Who the hell else would have thought to cover some of these songs? ADRENALINE MOB would. This is their third release, if you count the 2011 self titled EP and the 2012 debut album Omerta. The cleverly named Coverta is fun, high-energy collection of non typical cover songs. For me there seems to be more passion on here in their performances than what was on their debut album.
They start this off with the only track I wasn’t familiar with, “High Wire” by BADLANDS. As a new song to my ears, it was pleasantly timeless sounding. Kicking it off with deep grooves and bass lines with some extraordinary fret work, it is the prefect way to open this album up. Singer RUSSELL ALLEN (SYMPHONY X ) is such a strong and versatile singer, you almost forget he is not that songs original singer on some of these tracks. He is the high point of this album. Holy cow, does he do justice to DIO’s “Stand Up and Shout”. It is scary how close he is to RONNIE JAMES DIO’s voice. Maybe that’s why three out of the eight tracks on here are from three of his former bands. If he doesn’t end up filling in for DIO DISCIPLES at some point in the future, something is wrong with the world. There’s one track on here that just caught me off guard, they didn’t go radically different but a few twist definitely made “Break on Through” by THE DOORS is my second favorite track on here. The addition of a little double bass drums just makes this song move and come alive. Also, a few killer fills never hurt anything either. Bassist JOHN MOYER‘s (DISTURBED) bass sounds nice and fat here. Allen’s ability to capture DAVID LEE ROTH‘s cadence is uncanny on “Romeo Delight” by VAN HALEN. Drummer MIKE PORTNOY and Moyer really shine on this bad boy.
I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone cover HEART before and I’m glad their version of “Barracuda” popped my HEART cover cherry. MIKE ORLANDO (SONIC STOMP) is so good on here I really can’t find the words to say how much I love his playing. I have listened to this track more than any other here. Seriously, after hearing “Kill the King” by RAINBOW, I would love to see or hear Russell do a DIO cover show one day. I am extremely happy with their LED ZEPPELIN choice, if I had to hear another version of “The Immigrant Song” or “Whole Lotta Love”, I would punch someone in the face. Thankfully I am surprised here with ‘The Lemon Song’. It is slowest and the longest song on here and it feels it. ORLANDO simply kills on the solos here and MIKE PORTNOY is very faithful to the original. I don’t think anyone is really allowed to change JOHN BONHAM parts, its an unspoken rule. The last track is a no-brainer for them, it is their anthem. They just smoke BLACK SABBATH’s “The Mob Rules”. It really feels like its their song.
With great song choices and superb production this could quickly move up into one of the best cover albums out there. If you’re not smiling by the end of this disc, something is wrong with you.
ADRENALINE MOB gets reinvigorated by some cover songs!
MIKE PORTNOY quit DREAM THEATER a year ago and he still can’t seem to come to terms with the fact that they did what a band has to do when a member quits and move on. It’s already come out that he got too full of himself when AVENGED SEVENFOLD asked him to join the band. The A7X camp told him not to quit DREAM THEATER but he did it anyway and then they booted him shortly after so they could move on to the rest of their lives without the old guy that fans everywhere would ask, “Is that The Rev’s dad?”
Now, the Greek edition of Rock Hard Magazine has completed a really in-depth interview with PORTNOY and, while it’s a great read, he still hasn’t quit bitching about being booted out of DREAM THEATER. Check out his quote below on how it went down when he decided to leave the band:
“I didn’t make the decision to leave DREAM THEATER before [hooking up with] AVENGED SEVENFOLD, but I knew that something had to change in the DREAM THEATER camp. It’s unfortunate that it was me that had to change, because I never wanted to leave the band — it was never my intention; I never wanted the split. I just merely thought that the band really could use a break, because I think the romance was really dying — backstage and between [the members] personally. 25 years without a break is a very, very, very long time and sometimes these relationships need a break from each other to rekindle the flame. So that’s all I suggested. And even before I [went on the road] withAVENEGED SEVENFOLD, I remember touring with [the progressive rock project] TRANSATLANTIC at the beginning of 2010 and already knowing that something was wrong in the DREAM THEATER world and that I really needed a break from the guys and the whole DREAM THEATERmachine. I knew something was brewing and I knew that I was unhappy, and as has been well documented elsewhere, I merely just wanted a break. But unfortunately, those guys [the rest of DREAM THEATER] didn’t see it that way and didn’t respect my request for time off. It’s unfortunate [that it turned out that way].”
