Adrenaline Mob – Omertà (2012) [Heavy Metal]

A Review of Adrenaline Mob’s “Omertà”

June 14th, 2012

Written and Edited by Troy Swiatek

Omerta

★★★★★★★☆☆☆

I picked this album up on a whim, being a huge Mike Portnoy fan, while at my local music store (of course, I picked up the brand new Flying Colors album along with it; it will be reviewed at a later date, but I was most definitely more impressed with that release in comparison to this one). Needless to say, with a superstar trio consisting of the magnificent Symphony X vocalist Russell Allen, infamous shredder Mike Orlando – I am quite the fan of his Sonic Stomp albums – and the brilliant Transatlantic (hell, I prefer Transatlantic to Dream Theater and his other projects) drummer Mike Portnoy, I was expecting a mind-blowing release.

However, with an early peek at the album art, I could already foresee a mediocre album. I expected “yet another” average hard rock/heavy metal album, but figured if these beyond talented musicians were participating it could be made into a fantastic album. Unfortunately, after a few listens of the album, this dream turned into reality – indeed, it is a relatively average album, for the most part. There were some surprisingly brilliant tracks, however.

Undaunted is the first track of the album. It starts off pretty well, showcasing Portnoy’s and Orlando’s abilities – not brilliantly, but adequately enough to be slightly impressed. After about half a minute, Russell Allen’s unrecognizable vocals explode into the song. Russell was most definitely trying a new vocal style with this album – I actually loved his vocals on his most recent Symphony X album, Iconoclast (2011), and was expecting the same vibe from Omertà. I don’t think this type of vocals suit him at all; however, it most certainly flows along with the music, which I always love. Not to say that I dislike the vocals, I don’t, but they were surprising at first. Overall, this is a solid track and will definitely convince listeners to lengthen their attention span for the entire album. My favorite part would have to be the chorus and Russell’s pronunciation of “undaunted” within it – “You wannabe, I stand undaunted; you gonna see, I am undaunted“. An impressive track to kickoff the album with.

Psychosane is the second track, with a paradoxical, contradictory title – you can’t be “psycho” and “sane” at the same time! This song was slightly less impressive to me; it was a bit less heavy (hey, my opinion) and flows much less than Undaunted. The lyrics were pretty mediocre, somewhat cheesy at times. What saves this track from being a total letdown was Orlando’s solo near the end of song. Pretty much loved that, despite its relatively short length. Similar to the previous song, my favorite part was the chorus – “Heavy thunder blows my mind, knocks me senseless all the time; the sound of lightning screams, I hear them melt my brain – Lord I’m going psychosane. That alone makes this track re-listenable for me.

Indifferent is the third track, possibly my favorite, of the album. The song starts off very nicely with a catchy riff alongside Portnoy’s drum-pounding – Mike and Mike are definitely in sync on this track. This is one of the softer tracks on the album, but by no means is it a “soft” track whatsoever. The only reason this song is my favorite is that Russell’s vocals are RECOGNIZABLE – it’s the Symphony X vocalist once again, and I love the vocals on this track. I’m also quite indifferent (love the word) to most issues in the world at the moment. Not to mention another wondrous solo by Orlando.. this track is wonderful; in terms of vocal ability, Russell really nails it on this track. Of course, the chorus was also enjoyable – not sure why I’m enjoying these so much on this album. Probably because of Russell. 😉

All on the Line is the fourth track containing a similar vocal-style to the third track. Now, this track is definitely the softest on the album. Although it contains a slightly heavy chorus, the rest of this song is quite ballad-like but nonetheless brilliantly performed. This song definitely showcases Russell’s vocal ability – absolutely fantastic. It also is quite reminiscent of Triumph’s Lay It On the Line, but only in that All on the Line contains the line “I’ve got to lay it all on the line” and they’re both hard-rock “ballads”. This song showcases each of the trio’s unique, legendary talents that has allowed them each to make it in the music industry. This song may very well be my favorite on the album. Simply great. The chorus.. once again.. “I don’t wanna wake up and make the same mistakes, it happens to me all the time; if I lie, I lose it all, if I stand or if I fall, I’ve got to lay it all on the line..“. This song also contains a very slight but perfect solo to go along with the song. Love it.

