THIS WEEK I’M LISTENING TO...MOB RULES – Celebration Day – 30 Years Of Mob Rules’ (Steamhammer / SPV)THIS WEEK I’M LISTENING TO...MOB RULES – Celebration Day – 30 Years Of Mob Rules’ (Steamhammer / SPV)

What better way can there be to celebrate your thirtieth birthday than issuing a jumbo, career-spanning double CD? Although Mob Rules’ debut album ‘Savage Land’ didn’t appear until 1999 the band originally came together in 1994 and issued their first independent EP ‘Savage Land Part 1’ two years later. Now here we are in 2024 and the self-explanatory ‘Celebration Day – 30 Years Of Mob Rules’ presents thirty – obviously – tracks drawn from the German power metallers’ lengthy career with a handful of new cuts and digital-only releases added to the mix to spice things up a little.

Instead of starting at the beginning and working forwards (or starting with the most recent and working back) ‘Celebration Day’ has been sequenced as a ‘proper’ release. Things kick off with the eight-and-a-half minute ‘Way Of The World’ from 2002’s ‘Hollowed Be Thy Name’ (“a hidden gem” in the band’s opinion and a song which features Masterplan and former Helloween legend Roland Grapow) and wrap up 150+ minutes later with ‘Dykemaster’s Tale’ from 2016’s ‘Tales From Beyond’ (described by the band as “a saga from our home town in Northern Germany” and “the most entertaining long song we have ever written”). There’s something for everyone here as ‘Black Rain’, ‘Ghost Of A Chance’ and ‘The Sirens’ all make an appearance, as does the frenetic ‘Hydrophobia’.


The re-recorded versions of ‘Lord Of Madness’ (a bonus track from the ‘Beast Reborn’ box set) and the digital single ‘Ghost Town’ – a cut which does take some beating – together with the digital releases ‘Hymn Of The Damned’ and the Amon Amarth cover ‘Raven’s Fight’ all make welcome appearances, and on top of that three new covers have been recorded – ‘Run To The Hills’, ‘Fame’ and ‘Square Hammer’. A great band. A great celebration. What’s not to like?

© John Tucker May 2024