Thrash Hits

September 28th, 2009

EP: Mob Rules – Astral Hand

Mob Rules logo Thrash Hits

Mob Rules
Astral Hand EP
AFM Records
09 October 2009

by Jon Kerr

For those new to Mob Rules, this is a power metal band who left behind the fantasy-fiction imagery and now write songs about Lee Harvey Oswald and the Middle Eastern conflict. Pretty refreshing, we suppose.

Mob Rules Astral Hand EP artwork cover packshot Thrash Hits

But their last two albums (2006’s Ethnolution A.D. and Among The Gods from 2004) were largely panned for their lacklustre content and the lack of progression from their impressive debut, Savage Land. Having signed to AFM Records this July, Mob Rules have set their sights on shrugging off those criticisms, and instead set their sights on making it into the big league.

Is Astral Hand a taste of things to come? It’s singable, synth-backed slab of crunchy power chords with vocalist Klaus Dirks giving one of the most assured performances of his career – worthy of comparison to his heroes Kai Hansen and Hansi Kürsch. As for the rest of the EP, there is a radio edit and instrumental version of the song present – fine, if you like that sort of thing. Th other new track, ‘Man on the Run’, shows off some similar tricks to the title track but is all too brief and won’t be seen on the band’s forthcoming album, Radical Peace. Lastly, an acoustic version of the nine-year old ‘Hold On’ perhaps confirms that it is their early career, as oppoosed to their recent poor showings, that Mob Rules are now looking more towards for inspiration.

Watch Mob Rules play ‘Unholy War’ live

We all know that Power Metal isn’t going anywhere with the likes of Iced Earth and Stratovarius attracting a huge following these days. Mob Rules tip their hat more towards classic British acts like Iron Maiden and Saxon, and it’s clear that they and their new label hope Radical Peace will propel them into the metal super-league.

5/6

Top tracks: Erm….
Sounds Like: Hammerfall, Freedom Call, Saxon

Mob Rules – Astral Hand EP tracklisting
Astral Hand (Album Version)
Astral Hand (Edit Version)
Astral Hand (Instrumental)
Man On The Run
Hold On (2009)

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