The whole scenario reminds me of one of the early scenes of my favorite rock’n'roll comedy of all time, WAYNE’S WORLD. In this scene, Wayne is lusting after a Fender guitar while his friend Garth reminds him that it’s out of his reach. This is the perfect summation of MIKE PORTNOY — spending all his time thinking about what could have been if he didn’t leave the band only to be told by everyone around him to forget about it and…. LIVE IN THE NOW!
Unless you have been living under a rock or been in a coma like Captain America was for the last 70 years, one of the stories of 2011 has been the fallout from Mike Portnoy’s messy departure from DREAM THEATER. Still being played out in the media after splitting nearly a year ago, there has been no shortage of drama. We watched the very public dismay of Portnoy unfold as DREAM THEATER has opted to continue on without him, eventually settling on Mike Mangini as his replacement. As his former band prepares to release their next record soon, Mike has licked his wounds and released the first material from his new band ADRENALINE MOB in the form of a self released EP (Dear Tunecore, you totally suck ass!). The band is a super-group of name players who will have to live up to their legendary reputations even more in light of these circumstances. The potential for greatness is definitely there, but the band has a ways to go to get there.
The first song is a driving, blues based active rock/power-groove type of song named “Psychosane”. When I heard the main riff for the first time I immediately thought of PUYA, but the band is going for a BLACK LABEL SOCIETY/PANTERA/EXHORDER type of vibe. Lead singer Russell Allen of SYMPHONY X (who also produced) even channels Phil Anselmo and Kyle Thomas to an extent throughout most of the album and the results are mixed. Allen is a naturally great singer, but his attempts to butch it up here left me a little flat. The track itself is solid with a great guitar solo from the gifted Mike Orlando (SONIC STOMP). As you’d expect from any Portnoy recording the drums are powerful and have his patented slick fills and rolls. The second song “Believe Me” is a little tighter. Another boogie rock stomper, Allen uses his more trademark dynamic vocalizing and power to great effect this time. Orlando just shreds his face off on another couple of harmonized solos in the vein of DIMEBAG DARRELL. Orlando is one of the premier axe-men in the game today and this band could be a launching pad to even bigger things for him. He has preposterous dexterity, sick lead skills and a lyrical style in the tradition of all the gods of guitar. In addition to some terrific Portnoy double-kick work, bassist Paul DiLeo drops in some fine walking bass lines and fills. There is no questioning the talent of this group which also includes guitarist Rich Ward (STUCK MOJO/FOZZY). Lyrically and melodically it is the strongest track here also. “Hit The Wall” is the most realized song and has rock and thrash overtones. The fast driving beat is prime territory for the legendary drummer to get his metal ya-yas out. Allen kills the vocals here with an excellent performance displaying the full extent of his talents. After raging on overdrive for ¾ of the track, the song breaks down into a DOWN style sludge jam and it sounds pretty impressive. “Down To The Floor” continues the kitchen sink riff approach. There are some interesting spacey sound effects going on during the verse that will hook your ear. The major-key change in the chorus is a classic rock staple that screams early 1980′s to be sure. Another short Orlando lead calls to mind EDDIE VAN HALEN at his youngest and best. As the band has done live, the album closes with a cover of “The Mob Rules” as a tribute to RONNIE JAMES DIO. Allen certainly does a heartwarming DIO impression and the cover is note for note perfect. I suspect most of the originals are even more killer sounding in a live setting. I hope more time spent with the whole band writing together will make the full length album in 2012 worth the wait.
