Review Summary: With this much talent, what could possibly go wrong?5 of 5 thought this review was well written
Personally, I liked parts of Adrenaline Mob's first album, but it was let down by the atrocious lyrics and the fact that the album sits nicely in the middle of the boring mainstream metal genre. Being a supergroup it seems like most of the power was done by Portnoy, but the music ended up being more like Disturbed, the band from which John Moyer is from.
Then I looked at Coverta, a EP consisting of several covers. And I thought it was a good start, a decent selection of classic rock and metal. Led Zeppelin, Dio, Rainbow, Black Sabbath and a few other covers. Covers are normally hit and miss, most of the times nothing good comes from them, occasionally a song will spring through that is better than the original but that isn't an often occurrence`. But with Mike Portnoy and Russell Allen at the reins, surely it must be more of the former?
The short answer is no. The long answer is far more complicated. This album sounds like it was made by a cover band that you'd pay 5 bucks to go see in a sleazy metal bar after a fair few drinks. It seems okay on the surface, but when you break it down there isn't much to it.
Vocals are an issue on this album, I don't know where Russell Allen is but he definitely isn't here. For the majority of the album he just sounds like a poor quality Ronnie James Dio (RIP) who would surely be turning in his grave for the brutality that his work is suffering at the hands of A-Mob. The notable exception is The Lemon Song, where he instead sounds like a poor version of Robert Plant. Russell is able to hit those high notes like it is nobody's business, but on this album he spends most of his time acting like a poor imitation of the original artist. Russell is a brilliant vocalist on Symphony X, but that Russell definitely ain't this Russell.
Guitars are mostly decent. Mike Orlando is good in his copying qualities from the songs, but he doesn't strive to achieve better than them. Instead he spends nearly all his solos doing the same high pitched screech from his guitar. Ruining the solo in Stand up and Shout, so that it ends up with none of the technical genius of Vivian Campbell and replacing it with a screechy alternative. Apart from his solos, he fits in very well with the sound of the band. That being cheap head-banging grab-ya-balls metal, because he sounds like a kid that you'd find on youtube, cover the great songs of metal history.
Drums are played by Mike Portnoy, who spent 25 years in Dream Theater expanding the influence of drummers world wide. Famous for his odd time signatures, brilliant drumming technique and being crazily flamboyant, he seems to have lost himself here. The drums on the album are very loud, being the main thing you hear when you listen to A-Mob, but apart from playing quickly he does little else. Gone is the technical ability, replaced with cheap drum stick smashing metal based drumming. A real shame, as Portnoy is normally a brilliant drummer, but he shows none of that skill here.
There isn't much to say about the bass, despite listening to the album several times I couldn't make out John Moyer once on the entire album. I assume that the bass simply moulds into the drumming, but because the drumming is so loud you can barely hear anything.
Long story short, Coverta is a poor cover album. With poor vocals from Allen, screechy guitar from Orlando, overpowering drumming from Portnoy and disappearing bass from Moyer. The entire album is a very boring listen and I'm very glad that it was only 34 minutes long, because it meant that I could go along and listen to the orginal songs. A-Mob is not a replacement for Dio, Halen or Zeppelin and they never will be.