Mob Rules-Hollowed be thy name
               © 2002 SPV/Steamhammer
Tribe of Judah-Exit Elvis
        © 2002 Spitfire Records
Mob Rules has quickly become one of my more favorite acts. The band put together a couple of great releases for Limb Music Products, but has moved over to the SPV/Steamhammer label with the bands latest offering 'Hollowed be thy name'. Anyone familiar with this band will testify to the fact that this band can play it heavy and can play it light and do both very well. I have always felt this was the mark that differentiated great bands from good bands. With this latest release, the formula is still intact. The band seem to have progressed ahead a bit however in their sound. You can still tell that it is Mob Rules, but the music sounds a bit bigger than before. It's almost like a graduation from learning and developing the skill to mastering it. This doesn't lessen the impact that the bands two previous efforts had, because they were quite good. Enough for me to develop a love for the band before this latest release. Anyway, lets look at the album. The songs are larger than life and throw around a bit of atmosphere. Playing in the melodic power metal arena, this album wins on all accounts. The title track opens light but gets heavier. This song is a gem. It really does set the tone for the album. The band do a couple of speed rockers such as 'The speed of life' and 'Ghost Town'. The album really has a majority of atmospheric rockers such as 'All above the atmosphere', 'Lord of Madness', and the epic sounding 'Way of the World'. For the lighter stuff check out 'How the Gypsy was born'. Musically, the album is consistent and will definitely please fans of power metal with a melodic element.

This band is really good. At times there are similarities to bands like Iron Maiden, but mainly in the progression. The band are hitting on all cylinders with this release and as an added bonus, you can get it domestically as well. I have grown a fondness for the bands sound and music and feel that the sky is the limit for them if they stick to what they are doing. Very cool release!
Where do you start with this review?? Everyone is probably aware of the successes Gary Cherone had with Extreme. Most might want to forget about the Van Halen stint. I am just glad that Cherone is back because he has alot to offer the music world. His new project Tribe of Judah is probably the most diverse thing he has done. It is downright experimental. Now don't start thinking this is Nuno experimental. Nuno's 'Scizophonic' was absolutely horrible in my opinion. This album is a different kind of experimentation. There is some electronica involved. A good dose of guitar and a whole lot of mood. Now I'm sure that some may have already abandoned me after mentioning electronica, but pay attention. This release is heavy in merits. Your not gonna get much in the way of 'More than words' here, but this is so different, it's enjoyable. One of the things fan will probably bitch about is the vocals here and there. Some have effects injected and some are more of what you expect. The opening song, 'Left for Dead' vocally reminds me a bit of Tim Skold on the last Shotgun Messiah album. Yeah, this album has a bit of minor industrial element as well. There is some classic NIN sound on 'Suspended belief' in my opinion. There is even a new age sound on 'Ambiguous Headdress' which actually shakes you up a bit when it intensifies. Not very predictable. Actually, this album is not very predictable. Some of my other favorites include the atmospheric 'Celibate', the rocking moodswing 'Thanks for Nothing', 'In my Dreams', and the conglomeration of styles called 'Exit Elvis'. That song is a real mixed bag of tricks.

Experimental this album is definitely, but it's a good kind of experimentation as mentioned before. If you go in with an open mind, you'll find something to like. If you develop your opinions ahead of time you'll hate it. I went in with low expectations and came out pleased. It's a very cool effort in it's own way and actually won Cherone and his new bandmates which also include Pat Badger of Extreme the best new rock bad in Boston. Very interesting direction indeed on this one. Give it a spin!