11 very American heavy metal tracks

Damn Yankees, Audioslave, Velvet Revolver, Chickenfoot, Hellyeah, The Damned Things. Supergroups. Some hate them while others embrace them, but it can’t be denied when you get all that talent in one room, something special sometimes comes out of it.

An initial EP release was the best idea out of a lot of shit ones that drum god Mike Portnoy had in a while. Even for a band of well-known musicians – Russell Allen, Mike Orlando, Rich Ward and Paul DeLeo (both of whom have since left) – jumping straight into a length album probably wouldn’t have worked.  The long and short of it was Adrenaline Mob wasn’t anything we hadn’t heard dozens of times already and certainly wasn’t what we wanted this group of musicians to sound like together. Not a great start.

Omertà is 11 very American heavy metal tracks. With production duties shared between Portnoy and Orlando, it is definitely a big step up from the EP. One problem I had with that was the originals didn’t showcase Allen’s voice as I thought they should. In my opinion he is the best singer in metal today. Luckily these worries were put to rest quickly this time. ‘Undaunted’ is a perfect choice for an opening track, to the point, memorable and with a big sing along chorus that’s always a winner.

All four originals from the EP are heard again throughout the album; not necessarily a bad thing as they turn out to be some of the better songs. ‘Indifferent’ and ‘All on the Line’ finally let Allen’s voice shine and we really get to hear what he’s made of. These tracks are perfect examples of what labels hope bands will write, so budding rock stars take note.

The album starts to get a little same/same just after the halfway mark. I don’t think it’s because the EP tracks have been used again but more so just because this type of radio-friendly ‘metal’ eventually becomes background noise. AMOB is very typically American, and by that I mean Godsmack, Disturbed, Nickelback and anything else major US hard rock radio forces down people’s throats. You may see this as either selling out/appeasing the masses or a very wise business move. I’ll leave it up to you to decide. I however enjoy the album for the most part; good musicians playing well-written songs. It would be selfish to ask for more.

1. Undaunted
2. Psychosane
3. Indifferent
4. All on the Line
5. Hit the Wall
6. Feelin’ Me
7. Come Undone
8. Believe in Me
9. Down to the Floor
10. Angel Sky
11. Freight Train