Album Reviews

Adrenaline Mob – Omerta Review

Released by: Elm City/EMI

Release Date: March 13th, 2012

Genre: Groove Metal



Line Up:

Mike Portnoy – Drums

Russell Allen – Vocals

Mike Orlando – Guitar



1. Undaunted

2. Psychosane

3. Indifferent

4. All On The Line

5. Hit The Wall

6. Feelin’ Me

7. Come Undone

8. Believe Me

9. Down To The Floor

10. Angel Sky

11. Freight Train


When it comes to drama in the metal community, incidents have been few and far between, but one situation that has made waves was the departure of legendary and former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy last year. Since he parted ways with the Progressive Metal giants Dream Theater, the band he has been such an integral part of since the beginning, he has been involved in a flurry of collaborations, from his time as replacement drummer for Avenged Sevenfold to his Transatlantic involvement and worldwide tours to now a new project called Adrenaline Mob. The haters have not stopped expressing their point on why one of the most important drummers in metal history chose to take the high road and leave the band, and I feel that no matter what he does he will always receive harsh criticism from DT fans.

The bottom line is that Portnoy is long gone and DT has replaced him with a capable power house drummer in Mike Mangini. And please, stop the bashing. As you know many artists just get tired of the life or burned out (for lack of a better word) from the same creative flow after so many years. Who knows the real reason behind his split, but the bottom line is that people need to move on and appreciate that he still around making music, even if the avenues he has chosen are not the same stylistically as the progressive metal masters themselves, he’s skills as a drummer are short to bring many more exciting collaborations and possibly relaunch a new era for himself.

Adrenaline Mob’s self titled EP was released last year and left some of us intrigued as to what the this project would sound like if they managed to released a full album and they will with their debut “Omerta” which comes on March 13th, 2012. The team consists of the great Russell Allen from Symphony X on vocals, Mike Orlando handling the guitars, and of course, the drum work by Portnoy himself. The remaining players are bass player Paul DiLeo (Fozzy) and rhythm guitarist Rich Ward (Stuck Mojo/Fozzy). Since then both have departed and the Disturbed bass player John Moyer is now on board handling bass duties.

The sound of the band is a mix of Groove Metal and Modern Heavy Metal — don’t laugh — because if you take into consideration Portnoy’s recently stint with Avenged Sevenfold as their fill-in drummer, this type of style should come to no one’s surprise. The power vocals of Allen are a welcome sound, although if you’re a fan of his main band Symphony X, then you already know Russell has stayed in this power stream vocal style for the band’s recent albums; but it shouldn’t make anybody not relish his amazing voice, as he does a superb job on anything he takes any part in musically, and the same applies here with Adrenaline Mob.

Orlando had a collection of songs ready to go for a while; he approached Allen with a concept and idea for the band. Together they joined forces and refined those ideas. Allen then reached out to long-time friend Portnoy to see if he had any interest in playing with them and the rest is history.

The songs on Omerta are heavily driven in nature and the ardent shred of Orlando and his guitars are very evident on a few of the opening tracks like “Undaunted” and the killer groove solo in “Psychosane” which pierce thoroughly with Allen’s unmistakable vocal range. The heavy duty melodic power ballad of “All on the Line” works very well with Allen showcasing his amazing high soaring and resourceful vocals which take flight once more, and both Portnoy and Orlando fasten their seat belts on this awesome mid level tune, one of the best on the record period. All doesn’t just work without a hitch because some times the band sounds too modern for my touch, tracks like “All on the Line” have it’s typical shred coincidentally I felt that this tune and a couple others probably need a little more alteration, as it felt a bit too redundant and goes on too long.

The melodic chorus in “Come Undone” magnetizes the listener with its powerful rhythm section alongside some strong background vocals that add a nice flavor to the album. The production on Omerta is of the highest level, as to be expected, the drum work of Portnoy is second to none but it doesn’t overshadow the other powerful elements in the band, one Russell Allen and his pompous pipes, and second as the tight guitar assault of Orlando who kicks each song into high gear with his fret. The band’s most attractive asset will no doubt be in a live setting, as early reports from the band hitting the road for a number of shows have been powerful and positive. I did feel that some the tracks probably needed to be a little more touched up as stated earlier, but with another album under their belt hopefully this project can become a more complete entity. As for now enjoy this one because if you’re a metal fan there’s much to enjoy when it comes to pure aggressiveness and cunning stunts. Check it out when it comes out on March 13th. And as far as Portnoy is concerned, being that he has number of projects lined up, I do eventually want him to settle on a permanent band and build something new even though he has stated this is he’s new band, you never know for sure due to his vast involvement in other projects.  There’s always the possibility that the DT guys will want him back after all is said and done.  Let’s not forget it was his baby for a long time; I’m not advocating this nor do I care what music he ends up sticking with, the fact of the matter remains that it will be of the highest quality no matter what, but if you’re a hardcore DT fan wouldn’t would you want him back?


Written by Denys

Ratings    Denys    8/10

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