Mob Rules – “Beast Over Europe” (Steamhammer / SPV)
Battle Helm Rating
Formed in the mid 90s and since coming a long way than their originally envisaged ‘.. two or three albums with a renowned label and maybe play a great tour…’ to nine releases and hundreds of concerts, Mob Rules show little signs of their journey being over. Indeed, “Beast Over Europe”, while being their first live album in 14 years, only boldly proves that this melodic power metal band are here to stay for the duration! Having just released their milestone ‘Beast Reborn’ album, which crashed into the German National album chart at 37, Mob Rules selected these 14 live recordings from 2 successful European tours to fittingly celebrate the band’s 25th Anniversary. Proudly dedicated to their fans, whom the band openly credit for their success, the recordings were expertly undertaken to deliberately ensure the audiences were heard, and going beyond that, fans were invited to share their photos to feature in the design process of the album artwork. Listening to the huge cheers, rapturous applause and passionate singalongs, it’s clear that the interaction between band and fans has created a bond where the abundant energy exchange between the two has made an unforgettable live experience captured splendidly on this album. Led by co-founder vocalist Klaus Dirks, whose passionate pipes add the perfect soulful contrast to the band’s heaviness on ‘The Last Farewell’, topped off brilliantly by some exquisite synths from Jan Christian Halfbrodt, it’s easy to see why this catchy material is held so dear in their fans hearts, providing the ultimate natural high. Simply oozing emotions is ‘My Kingdom Come’ as Dirks’s heartfelt highs pave the way for an ultra catchy singalong chorus with one of those unforgettable melodies that stay with you long after the show, buzzing around your head to bring back all those good memories – along with the massive crowd chanting to encourage the equally moving guitar solo. But nothing could prepare me for the rapture of ‘Sinister Light’, with the twin guitars of Florian Dyszbalis and Sven Lüdke grabbing me immediately to rock out to that cool groove, and then bringing that almighty chorus line to bear oh so powerfully through Dirks’s thoroughly moving vocals – an awesome experience and even more so if you witnessed the spectacle amid the overflowing camaraderie. Outstanding from start to finish.