Release DetailsLABEL SPV
RELEASED ON 10/23/2006
posted on 5/2007 By:
Though I am not a huge fan of over-synthesized, Euro-derived power metal, I do come across an album or two every year from the world's second-smallest continent that slaps me across my deserving American face. Of course, there are also a handful of albums that fall somewhere in the middle. I mean, sure...I can't completely ridicule and lambast them with jokes involving erectile dysfunction or homoeroticism, but they're not exactly worth the time it took to listen to them either. Mob Rules' overly thematically-complicated Ethnolution A.D. is one such album.
Ok, let's address the title first. Ethnolution A.D.? Do yourself a favor and Google "ethnolution." Didn't find a damn thing aside from a link pointing to this album, right? So we must now assume that this band, obviously consisting exclusively of the world's finest literary geniuses, is fully capable of creating and giving life to words that mean nothing. Do we really care so little about lyrics in metal that we let this slide? From my own limited understanding, I can presume that Ethnolution A.D. addresses the meaning behind the world's wars, albeit in an entirely fictional, musical way. Have we heard this before? Yes. Have we heard it done better? Right-o. I understand that this is a topical issue, but let us not beat it to death.
Did I mention that the music almost kicks ass at times? It's just progressive enough to sound relatively original and just heavy enough to give it some bite. It would have been a hell of a lot easier for me, your loyal servant and metal critic, if the music were as haphazardly constructed as the subject matter. Alas, it's not as easily written off as that. Guitarists Matthias Mineur and Sven Ludge work with a diverse palette and the firm identity of each song undoubtedly proves this. The pace doesn't gallop as I expected and each riff is more resonant because of it. There are usually a few key guitar parts that help define each track, but this brings me to one of the album's most glaring weaknesses; the overwhelming sense that the atmospheric work detracts from the strength of the guitars. The Middle Eastern influence is just a little too obvious and "cute" for my taste. Just listen to "Ain't the One" for an example. Eh, maybe I just have a low tolerance for bombast.
You won't bowl over in orgasm over Ethnolution A..D, but you won't upchuck last night's tuna casserole either. If you're into more progressive power metal like Pagan's Mind and Wuthering Heights you just might like this, but I think both those bands are capable of writing more compelling songs than those found here. As much potential exists in the Mob Rules camp, someone needs to light a fire under their ass to breed some creativity.
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