PHOTOS and review of Adrenaline Mob at the Marquis Theater - Reverb

Live review: Adrenaline Mob @ the Marquis Theater

As the lights went dim on Sunday night, the Marquis Theater filled with the theme of “The Godfather” — the ominous instrumental score that can send chills down your spine. Within seconds, Adrenaline Mob emerged and lead singer Russell Allen, with arms outstretched like Anthony Corleone, welcomed the small audience to a night of hard rock.

Known to most as “the Don,” Allen walked to center stage wearing a fedora and tight black shirt, clashing styles that seemed to work for his façade. Instantly the band jumped into its first song “Psychosane,” a hard-hitting rock song that joins new metal with the old; crunchy guitar riffs with Allen’s vocals reminiscent of Bruce Dickenson of Iron Maiden and Chris Cornell of Soundgarden.

Adrenaline Mob is the newest of rock’s super groups (to use the term loosely). With Allen formerly of Symphony X, Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater on drums, guitarist Mike Orlando of Sonic Stomp, Rich Ward of Stuck Mojo and bassist Paul Dileo, the band has a rich tapestry of sounds to work with and make their own, yet they seem to recreate what the hard rock bands of the 2000s have already done — create a heavy sound with melodic vocals that is ready for the radio.

It was loud and heavy, but seemed to channel the essence of bands like Disturbed and Godsmack while trying to emulate the iconic metal gods of Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath. Songs like “Feelin’ Me” and “Believe Me” had all the workings of hard rock hits, yet the lyrics seemed stale and just a little forced.

While the overall sound of their music is heavy, it may be just a little too repetitive and obvious. Orlando’s solos during songs and before the encore showed signs of genius, but were too fleeting to capture the audience for too long. Portnoy’s drums anchored the set, creating something from nothing by reminding the audience with his double kick and crazy time signatures why they were all there.

Ending the set with covers from two eras of Black Sabbath, “The Mob Rules” from Sabbath with Dio and “War Pigs” from Sabbath with Ozzy, this brand new rock band showed the crowd that while they may not have reinvented the wheel of rock, they definitely have added their own spoke to it.

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Joe Kovack is a Denver-based writer and a new contributor to Reverb.

Alan Cox is the president/creative director of Cox Creative, a Highlands Ranch-based creative shop. He works too much, sleeps too little and spends every free moment coaching baseball, shooting images and hanging out with his rowdy sons and rowdier wife. Check out his photos here.

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