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Welcome to the seventh album from German Melodic Power group Mob Rules. These guys have been around 18 years now and I have several of their previous releases to gauge this against. Usually it takes me at least four spins of an album before things click into place and I start to appreciate (or not) what a band have done with their music. ‘Cannibal Nation’, for some reason, has taken me many more and I’m still not sure about it! It is undoubtedly very well played (when you’ve been together a long time you should know each other and your instruments), well produced (the keyboards shine through), the melodies, especially those of the choruses start to reveal themselves nicely the more you listen. It is certainly the best Mob Rules album I own and also has the best vocal performance yet from Klaus Dirks; however, ultimately, there is still nothing remarkable about it. Many of the tracks are mid-paced affairs with the rest being only slightly quicker. There are no up-tempo songs which hamper the pacing slightly and judging by the quotes in the press release the band perhaps seem content to continue plodding along doing what they do best which is making decent albums.

Lyrically (I unfortunately don’t have access to a lyric sheet or booklet) ‘Cannibal Nation’ seems interesting. The title track deals with the ruthless, violent and extreme rule of Central African President and Emperor Jean-Bedel Bokassa in the 1960s and 70s and ‘Scream For The Sun (May 29th 1953)’ looks at the first ascent of Mount Everest - not, you might agree, standard fare for a Melodic Power Metal album! Closing ballad ‘Sunrise’ is also a highlight and, in my opinion, being by far the best track on offer here and first single ‘Ice And Fire’ (with guest ‘Miro’ Rodenburg (Avantasia) on keyboards) also a good song. If you are a long time fan of Mob Rules then I’m sure you will be more than happy with this album and will be purchasing one if not more of the many formats that it is being released in. If you like a mix of latter day Iron Maiden, Queensryche and Primal Fear you may also be swayed to check it out, but if Mob Rules do want to rise a notch in the ranks they are going to have to come up with some more memorable songs overall. Good but not essential.
AFM Records
Review by Rick Tilley
19th Oct 2012
1) Close My Eyes
2) Lost
3) Tele Box Fool
4) Ice & Fire
5) Soldiers of Fortune
6) The Sirens
7) Scream for the Sun (May 29th, 1953)
8) Cannibal Nation
9) Sunrise
"...if Mob Rules do want to rise a notch in the ranks they are going to have to come up with some more memorable songs overall. Good but not essential."