Mob Rules – Hollowed Be Thy Name
Anti-reverential as this album’s title may be, Mob Rules’ Hollowed Be Thy Name deserves nothing but praise. After landing strong and secure with the first two footholds, Hollowed Be Thy Name bursts with confidence and clarity of purpose. The mob rules, and we’d be fools to forget it.
What struck me most during my most recent spin of this long beloved treasure is how it sounds so unlike the German power metal of its time. Sure it’s melodic, catchy, and upbeat; but I sense no strong connection to Helloween and its many meanders, but to a totally different Future World, that of Pretty Maids. Indeed, the combination of rapid riffing, carefully layered keys, and infectious to-the-point choruses resembles the Danes’ career-high, and even leaves out any lame hard rock that that once glorious act may nowadays succumb to. Take a peek at the rat-racing “The Speed Of Life”, the lonesome howls of “(In The Land Of) Wind & Rain” and “Ghost Town” or the mystic ascension of the “Lord Of Madness”.
A second influence tingling this listener is that of Iron Maiden, no stranger to Mob Rules’ more recent material. More epically inclined mammoths such as the curtain call “Hollowed Be Thy Name” and final bow “Way Of The World” skirt the edge of the British titans’ realm, but with a touch of power. The latter is a standout illustration of Mob Rules’ unwavering track record in terms of lengthy compositions. Other noteworthy songs are the tender “House On Fire” and the Peavy Wagner-assisted cover of Frumpy’s “How The Gypsy Was Born”.
With no tune left unmentioned, except the negligible interlude “A.D.C.O.E.”, the verdict on Mob Rules’ third should be transparent: a classic in the band’s discography, and frankly of German power metal in general. If but one attentive reader picks up Hollowed Be Thy Name because of this review, it will have been worth that minor hyperbole.
4.25 // 5