Undoubtedly, one of the most highly anticipated records of the year is ‘A Dramatic Turn of Events’ from DREAM THEATER, which will finally be unveiled on September 13th via Roadrunner Records. I, for one, am excited to hear what the record sounds like if for no other reason than the hilarious drama that ensued with former member MIKE PORTNOY over the past year. ‘A Dramatic Turn…’ marks the first post-Portnoy venture from the band and, therefore, the first with new drummer Mike Mangini.
Now, DREAM THEATER has announced plans to tour in support of the new album and the package sees two Roadrunner heavyweights team up for a tour which is sure to be one of the most talked about in the metal world this fall. TRIVIUM, who are riding the waves of success of their latest ‘In Waves’, have been tapped to support the Gods of Prog this fall.
Check out the dates below and stay tuned for more info!
Now this story just gets sadder each day. First, Portnoy quit DREAM THEATER. Then he got booted from AVENGED SEVENFOLD and now he has revealed on his personal website that he indeed tried to reconnect with DREAM THEATER and his offer was declined! Oooff, talk about a tough week! Here’s PORTNOY’s post:
“Just for the record, this is indeed true..
“Fairly recently, I reached out to the guys to try and make amends and offered to reconcile for the sake of having peace back in our lives… (plus I know how much it meant to a lot of the fans…)
“I figured it was still possible to try and save us, because they hadn’t made any announcements yet or begun any public activity with another drummer… but sadly, they declined my offer (well, actually their lawyer did… they didn’t even tell me themselves….)
“Sorry, gang, I honestly gave it my all…
“So now the fans on my Twitter and Facebook can please stop asking me to go back to DREAM THEATER… I tried, and the door is now shut… The ball is now in their court, not mine…
“I’m not crying or looking for mercy by posting this… I am merely trying to set the record straight as that is always the most important thing about my relationship with you guys… No BS, no spins, nothing to hide… and for better or for worse, I tell it like it is… I’ve also recently seen some people accuse my online activity of ‘looking for attention or media coverage,’ or ‘looking for sympathy,’ but it’s honestly none of the above… I merely value having an open and active communication with my fans… Always have, always will… It is the cornerstone of everything I’ve done since day #1 with DREAM THEATER…
“This was posted here FOR YOU GUYS to know about… here on MY message board on MY website… If it ends up on Blabbermouth or wherever else, that is THEIR choice to spread, I did not request it or send out a ‘press release’…
“Anyways, onward and upward…
“I’ve got a lot of great music and ideas waiting to come out of me and alot of exciting collaborations in the works….so goodbye 2010…bring on 2011!”
Hey dude, I hear that PARAMORE is looking for a drummer! #srsly
It’s still a weird world that we live in if you think about the fact that MIKE PORTNOY quit DREAM THEATER and is now playing for AVENGED SEVENFOLD. I mean, I’m no DREAM THEATER fan, but it seems like a bit of a downgrade in the ‘coolness’ factor…
Anyway, PORTNOY is still one of the best drummers to have ever lived so check out this awesome video of him rocking out with AVENGED SEVENFOLD at a recent show!
A meeting of the minds, if you will, AVENGED SEVENFOLD have just announced tour plans for January. The ‘Nightmare After Christmas’ Tour will hit secondary markets across the US and feature direct support from Corey Taylor’s STONE SOUR and opening the bill will be the rap/rock defenders HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD.
We’ll be at the Reading, PA date so come say hey and buy us beer, dammit!
