Mob Rules – Temple Of Two Suns

March 7, 2013 in Artist Rewind, Reviews by Arno Callens

Mob Rules - Temple Of Two SunsMob Rules
Temple Of Two Suns
2000
Reviewed by Arno Callens

Ah, the gateway album. The one before it gets truly great. If you love a band long enough, even that one becomes a classic in your eyes, but there were times where I struggled with Temple Of Two Suns, and ranked it lowest among Mob Rules’ illustrious discography.

Such times are past, though, and what we have here is largely cut from the same cloth that made the debut Savage Land so great, but brought with more reservation and a clearer sense of direction. Not gone is the dramatic, nor the yearning for kingdoms lost and hope for a home. The story acts as a sequel to Savage Land, and flirts with the same themes of belonging and identity. Be it the inspiring flight with the “Pilot Of Earth” or the sorrowful surrender to the “Unknown Man”, Mob Rules seeks and only sometimes finds.

Nowhere is such duality more apparent than in the double punch of the “Sun Serenade”. Opus I is a solemn “Celebration Day”, Opus II a festive “Flag Of Life”; both brimming with inventive memorable melodies. Because more than on Savage Land – pluvial chants excepted – Temple Of Two Suns steps up the catchiness. The grandiloquence of “Outer Space” foreshadows many future glories, while simple mantras as “Unknown Man” and “Evolution’s Falling” equally soar. The repeated balladry of “Hold On” and its lengthier reprise at album’s end may be the record’s single weakness, but it’s one easily forgiven when the material is this moving.

With crackling guitars, sparsely scattered keys and orchestration, and Klaus Dirks’ melancholic wail; the palette is mixed for what would be the pinnacle of Mob Rules’ power metal career. But as a long-standing fan I can honestly say it starts right here, and the promise of Savage Land is already fulfilled.

4.0 // 5