Due to the unfortunate public airing and fallout of his exit from Dream Theater and Avenged Sevenfold camps, many people were wondering where Mike Portnoy was going to end up next.
The seeds were actually sown quite sometime ago when Portnoy and Symphony X vocalist extraordinaire Russell Allen spoke about some sort of a collaboration but due to their hectic schedules it only seemed like a theory at the time. Fast forward to 2011 and the tides have shifted, the planets have aligned and Adrenaline Mob is born and just released a self titled EP.
Having been known as the “metal” member of Dream Theater, Portnoy has always embraced the heavier side of things. So it doesn’t come as a huge surprise to hear what Adrenaline Mob have come up with – four original songs (and one cover) of plain and simple heavy metal with a stripped back and raw feel and a straight forward mentality.
The opener “Psychosane” pulsates with a ballsy and chunky riff reminiscent of guitarist Rich Ward’s Stuck Mojo, bolstered by Portnoy’s rhythmic drumming, bassist Paul DiLeo, the golden pipes of Allen utilising both his high and low registers and lead guitarist Mike Orlando’s fluid fretwork. “Believe Me” builds on the framework set by “Psychosane”, but with a more melodic sound weaved throughout. “Hit the Wall” has a down-tuned snaking riff with Allen matching it with his vocal, shifting down to a baritone range at times. “Down to the Floor” is a nitrous charged ode to all things Adrenaline-driven with a dominating, stomping groove that demands headbanging.
To tie the bow on the EP, the band delivers their rendition of Black Sabbath’s “The Mob Rules” that is respectful to the original while being Adrenalised at the same time. Allen’s vocal performance on this cover proves why is one of the most underrated singers, with a powerful set of lungs and a dynamic range. Dio would have certainly been proud of his efforts.
The Adrenaline Mob EP is a promising offering of what this band is about and what is to come in 2012 and onwards with a full album release and extensive tour in the works. The music isn’t really rocket science and that surely was not the intention. It shows five guys having some fun and embracing their metal roots. There will certainly be some Dream Theater fans who will turn their nose up at what Adrenaline Mob have done and they should probably return to what they were listening to previously, but if you just like hard, heavy music, this should satisfy your needs.
2. Believe Me
3. Hit the Wall
4. Down to the Floor
5. The Mob Rules