MOB RULES BIOGRAPHY
Mob Rules is a German power metal band.MOB RULES GENRES
Mob Rules :: Ethnolution A.D.
“Sometimes the political events in this world catch up with you faster than you like,” says Klaus Dirks, vocalist with the German melodic metal act, Mob Rules, shaking his head in obvious shock. Their new, multi-part title song ‘Ethnolution’ began to take shape as early as autumn 2005. “We have always been fascinated by the ethnological development on our planet, the problematic coexistence of culturally and intellectually different peoples. That’s why this aspect of the history of mankind is the focus of our new album. Naturally, the Middle East conflict has to be part of this kind of discourse. But we had no idea that we would find ourselves in the middle of a war between Israel and Hezbollah just before the release of our new album.” Dirks is referring to ‘The Last Farewell’, the fifth and final chapter of the elaborate title track which deals with the suicide missions of militant fanatics. In the other four parts of the song, Mob Rules throw a critical light on the fall of the Berlin Wall and the machinations of the Ku Klux Clan in America. With more than 25 minutes playing time, ‘Ethnolution’ is by far the longest and most progressive song that the band has ever composed - an opus that stylistically explores the whole musical range of the band from Northern Germany: from the anthemnic opener ‘Unholy War’ through the prog-metal manifesto, ‘Ashes To Ashes’, reminiscent in parts of Queensrÿche, and the edgy thrash number, ‘Fuel To The Fire’ to the final track, ‘The Last Farewell’ with its addictive chorus, Mob Rules prove that their fifth studio album has all the makings of a real classic.
Ethnolution A.D. confirms that melodic metal does not necessarily have to consist of musical or thematic clichés and predictabilities. The predecessor album, Among The Gods, already saw Mob Rules tackle controversial subjects, rail against the reckless destruction of the environment and the dubious role of the Church. In 2006, the sextet continue to consolidate their special position on the German metal scene, combining traditional styles with surprising arrangements, mixing their sound with progressive elements, always leaving enough space for symphonic passages. On the final track, ‘Better Morning’, Mob Rules cooperated with the composer/arranger Chris Wolff, a band member with Rage in the late Nineties. “It was an interesting experiment to have a song structure that had only been rudimentarily prepared by us developed by somebody who has conceived an exceptional offering such as ‘Lingua Mortis’,” Dirks enthuses about the renowned support. But also ‘Ain’t The One’, driven by oriental sounds, or the anthem ‘With Sparrows’, featuring a wonderful gospel choir, document the wide range of the song material. Typical Mob Rules tracks such as ‘River Of Pain’ or ‘Day And A Lifetime’ round off a recording that is more than likely to set the benchmark.
The twelve tracks were produced by Mob Rules again, Markus Teske (Vanden Plas, Saga) taking care of engineering and mix. Following Savage Land (1999), Temple Of Two Suns (2000), Hollowed Be Thy Name (2002) and Among The Gods (2004), Ethnolution A.D. is the fifth studio recording by the group, who made a break in their band history last year with their live DVD, Signs Of The Time. Mob Rules had played in the same line-up for almost ten years when bassist Thorsten Plorin and guitarist Oliver Fuhlhage left the group in autumn 2005. “It was time to bring new blood into the band,” Dirks comments, looking back. “Some things simply wear out over the years.” In Sven Lüdke (ex-Murder One), Mob Rules have enlisted a guitarist who lives up to international standards and not only fits well into the group on a personal level, but has also contributed a number of impressive solos to Ethnolution A.D. The latest addition to the Mob Rules fold is bassist Markus Brinkmann, who went through his baptism of fire on stage with the group. “I think this is our strongest line-up ever,” Dirks comments eagerly about the breath of fresh air that the two new members have brought.
Ethnolution A.D. will be out on October 20, 2006, the band performing a big release show at the Pumpwerk in their hometown of Wilhelmshaven that same day. Immediately afterwards, Mob Rules are scheduled to embark on a tour of Germany, playing alongside UFO in Stuttgart, Aschaffenburg, Regensburg and Pratteln, as well as various individual shows and a number of festivals. The fact that the songs from Ethnolution A.D. will be presented live to an audience for the first time should make for one of the highlights of the autumn 2006 concert season. Timo Hoffmann (Rock It)
Ethnolution: a.) Prologue, b.) Unholy War, c.) Ashes To Ashes (Dust To Dust), d.) Fuel To The Fire e.) Veil Of Death, f.) The Last Farewell * Day And A Lifetime * River Of Pain * Ain´t The One * New Horizon * With Sparrows * Better Morning
• SAVAGE LAND (1999)
• TEMPLE OF TWO SUNS (2000)
• HOLLOWED BE THY NAME (2002)
• AMONG THE GODS (2004)
• SIGNS OF THE TIME (DVD, 2005)
• ETHNOLUTION A.D. (2006) >> NEW <<
Mob Rules - Among the Gods
Four regular albums in five years, tours with Savatage, Helloween, Rage, Company of Snakes, Ivory Tower, the Wacken Road Show 2003 plus countless gigs with Rhapsody, Doro, Scorpions, Symphony X and Silent Force in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Austria and Switzerland: Mob Rules are currently one of Europe's most industrious metal acts. Their current release, Among The Gods , proves once more that their greatest strengths lie in their constancy and determination - after all the band still operate in their original line-up. A rare exception, not only in our fast-moving times in general, but particularly in the metal genre, which has frequently been referred to as a "travelling circus with an ever-changing line-up". Vocalist Klaus Dirks hits the nail on the head when he says: "Others only preach the fairytale of loyalty and honesty, we actually live this philosophy."
