Mob Rules – Cannibal Nation (2012) AFM Records
Mob Rules are a traditional metal band wearing a power metal jacket, like Tad Morose and Nocturnal Rites to name a few. Offspring of Dio and Maiden, Mob Rules initially set the bar very high for themselves with their first two albums: Savage Land and Temple of Two Suns. Though perhaps they haven’t topped these two, Cannibal Nation reveals them moving forward while looking back. I sense improvement over their previous release Radical Peace (2009).
My favourite thing on Cannibal Nation is the mighty “Lost.” With a touch of organ and a whisper of Arabic scale it’s… if you’ve ever wondered what Candlemass would sound like with Dio on vocals, this song is as close to that unholy fantasy as anything I’ve yet encountered. Though the harmonious, catchy chorus will remind you that it’s power metal.
The other songs are reliable. On certain songs I hear Mob Rules conveying more Dio-spirit than ever before while the single, “Ice and Fire,” has a celtic tinge. The title-track, I do declare, is a tad generic: Iron Maiden riffs with added power-metal tropes. I demand that every song command my attention!
Acoustic guitars herald the beginning of the album’s final song, “Sunrise.” With its shifting dynamics, soaring vocals and acoustic guitar, it echoes a sound found on their first two albums, albeit in ballad form. I enjoy it, and I respect Mob Rules for moving forward while looking back. Despite a touch of filler, this is a solid album. It ultimately shows they’re hard at work mining for gold. I hope they unearth even more of it in the future.