Jan. 20 – Reading, PA – Sovereign Center
Jan. 22 – Lowell, MA – Tsongas Center
Jan. 23 – Baltimore, MD – 1st Mariner Arena
Jan. 25 – Huntington, WV – Big Sandy Arena
Jan. 26 – Knoxville, TN – Knoxville Coliseum
Jan. 28 – Lexington, KY – Rupp Arena
Jan. 29 – Cincinnati, OH – US Bank Arena
Jan. 30 – Evansville, IN – Roberts Stadium
Feb. 01 – Moline, IL – iWireless Center
Feb. 02 – La Crosse, WI – La Crosse Center
Feb. 04 – Battlecreek, MI – Kellogg Arena
Feb. 05 – Detroit, MI – [to be announced]
Feb. 07 – Sioux City, IA – Tyson Center
Feb. 08 – Grand Island, NE – Heartland Events Center
Feb. 11 – Boise, ID – Taco Bell Arena
Feb. 12 – Kennewick, WA – Toyota Center
Feb. 14 – Eugene, OR – [to be announced]
Feb. 16 – San Jose, CA – San Jose Events Center
VERIZON WIRELESS AMPHITHEATER
Emboldened by the success of 2007 self-titled effort, AVENGED SEVENFOLD have taken their destiny without drummer Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan under their own batwing for their eponymous fifth full length release, Nightmare with an incredible performance from the place they hail from.
On September 22nd, Irvine’s Verizon Amphitheater hosted the Rockstar Uproar Festival were thousands of AVENGED SEVENFOLD obliged fans welcomed the Huntington Beach natives. The show started with an unknown individual, theoretically harnessed, dropping from a catwalk and writhing as the man hung by the neck from the end of a rope. As he swung like a pendulum, the band began their set with hit single “Nightmare.”
Aside from the energy from every band member, the vigor present in singer Shadow’s delivery was immaculate which only suited the impeccable guitar work. Both Zacky Vengeance and Synyster Gates showcased some mind bending solos, but more impressively they perfectly harmonize many of the complicated leads. The resulting sound was reminiscent of great metal bands that they are highly influenced by.
The entire set was rounded out with some cool pyrotechnics and stage props rigged to look like cemetery gates. The second song, “Critical Acclaimed, orchestrated thick and sinister, billowing, noxious melodies which had all fifteen thousand fans singing along. “Welcome to the Family” balanced out the performance overall as DREAM THEATER’s drummer, Mike Portnoy represented Sullivan adequately. Guitarist, Gates’ electric guitar illustrated fast and tectonic riffs while equating the epic and frighting rhythmic lines of Zacky Vengeance in scope. A sea of enthusiastic darkness filtered the venue once “Beast and the Harlot” began. Johnny Christ’s slithering bass lines triggered choppiness yet Portnoy’s unending pounding kept rhythm even for the elderly couple in the crowd to head bang.
Even once the crowd began to anticipate what was next “Buried Alive” kept their energy rolling. By the sixth song, AVENGED SEVENFOLD dedicated the song “So Far Away” to drummer Sullivan and Shadows added that the band would continue playing to honor Sullivan’s legacy. The outstanding bass solo in “Afterlife” engaged every single soul’s attention to embrace it with every lighter and cell phone lit.
They concluded their set with “Unholy Confessions” and “Almost Easy” and proved to still be one of the best bands from Orange County to date. Unfortunately, their legacy without Sullivan is uncertain, but after this overdriven, prodigious performance the one thing that is for sure is that their former, late band member is definitely proud of his best friends.
DREAM THEATER releases a statement on the departure of Mike Portnoy.
DREAM THEATER have issued the following statement in the wake of the shocking news that drummer Mike Portnoy has elected to leave the band:
“To all of our loyal fans and friends: It is with profound sadness – regret – we announce that Mike Portnoy, our lifelong drummer and friend, has decided to leave DREAM THEATER. Mike’s stature in the band has meant the world to all of us professionally, musically, and personally over the years. There is no dispute: Mike has been a major force within this band.
While it is true that Mike is choosing to pursue other ventures and challenges, we can assure you that DREAM THEATER will continue to move forward with the same intensity, and in the same musical tradition, that you have all helped make so successful, and which is truly gratifying to us. Fans and friends: File this episode under ‘Black Clouds and Silver Linings.’
As planned, we begin recording our newest album in January 2011, and we’ll follow that with a full-on world tour. ‘The Spirit Carries On.’
All of us in DREAM THEATER wholeheartedly wish Mike the best on his musical journey. We have had a long and meaningful career together. It is our true hope that he finds all he is looking for, and that he achieves the happiness he deserves. He will be missed.”