It's probably this reliability, together with their great stylistic diversity, that make up this band's most obvious strong points. Their artistic growth on Among The Gods (scheduled for release on May 17, 2004) is based on several pillars. Even more than its three predecessors, Savage Land (1999), Temple Of Two Suns (2000) and Hollowed Be Thy Name (2002), the new recording is the product of an enormous wealth of ideas, lots of experience and the determination to grow as artists. "We're still proud of every one of our releases," Klaus Dirks points out. "Every album is based on the previous one and reflects the stage of the band's development at the time. Among The Gods also centres on the typical Mob Rules qualities while taking us one step further in terms of rhythm and atmosphere." He is referring to tracks like the first single release, 'Black Rain', with its haunting atmosphere or 'The Miracle Dancer' and 'Arabia', in which the musicians put out their musical feelers towards South America and the Middle East. "World music may be too ambitious a term in this context, but that South American flair and the musical references to oriental sequences of tones can't deny their ethnic influences."
An absolute highlight on the album is the almost eight-minute title track (featuring guest guitarist Roland Grapow, Masterplan, and Ian Parry of Consortium Project in the choir), an opus of particular scope, musically as well as in terms of era, with critical lyrics about the letters of indulgence sold by the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages. Just how broad the stylistic range of the band from Northern Germany is show by the next track, the orchestral 'New World Symphony', Mob Rules' own soundtrack with a Highlands atmosphere to suit a big screen opus like 'Braveheart'. Next to such organic fare, Mob Rules still know how to make the more straightforward and catchy numbers along the lines of 'Hydrophobia', 'Invitation Time', 'Ship Of Fools' or 'Meet You In Heaven' shine. Dirks: "Our music reflects two worlds, the more sophisticated one and another one that goes straight to the gut. Stereotypical metal has always been too one-dimensional for us."
Founded by Klaus Dirks (vocals), Matthias Mineur (guitar), Thorsten Plorin (bass) and Arved Mannott (drums) in 1994, Mob Rules produced their first demo in 1996, following a number of successful gigs with new addition Oliver Fuhlhage (guitar), and were immediately offered a recording contract. March 1999 saw the arrival of their debut album, Savage Land , before the band, for the first time accompanied by keyboarder Sascha Onnen, embarked on their first tour with label mates Ivory Tower. In summer 2000, they gave their fans a preview of their second album release, Temple Of Two Suns , out in autumn of that year. After a number of individual gigs (with Symphony X and Doro, among others), the group toured Europe with Company Of Snakes in spring 2001 and were subsequently invited to headline the NTS festival in Paris (alongside Rhapsody, Shaman, Silent Force, among others). Following the single release 'Lord Of Madness', which had been put out for their tour with Savatage, Hollowed Be Thy Name arrived at the stores in autumn 2002. Then came appearances at the Wacken Open Air 2002, the Europe-wide Wacken Road Show (with Lordi, Amon Amarth & Onkel Tom) in spring 2003 and a German tour alongside Helloween and Rage last autumn.
With their new single 'Black Rain' out since March, their fourth album, Among The Gods , is due to be released as a double CD digipack. Next to the songs on the regular studio album, Mob Rules have included a bonus CD with three video clips, a previously unreleased bonus track, a demo track from the band's own archives, a Savatage cover and interviews with the musicians. "A special service for our fans", says Klaus Dirks, who is very serious about his supporters.
Mob Rules are getting ready to attack!
The energy that the melodic metal act from the North of Germany are currently radiating is almost like a physical presence, what with a ne recor company, new management, their advance single "Lord Of Madness" out since the end of July, plus their third recording "Hollowed Be Thy Name", including a number of surprises, in the pipeline. With their debut album Savage Land (1999), and even more so with its successor Temple of two suns (2000), the band surrounding Klaus Dirks caused more than a mere murmur among the press: Mob Rules` second offering was voted album of the month by various European rock publications, making the `10 x Dynamite` category in RockHard magazine and no. 4 in the Metal Heart editors` charts. Hollowed Be Thy Name reinforces this positive impression without copying its predecessor.
