Nima : With a career of almost two and a half decades and eight studio albums, the German Mob Rules now belongs to the veterans of power metal. I have been following the band since their debut, 'Savage Land' (1999) and have only seen them become better. In my opinion, Mob Rules is undoubtedly one of the best and most talented bands and I keep saying that they deserve much more recognition. After hearing their new long player, 'Beast Reborn', I can only underline that statement.
The record opens with an enchanting keyboard intro (also the title track), which suggests that the ninth studio album might again takes a more progressive turn. As soon as the gentlemen burst out with the heavy, pounding 'Ghost Of A Chance', however, the opposite seems more true. What a wonderful and terribly catchy start this is. This is such a typical song that reminds me why I ever started to love power metal; not that feeble whiny stuff with effeminate vocals and sweet melodies that would give you sonic diabetes, but solid metal with well thought-out, catchy and memorable melodies and a magical atmospheres. And that is exactly what this band has always successfully brought into light. But also POWER in particular! And the word “power” is something that Mob Rules has always taken very seriously and this is another perfect example. The song immediately pulls me to the edge of my seat and not only sounds familiar, but even reminds me of the first three albums, yet at the same time very contemporary. This magnificent starts immediately sets the tone, but after that it gets even better. Also the following songs prove that the band has opted for a sturdier and a bit more traditional approach in general, and of course you won’t hear me complain about that. Don’t get me wrong though, because 'Beast Reborn' is again a true Mob Rules album and has everything that has characterized this band for 24 years. That means that the melodic, bombastic, progressive and of course the theatrical elements are also abundantly present here.
In many ways, 'Beast Reborn' is the perfect successor to ’Tales From Beyond’ and has the same characteristics. And so also here all the elements that have characterized this band from the beginning again come together, which gives the album an incredibly versatile character, but never sounds confusing or "too much". However, the memorability of the material is even greater here, so that the album is more “easy-listening” than its predecessor in general. The beauty of it is also that the record is already catchy at first, but thanks to its versatile character it also leads to new discoveries with every spin, and therefore the album doesn’t bore quickly and still sounds fresh even after many listens. Exactly what we are used to from Mob Rules. Thanks to the excellent production, the whole comes into its own quite well and almost literally blasts. In my opinion the album doesn’t have any weak moments and it’s difficult to label a few songs as highlights. I have to say though that the closing ballad, 'My Sobriety Mind (For Those Who Left)' – with a vocal guest contribution from a lady who is unfortunately not mentioned – doesn’t do that much for me. And that has nothing to do with the qualities of the song, but is purely a matter of taste.
All in all, Mob Rules has again delivered an excellent and high-quality album, shows an ongoing upwards trend on songwriting, instrumental and vocal (Klaus Dirk is in absolute top form here and delivers some of his most powerful performances so far) matters and has again raised the bar. This is of course a must for the fans, but also for fans of symphonic power metal and bands like Edguy, Avantasia, Symphorce, Tad Morose and similar acts, this is an absolute recommend.