|Review: Mob Rules - Tales from Beyond|
|Tales from Beyond|
Year released: 2016
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: April 3, 2016
Reviewed by: Bruno Medeiros
for:Tales from Beyond
Rated 4.25/5 (85%) (16 Votes)
I remember when I was 10 or 11 years old and my brother showed me Savage Land: it completely blew my mind and I spun the hell out of that disc for days, becoming an instant fan of Mob Rules. It was the golden age of European Power Metal and that album greatly represented what the genre was all about, and I have always respected the band for being such an important part of my musical education. Mob Rules is one of those acts that never quite released a true masterpiece, but never released a bad album either. Always regular (even great most times), the band turned 20 in 2014 and show no signs of slowing down. Following yet another good piece in Cannibal Nation, Klaus Dirks, Matthias Mineur and company bet strong in Tales from Beyond, the ninth album in their solid career.
Curiously enough, the sound portrayed by Mob Rules is both characteristic and interchangeable at the same time, proving that when a band is truly passionate and competent at what they do. The results can be satisfactory, and with Tales from Beyond the story is no different. With acoustic guitar chords, the album begins almost in a Maiden-esque fashion with "Dykemaster's Tale": the very powerful yet soft intro bursts into a proficient riff accompanied by strong single bass drumming and surgically placed vocal lines throughout the almost nine minutes of the opus. The chorus also features one of the best passages of the song. After a good start, an atmospheric bagpipe intro paves the way on "Somerled", another epic effort with special attention to Klaus' voice and the beautiful guitar-keyboard mix that gives a galloping sensation to the tune. "Signs" drops the ball a little, but is nevertheless a good bridge to the best song on the album in my opinion, "On the Edge": mid-paced with stellar guitar-work and laid-back songwriting, but with considerable density. This is a really strong representation of Mob Rules' sound and the Melodic Power Metal sound in general. "My Kingdom Come" was already on the 2014 compilation 'Timekeeper' and starts with an uncanny resemblance with Gamma Ray's "Avalon". "The Healer" and "Dust of Vengeance" are responsible for keeping the high standards of the effort and all deliver to the promise, showcasing a mature and comfortable group that knows each member's strong points and abilities. After that, at last, the title track comes in, divided into three: "Through the Eye of the Storm", "A Mirror Inside" and "Science Save Me!"; Standing at five minutes or so each, the tunes form "A Tale from Beyond", which can be easily viewed as some sort of epitome of Mob Rules' career. I say that because the trio of songs has everything that made the band what they are today: Very intelligent lyrics, fluid songwriting, emotional yet unpretentious passages, catchy riffs, prolific musicianship and unique identity. The first song paves the way in a classic Power Metal manner, while the second serves as sort of a "calm before the storm" and the third consolidates the opus as a truly inspired one. Although not as strong as pinnacles of their career as "Sun Serenade, Opus I, II", "Savage Land, Parts I, II, III" or even "The Oswald File", "A Tale From Beyond" does a great job living up to expectations. There's a bonus track on the digipack version of the album, "Outer Space", which could easily be in the middle portion of the album and should not be at all called "bonus". It has a good vibe and a catchy chorus, ending the album the same way it started: with high quality.
A great effort by a criminally overlooked band, Tales from Beyond will not only satisfy your needs if you're a Melodic Power Metal fan, but raise the bar for every other release in the genre this year. Very well crafted, full of nuances and really fun, the album will most definitely become one of the fan favorites and will quickly rise up the ranks of better works by Mob Rules. This is Melodic Power Metal at its best; buy it.
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