Hit the Wall is the fifth track on the album, signaling a path back to the heaviness of the album, with the two previous songs being relatively soft in comparison to the rest of the album. I’ll be honest, this song is monotonously boring. I did not enjoy this song at all. There were a few nice guitar licks, but nothing utterly fantastic in my opinion. Portnoy also had a few good moments within the song.. but aside from Orlando’s solo the song was pretty one-way. Definitely a bust.

Feelin’ Me is the sixth track on the album, probably the harshest, in terms of vocals, and nothing short of a kick-ass song. Love the guitar riff, Portnoy flows right along with Orlando and Russell continuously delivers excellently. Not a fan of the chorus – “I gonna stand up and fight, gonna knock out the sky ’cause I don’t give a shit; ya mother fuckers feelin’ me, are ya mother fuckers feelin’ me?” – it’s pretty unwarranted but flows right along with the slight harshness of the song. A great rebound from the fifth disaster.

Come Undone is the seventh track on the album, a cover, originally performed by Duran Duran. I must admit, I haven’t heard the original, but that’s irrelevant when it comes to this song. It’s an excellent song, although I can’t say if it’s a “good cover” or not. The female guest-vocalist definitely fits right in with the song, they perform the chorus flawlessly in my opinion – “Can’t ever keep from falling apart.. at the seams; can’t I believe you’re taking my heart.. to pieces”. The vocals really stand out on this song; don’t notice Orlando and Portnoy as much, which wasn’t a necessarily bad thing, for Russell (and whoever the hell that female vocalist was) really tore it up.

Believe Me is the eighth track on the album, starts off extremely weak. Russell utters “Come on!” so weakly that I figured the rest of the song would follow suit. I was pretty much correct in that assumption. The rest of the song is mediocre, relatively monotonous but not as bad as Hit the Wall. Another song I would be tempted to skip upon another listen of the album. Nonetheless, it is by no means a terrible song, I simply dislike it.

Down to the Floor is the ninth track of the album, whose title reminds me of Blood On the Dance Floor. The lyrics on this one are simply atrocious. “I feel the wind breakin’, tires shakin’; I feel the earth quakin’, come on give it some more.” “I bleed the brake line, hands shakin’, red light, sweat breakin’, I’m ready to explode!”. The music is average. Nothing special here, but still not awful.

Angel Sky is the tenth track of the album with a ballad-like title; I admit, the name of the song had me hoping for a fantastic song. Seems I was correct on the ballad-likehypothesis. Russell’s voice is quite nice in this one, but I didn’t find anything special in this one aside from the chorus -“I wish I could see through your eyes, fly through the angel sky, fly so high spread your wings to try.. fly away to a different place in time, won’t you fly away?”. It’s delivered quite nicely by the group and I would listen to the song again just for the chorus and corresponding guitar-licks by Orlando.

Freight Train is the eleventh and final track of the album. It begins with the sound of a freight train followed by a smooth riff. I expected something memorable, it being the final track and all.. unfortunately, there was nothing spectacular except for Orlando’s guitar and Portnoy’s drums. Russell was pretty boring on this track, especially with the annoying chorus – “Freight train rollin’, ya keep on rollin’; freight train goin’, all night, freight train rollin’, ya keep on goin’, rollin’ down the line”. Aside from the vocals, this song was delivered exceptionally and is quite brilliant in terms of musicianship.

As a whole, this album was completely different from what I’m currently exploring – progressive rock – but was indefinitely a solid album. Quite simply, this album is a punch to the face – a kick-ass, rockin’ album that you should play as loud as possible. I would completely recommend Omertà to any fan of the current hard rock and heavy metal scene. I’m actually looking forward to a sophomore release from this supergroup. I believe that as they develop a bond as a group, they’ll perform better and dive into unexplored musical regions with a new album. The talent is there, but the chemistry appears to be absent, which can be improved with extended “bonding time”. Unfortunately, each of the members have other groups to tend to (except Orlando, not exactly sure what he’s doing at this point), and Portnoy’s all over the place with his recent tours, groups and contributions to albums.

  • Music: 8.
  • Vocals: 7
  • Lyrics: 5
  • Overall: 7

overall incorporates my impressions, how well I felt the music flowed, the lyrics, performance of each member on the album, and a few other unimportant factors; it is not an average of the music, vocals and lyrics ratings

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~ by Musical Indulgence on June 14, 2012.

2 Responses to “Adrenaline Mob – Omertà (2012) [Heavy Metal]”

  1. Excellent review sir.

  2. Reblogged this on powerprogmetal.

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