No, that’s not ok.
The new “super group” formed by Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater), Russell Allen (Symphony X), Mike Orlando, Paul Di Leo and Rich Ward has released their first EP in streaming.
And, after listening to it…I confirm, it’s not ok.
There is no doubt that the band members are all high-level musicians in their style, very technical and well prepared. But did this result in anything interesting, innovative or particularly original? No.
Let’s begin with “Psychosane”, heavy, evil song but also pretty boring. Interesting the “wa-wa” effect at the end of the guitar solo, but listening to an entire song just for these 10 seconds it seems to me quite useless. Then we have “Believe Me”, which comes with a “catchy” refrain. All pretty standard until a ultra-technical guitar solo that ends the song. Now, congrats, but then I don’t want to hear people that complain about Petrucci being too cold: this is a typical example of solo with no melody. ”Hit The Wall” starts with a nice Portnoy drumming, continues with a guitar solo, here again with no melody, and it ends with a mid-tempo that should add variety but it does not, in fact, only delaying the end of this song (thereby making it way too long). Eventually, “Down to the Floor” is a generic, bland and predictable song, which adds nothing to the rest.
In short, the Mob Adrenaline want to show that they can play, and that they “rock”…but doing it constantly, every minute of every song is tiring, boring and shows no compositional maturity. Indeed, it is a pity that musicians at their level decided to play this stuff.
I’m disappointed, mostly because Portnoy is still one of my favorite drummers ever. Nobody questions his talent and his amazing technical skills (such as those of the other band members, especially the vocals of Russell Allen) but the compositional quality of these songs is very low.
Someone said that this was the road where Portnoy was “dragging” Dream Theater to (heavy and aggressive songs, but no innovation at all). I do not know if that’s true, but certainly he is now playing a completely different music.
Honestly, I expected something more original, innovative, or at least interesting from this group. It’s discouraging instead discover that the result is only a set of trivial and obvious songs. All very boring.
If you want to listen to the EP as well go to this link: Adrenaline EP Mob. What do you think?