us that super-groups almost always fail, and then promptly left with half the "super." Somehow, Adrenaline Mob powered through the loss of one of its big draws, a lukewarm reception, and a total lack of interesting material. Men Of Honor sinks farther than Omertá - more generic, more ridiculous, and more disappointing. At least Adrenaline Mob can take solace in the fact that they will still probably win a Grammy, Golden God, or some other award.

Performance: 7
Songwriting: 5
Originality: 5
Production: 8


Band profile: Adrenaline Mob
Album: Men Of Honor


 



Written on 31.05.2014 by
ScreamingSteelUS
I'm only in this for the money, fame, glory, power, and personal satisfaction.

In my spare time, I fight dragon-pig-C.H.U.D.s in space.

I feel obligated to use up all of my allotted space, so... nah, I'm out of stuff to say.
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LascaillesShroud - 31.05.2014 at 23:55  
I might of even rated it lower, but all in all this pretty much echoes my own sentiments.
Schnabeltier 24 - 01.06.2014 at 00:50  
Oh really ?
I liked their last album, but I admit that my expectations were low after Portnoy's leaving...
I don't think I'll listen to it, I have a lot of respect for Allen, and I want to keep it.
EnigmaLake - 02.06.2014 at 00:19  
"Let it Go" is pretty sweet.
Aratharr - 03.06.2014 at 09:17  
Taking a look at a lot of their song titles and lyrics, I'd have to say that this album is pretty much a metal version of Nickelback. The technical parts are just there to cover that fact up.

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