"it was our aim to come up with an album that combines all the typical trademarks of our sound, but it´s certainly no repeat of our previous release," Dirks point out. "that´s why I wouldn´t want to compare the quality of our second album with the current CD. Both are strong recordings. Hollowed Be Thy Name was recorded at the Soundgarten Studios in Oldenburg (drums, bass and guitars) and the Gate Studios in Wolfsburg (vocals, keyboards) and mixed by Markus Teske (Vanden Plas, amomg others) at the Bazement near Frankfurt.
Comparisons with Stratovarious, Virgin Steele, Helloween or Queensryche, which the press frequently quoted in the past, may also apply to Hollowed Be Thy Name. However, in the toughness department Mob Rules seem to gravitate more than ever towards the style of American elite metal act Savatage. "We´re still very melodic, but some arrangements show us from a rawer, more edgy side." Dirks is referring to tracks like the title songm which also happens to be the album´s opener, the two faster numbers `Speed Of Life` and `Ghost Town`, or the anthemic `(In The Land Of) Wind And Rain`- already considered one of the band´s classic with its driving rythms and epic chorus. There´s a special story behind ´How The Gypsy Was Born`, a re-arranged cover of that Frumpy classic from the early Seventies. "The track tells the story of Creation from gypsy´s point of view and fits perfectly into our concept," Dirks explains. "We really wanted somebody with a rougher vocal quality than mine for the characteristic vocal line in the final part." The first choice in their search for a suitable vocalist was Peavy Wagner (Rage), who was visibly impressed by Mob Rules` version and immediately agreed to help out.
The same applies to the band´s friend Roland Grapow (ex-Helloween, Masterplan). Grapow plays a fantastic intro on Àll Above The Atmosphere` and contributed a virtuoso solo on the final `Way Of The World`. "The Track originally went under the working title `Helloween Song`, so we said to ourselves: if it has that Helloween quality, why not get somebody who has the right sound? What could have been more obvious than asking Roland. His two parts on the record are amazing!"
The concept album, which takes up where the first two releases left off and explores the subject of power in different contexts ("It´s about political and religious authority, about the power of love and death, but also about powerlessness and the abuse of power"), is rounded off perfectly by the surrealistic sleeve art courtesy of the Belgian, Eric Philippe, who translated the album title, which may initially appear slightly blasphemous, faithfully according to the band´s precise instructions. Dirks: "A real eye-catcher!"
So what happens next? After a successful tour with Savatage in July and an appearance at the Wacken Open Air, Mob Rules are currently preparing for their autmns tour. In between, they´re scheduled to play a number of individual shows (with Freedom Call, among other), and then there´s the release party at the Pumpwerk in Wilhelmshaven on Ocotber 4, where Mob Rules´ fans will get a chance to experience the band´s energy visually once again.
A Brief Band History
Founded in 1994 by Klaus Dirks, Matthias Mineur, Thorsten Plorin and Arved Manott, Mob Rules produced their first demo in 1996 with new addition Oliver Fuhlhage after a series os successful gigs, securing themselves a recording contract immediately. March 1999 saw the arrival of their debut album Savage Land, followed by Mob Rules´ tour with labes mates Ivory Tower, featuring keyboarder Sascha Onnen for the first time.
In summer 2000 at the Wacken Open Air, the band introduced two tracks from their second album Temple Of Two Suns, which was released in autumn of that year. After a number of individual gigs (with Symphony X, Doro, among others) the band toured with Company of Snakes all over Europe in spring 2001 and were invited to Paris as headliners of the NTS festival (featuring Rhapsody, Shaman, Silent Force, among others).
As of August, Mob Rules commenced to work on tracks of their current album Hollowed Be Thy Name, which was preceded by the advance single ´Lord Of Madness´ to mark the tour with Savatage. The Wacken Open Air 2002 will be the baptism of fire for the new material: at least two brand-new, unreleased numbers of Hollowed Be Thy Name are more than likely to whet the appetite for upcoming challenges.
Melodic Power Metal
MOB RULES LYRICAL THEMES
MOB RULES ORIGIN
Germany (Wilhelmshaven), formed in 1994
MOB RULES CURRENT RECORD LABEL
MOB RULES STATUS
MOB RULES CURRENT LINE-UP
Klaus Dirks - Vocals
Matthias Mineur - Guitars
Sven Lüdge - Guitars
Sascha Onnen - Keyboards
Markus Brinkmann - Bass
Arved Mannott - Drums
MOB RULES PREVIOUS LINE-UP
Oliver Fuhlhage - Guitars
Torsten Plorin - Bass