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Review: Mob Rules - Astral Hand
Mob Rules
Astral Hand

Label: AFM Records
Year released: 2009
Duration: 21:27
Tracks: 5
Genre: Power Metal

Rating: 3.5/5

Review online: September 19, 2009
Reviewed by: Christopher Foley
Readers Rating
Astral Hand

Rated 4/5 (80%) (9 Votes)

I've always enjoyed Mob Rules and their identifiable brand of Melodic Power Metal. Although I feel their last release Ethnolution A.D. was flawed in places, there were some sublime tracks on offer. With the Astral Hand EP, Mob Rules have struck the right chord with me, however this has given me expectations for their next full-length. First things first, this ticks most of the boxes for things I hate on an EP (multiple versions of the same track, a re-recording of an old track – normally a ballad – hell the only thing they've missed is a live track). This is certainly a negative from the get go, fortunately the material shown is very exciting – something that should be worth the admission price alone for Mob Rules' fans. Opening up with… well what do you expect "Astral Hand" – a brilliant track with great hooks and melodies and a big chorus. If this is any indication of what to expect from their next full-length, then I'm sold. Mob Rules' sound altogether superb; with a massive injection of the energy of debut Savage Land into their more intelligent progressive in places sound of today. I'm particularly fond of the guitar parts in the verses, subtle octaves and leads give the track a much denser feel. "Man on the Run" is a nice cruncher reminding me much of the Savage Land material. Not as powerful as "Astral Hand," but this is still a pretty cool track. However the multiple versions of the same track get pretty numbing on repeated listens, and why they bothered to re-record "Hold On" remains a mystery to me, the acoustic guitar approach as opposed to the piano led version on Temple of Two Suns was a bad idea, it would have been nice had they re-recorded something like "Insurgeria". If you're a Mob Rules fan though, you owe it to yourself to check this out, things are certainly looking good for the future.

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