The sixth album of the German power metal band Mob Rules is undoubtedly their best effort so far. Astral Hand has already been released as a single and itís a great one, especially the very catchy chorus will do extremely well on stage. Children Of The Flames opens the album. This song reminds me of the good old Iron Maiden times. Listen to the doomy guitar outro and the exceptional lyrics about Josef Mengele, the most horrible doctor ever... The centrepiece of Radical Peace is The Oswald File, an 18-minute epic and a brilliant highlight of this album. Itís a fantastic concept track divided in ten parts and dealing with the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963. Here Mob Rules is at its best: anthem-like melodies, great vocal performances and absolute heavenly guitar solos make this track one of the best power metal epics Iíve heard in a long time.
In general, you could say that this album is much heavier and more dynamic than the previous one. The production is a lot darker and heavier as well, making this a very contemporary sounding power metal album, loaded with energy. If you like powerful, melodic vocals, mind-boggling guitar riffs, hooks and solos and lots of howling keyboard walls, then you should listen to this album. Hats off for Mob Rules!
If you want to learn more about the story and the contents of the album, read the interview with guitarist Matthias Mineur below.
**** Martien Koolen (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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Interview Matthias Mineur of Mob Rules
"We like to deal with politics and history in our lyrics"
(Text by Martien Koolen, edited by Peter Willemsen. Pictures are taken from the bands website)
The new album of Mob Rules - their sixth by the way -
will prove that these Germans rock like hell. Besides their melodic singing,
powerful guitars, atmospheric keyboard passages and pounding drums, the band is
also well-known for their extraordinary lyrics dealing with environmental
pollution, the politics of the Catholic Church and the political situation in
the troublesome Middle East.
Is it not difficult for a German rock band to write and sing about the troublesome Nazi-past?"No, not really. We as Germans have to deal with that. It is our duty and our obligation to deal with that negative and horrible part of our history. The Third Reich and people like Hitler and Mengele were a horror to us and to the rest of the world. That part of history may never be forgotten and it may never ever happen again. The Germans should be the first to acknowledge that."
So the title of the new album Radical Peace is related to that specific era?"Sort of. We like to deal with politics and history in our lyrics as you already know and the title is dealing with the fact that there often is a contradiction when people use the word "peace". Let me explain that. You see, everybody talks about peace. People say they're striving for peace, but in the end, they want to make peace through war. The whole world's preaching peace, but still there are lots of wars going on in the world."
Is Radical Peace a concept album?"No, actually it isn't. There is a connection between most of the songs, though. However, it's not a concept album in the true sense, like for instance Dark Side Of The Moon or The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway. The highlight and centrepiece of the album is of course the 18-minute epic The Oswald File, dealing with the assassination of John F. Kennedy. With this song, we continue the concept of political memorable moments in the world?s history, which we started with Ethnolution A.D. three years ago. Kennedy played an important role in the reconstruction of my country and now that topic has gained new relevance through Barack Obama, the man who is now celebrated as the so-called heir of Kennedy. A great song, but it took us almost a year to finish it. It is our best song ever."
Do you actually think that Lee Harvey Oswald killed President Kennedy?"I really don't know. I'm not sure, because Oswald was also killed shortly after the killing of Kennedy. New evidence proved that Kennedy was killed by at least six bullets, so..?"
Did you see the Oliver Stone movie about this rather interesting topic in which Stone slightly suggests that Kennedy has been murdered by the CIA and the FBI?"No, I didn't, but that shows how great that mystery still is."
Where do you guys get your musical inspiration?"Like any other band we are always inspired and influenced by other great bands of course. We also inspire each other and since this is our sixth album, we already have a kind of musical tradition to work on. We know what to do!"
The new album is a lot heavier than the previous one."Yes, you're right. We didn't use keyboards during the rehearsals, so the new songs are strongly dominated by guitars. The songs are more dynamic and gripping and the production is heavier as well. The guitar parts really shine on this album, which brings out the excellence of our guitar player Sven Luke even more."
With which song do you identify yourself the most?"Well, I really like the opener Children Of The Flames, mainly due to the doomy guitars, the lyrics and the breathtaking Iron Maiden atmosphere in that song. I also like our first single Astral Hand, a great song with amazing hooks and a very catchy chorus. However, the highlight still remains The Oswald File."
Did you already read or hear about reviews concerning the new album?"It is a bit early, but the ones I saw so far were all very good. That is always a good thing and a relief actually. You kind of hope for good reviews, but you are never sure what you are going to get."
Besides being a guitar player with Mob Rules, you are also a musical critic. Doesn't that bring you in an awkward position sometimes?"Not really. Most of the time it's an advantage, because I'm also familiar with the other side of the business, if you know what I mean. It has never been a problem before, but I will never review an album of Mob Rules of course, ha, ha..!"
Has the band's name been derived from the famous Black Sabbath album The Mob Rules?"No, it has nothing to do with Black Sabbath whatsoever. I used to be a huge Lynch Mob fan and I once saw George Lynch wearing a baseball cap with the slogan Lynch Mob Rules. I thought that would be a cool name for our band. So, Mob Rules it was; it's a kind of anarchistic name, which I rather like."
Could you mention a couple of your favourite albums ever?"Mmm...that's so hard to say. Let me think! ...Well, Jane (Lady), Wishbone Ash (There's The Rub), Queensryche (Operation Mindcrime), Aerosmith (Get A Grip) and Rush (2112). Is that enough for you?"
Which song would you like to be played at your funeral?"Waiting For The Sunshine by Jane."
When can we see Mob Rules on tour?"In November we will be touring with Ronnie James Dio."
Why should every metal fan buy the new Mob Rules album?"Ha, ha, because it?s a great melodic power metal album with well written songs, great guitar passages and lots of interesting lyrics. Buy it now, because the Mob Rules!"
Thanks for this interview Matthias."Thank you for showing interest in our music."
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