Adrenaline Mob - Omertá review
|Release date:||March 2012|
04. All On The Line
05. Hit The Wall
06. Feelin' Me
07. Come Undone [Duran Duran cover]
08. Believe Me
09. Down To The Floor
10. Angel Sky
11. Freight Train
Despite the presence of Mike Portnoy and Russell Allen, anyone coming to Adrenaline Mob expecting to find a glorious bastion of modern progressive metal will be sorely disappointed. There is none of the songwriting ingenuity, instrumental interplay, or, truth be told, any remnants whatsoever of Dream Theater or Symphony X in this album. Even the guitar solos seem forced, out-of-place, or unbearably standard. Mike Orlando may be a technically proficient musician, but it seems as if the solos are merely obligatory and not inspired at all. In addition, aside from the six-and-a-half-minute "Hit the Wall," a song which tires itself out rather quickly, most of the tracks are between four and five minutes, not a great deal of time for progressing musically.
I don't dig progressive music all that much, so the above serves as more of a warning to prospective fans rather than a complaint on my part. However, this album would be significantly strengthened if Portnoy and Allen could wake up, smell the napalm, and spend more than five minutes on each song. Omertá NEEDS some of that progression, some variation in song structure, some innovation, some zazz. Instead of bringing together two giants of progressive music and churning out a daring, technical masterpiece, Adrenaline Mob borrows heavily from the modern American Metal scene (the New Wave of American Heavy Metal, or whatever you want to call it). Perhaps Portnoy spent too much time in Avenged Sevenfold, but I see them, Lamb Of God, and, hell, every other mainstream heavy band that the kids today listen to stamped all over this thing. Mike Portnoy may be suffering from Robb Flynn's Disease.
Most of these songs could very easily snag airplay on any modern rock station. This in itself is no reason to dismiss Omertá, but there is a distinct feeling that the songs were written precisely for that purpose. The members clearly handled the songwriting process with kid gloves; the average listener probably could have written "Angel Sky" or "Indifferent." The whole album screams for mainstream attention and is absolutely drenched in shallow modernity.
On the plus side, Russell Allen's fantastic voice manages to salvage some fairly disappointing efforts, and Mike Portnoy is still the legendary Mike Portnoy. Nobody really strains themselves on this record, but that is not entirely terrible. "Undaunted" is a positively fabulous song. It is what Metal should be; loud, heavy, violent, percussive, and packing a massive punch that threatens to annihilate everything in its path. If all of Omertá were like its introductory song, you would not see me making any of the above complaints. The primary ballad, "All on the Line," is also decent, but, again, it could be a damn Nickelback song. Aside from "Undaunted," the main attraction is the fantastic cover of Duran Duran's "Come Undone," featuring Lzzy Hale of Halestorm.
Omertá is certainly a letdown for all the fans of Mike Portnoy and Russell Allen who expected great things to come of their partnership. It could have been a hell of a lot worse, but Adrenaline Mob should definitely put more thought into Album #2.
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