Solidly dependable Teutonic metal...
I have been a fan of metal music for about as long as Mob Rules’ career. I’m ashamed that I’ve not heard of them until now. Tales From Beyond is the band’s 8th studio album and it’s an absolute cracker.
Germans are no strangers to power metal and the boys from Hamburg do not disappoint. Throughout the album you’ll find meaty hooks, dynamic riffs and melodies you’ll find yourself humming along to. The second track Somerled (one of my favourites) even manages to make bagpipes useful.
Straight off the bat, Dykemaster’s Tale hits you with a powerful lead after a slow Iron Maiden-esque build up that’s delightfully close to a section of Journeyman. Memorable fast paced solos set up the vibe for the whole album while Klaus Dirks’s vocals are crisp, clear and give clear direction to the overall sound.
The aforementioned Somerled brings bagpipes and war drums to the table, leading into a stampede of guitars and a chorus that will stay with you for quite a while.
Signs features Jan Christian Halfbrodt’s keyboards starting a slow powerfully charged song that showcases Klaus’s vocal ability.
Strong marching drums lead the charge into a set of emotionally urgent hooks for On The Edge. With one of the best solos on the album, you’ll be singing along to the chorus without realising.
Amongst the goodness comes My Kingdom Come – a brooding, melancholic, almost sorrowful song. A bit of a contrast to the rest of the album, this one gives me goosebumps. I hope they play this live, it’s definitely a crowd participation song.
Back into fast, galloping hooks, The Healer appears. If you’re not screaming out ‘Heeeealarrrrrr!’ by the end of it, there’s something wrong with you. Fantastic three way duelling amongst the guitars and keyboard here.
I can’t help but get a Blind Guardian vibe from Dust of Vengeance. It’s brilliant. Enough said.
The final story: A tale from Beyond, while split into three distinct parts, fits together well and ends the album nicely. Part 1: Through The Eye Of The Storm is solid, with good vocal harmonies. Part 2: A Mirror Inside is quite reflective (excuse the pun). The band take a backseat and again Dirks gives a fantastic standalone performance. An upbeat ending to the story, Part 3: Science Save Me! rounds out the album where many bands kind of peter out into the night. A solid ending to a solid album.
Depending on where and how you buy the album, you may get Outer Space or Ghost Town as a bonus. Both are solid rockers with an upbeat tempo, but Outer Space doesn’t really fit the vibe. Ghost Town does and even has a little Deep Purple tribute riff.
The bottom line is: would I buy a Mob Rules patch for my jacket? I’m seriously thinking about it, just off the merits of this album. I’m going to check out their back catalogue and you should too.
Tales From Beyond is out now on Steamhammer / SPV