Adrenaline Mob have the capable guns to not only be one of the best super groups, but all around bands in modern metal. However, despite what I thought was a terrific start to their career with their debut album, their second album Men of Honor failed to impress me. It had some really good songs, but also some really insignificant ones too. That’s just a quick nutshell on the album had I bothered to review it. This review is for Dearly Departed – their recently released collection of covers and unreleased songs – and the job it does at showing where Adrenaline Mob is today.
Since this album has yet to be released there will be no song samples featured on this review.
Much like 2013’s Covertà, Dearly Departed serves as an arc between albums for the band. This time around, however, the band doesn’t opt to make an album full of covers and rather adds some other interesting moments recorded on tape, as well as a few covers. Albums like these are never really necessary, but are rather done for fun by the band for their devoted fans, so I’ll keep that in mind in my review.
Adrenaline Mob start off Dearly Departed with a cover, Pat Travers‘s Snortin’ Whiskey. On Covertà Adrenaline Mob chose some surprising (and some not so surprising) stuff to cover, so by this point I’m not shocked that they chose to cover the Canadian blues rock veteran’s biggest hit and make it in to a heavy metal song. I enjoy that the blues attitude of the song is almost completely intact, just with more distorted and showy guitars and drums.
Before I get in to the other covers on the album, I’d like to talk about the other songs, such as the acoustic songs on the album. I’m not really ever one to be excited for when a band records an unplugged version of their songs, but I’m also never one to think they sound bad. Particularly when I like the initial song. The acoustic songs are all stripped down versions of songs that were already ballads, so the changes aren’t drastic, so hearing Crystal Clear and All On The Line with nothing more than acoustic guitars and vocals (and some percussions) is worth giving a shot if you already know and like the original tracks. Angel Sky, one of my favourite songs by the band, is also given an acoustic makeover, but unlike the other two tracks it has a full band playing which I especially like. I still prefer the original, of course, but this new perspective of the song is the most enjoyable of Adrenaline Mob‘s selections for Dearly Departed.
The title track for Dearly Departed is simply a different edit of the same song from Men of Honor. You would have to absolutely love the original version of the song to really be able to hear the difference. Luckily Dearly Departed is probably what I’d pick as the best track from the Men of Honor album, so hearing it again on this album isn’t a waste of space or anything. There is also an outtake from the Men of Honor sessions on the album called Gets You Through The Night. I actually feel Men of Honor would have been a better album had Adrenaline Mob included this track on it, but instead it’s on Dearly Departed and is what I feel really makes this album worth a listen.
Continuing with the cover songs on Dearly Departed there are three others not including Snortin’ Whiskey. The first of them is a cover of The Charlie Daniels Band‘s classic The Devil Went Down To Georgia. Now, when I saw that this is one of the songs included on the album, I knew right away it was merely just a means for guitarist extraordinaire Mike Orlando to show off his skills, and my prediction was right. In fact, Russell Allen, who I regard as the most talented metal singer of modern music, really doesn’t put much effort in his lyrical delivery. I just so happen to be a huge Charlie Daniels Band far – which is random I know – and I’ve grown to appreciate the story telling talents of Charlie Daniels and this classic is no exception, but Russell really just stood back here and let the band do the talking instead.
Okay Black Sabbath Medley isn’t a cover song as much as it’s a cover of a bunch of songs. On Covertà the band wound up covering three Ronnie James Dio songs, one from all three of his most famous band’s including Sabbath, so I was kind of hoping Adrenaline Mob maybe would include one in this medley, but I guess I’m not surprised they didn’t. It’s all Ozzy Osbourne sung stuff (if you’re hoping to hear the song and not know the songs included beforehand then I suggest you skip the rest of this paragraph) starting with Into The Void, then Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, where Russell really shows some good vocals work. Afterwards the band breaks into the guitar solo segment of Sweet Leaf before breaking in to a quick chorus of Killing Yourself To Live and finally capping things off with Mike Orlando soloing over the main riff to Electric Funeral. Did you follow all of that? Good. I enjoy the medley every time I hear it, it’s something I’m very happy was included on Dearly Departed.
The fourth and last cover on Dearly Departed is also its closing track. Queen’s Tie Your Mother Down is the song Adrenaline Mob felt best suited to end the album with. If you know the song, and I hope you do, you’d know it’s a pretty fun song but with attitude, and Adrenaline Mob don’t lost one bit of that attitude at any point, making for a fun little ending to the album.
I question the necessity of Dearly Departed, because it’s not an album of all covers, nor is it an album of all unreleased songs, or of all acoustic versions or different edits of past songs. It’s all of those in one. But because it’s all of those in one, it makes for a lack of consistency. I do like how it’s all spread out nicely so that you’re not listening to all of the acoustic songs at once, that was a good move. I enjoy the album, but at the same time it doesn’t have a proper kick to it, it’s really just stuff Adrenaline Mob recorded for fun. Fans of the band should love it, I mean I love it, but this is most certainly not for newcomers to the bands. For newcomers, just listen to Omertà and then maybe Men of Honor. Dearly Departed is for the existing fans.
“Tie Your Mother Down” – I mean how does one choose a highlight to an album such as Dearly Departed? You can’t. I figured I’d make my highlight a cover, definitely not one of the acoustic songs and it would be pointless to make the title track the highlight. Maybe the outtake would make a good highlight, but no I made up my mind with Tie Your Mother Down. It shows the band still rocks while staying true to the original version of the song. And if you somehow don’t know the original version of the song, this song will still be completely enjoyable because, as previously mentioned, it’s fun and has attitude, something more metal songs lately should sound like.
7.5 (Out of 10)
- Snortin’ Whiskey (Pat Travers cover)
- Dearly Departed (Radio Edit)
- The Devil Went Down To Georgia (Charlie Daniels Band cover)
- Crystal Clear (acoustic version
- BLACK SABBATH Medley (Black Sabbath cover)
- Gets You Through The Night (unreleased track)
- Angel Sky (acoustic version)
- All On The Line (acoustic version)
- Tie Your Mother Down (Queen cover)