Released: 2012, AFM
I'm not the worlds biggest Mob Rules fan. I felt that after the first pair of stunning Euro styled Power Metal albums (SAVAGE LAND '99, TEMPLE OF TWO SUNS '00), the band strayed from what made them fun and interesting. The next pair of albums were OK and then the band really started to change. The next pair of albums were a bit weaker still, perhaps it was the introduction of Sven and Markus on guitar and bass respectively, although it is too easy to 'blame' the new guys. Overall the last four albums were not bad, just too slow, lacking balls and fire.
CANNIBAL NATION is album number seven as you may have figured out and perhaps Lucky No. 7 has worked in their favour. Not much has changed; the band is still on AFM and the lineup is pretty stable with the exception of a new keyboardist. The key difference to my ears is that the band has made a less experimental, slightly heavier album this time. Tracks like 'Soldiers Of Fortune' remind me of the fires of old although the whole album exhibits a disturbing lack of double-kick drumming. The whole album is just mid-paced. I'd like too hear some tempo variation to keep it interesting, although the song 'The Sirens' has a nice galloping drum line.
The albums nine cuts will run you about 50 minutes and the songs are pretty standard, compositionally speaking. Vocalist Klaus does an excellent job as always, his range and power still intact after almost 20 years in the game. I'd like to hear the guitarists cut loose more often like they do on the solo for the song, 'Scream For The Sun'.
CANNIBAL NATION, with its silly 'tribal' design cover artwork doesn't really inspire me to think 'METAL'!! but the songs are much better this the around. I feel Mob Rules have turned a corner for the better and are coming back towards a good metallic sound and presentation, punchier, heavier and better. If this band fell off your radar like they did with me , this is the album to revisit the band.