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'Timekeeper - 20th Anniversary Box'
Release Date: 6th October 2014

Ian Sutherland

ian sutherland

mob rules

I think it's just a result of the way my own mind works, my body ages but my mind seems to muddle along in its own timezone. As a result an event like this comes as a shock.

This box set is being released to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the formation of German melodic metallers Mob Rules. Twenty years? I still think of them as comparatively recently on the scene!

Now that I see the timeline more clearly the band founded by vocalist Klaus Dirks and guitarist Matthias Mineur all those years ago have carved out a successful career through seven studio albums and one live release. Their classy melodic take on metal mixes old school influences like Maiden, Priest and obviously Sabbath with the accent heavily on keeping their metal melodic with strong tuneful vocals, harmonies and big slabs of keyboards.

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The first disc in this four disc collection is a best of selection covering all their albums from 1999's 'Savage Land' to 2012s 'Cannibal Nation'. There is much to enjoy here from the classic epic sounds of 'Black Rain' to the power and melody of 'Hallowed Be Thy Name' (no not the Maiden tune but a band original).

Rounded off with a couple of excellent live versions this makes a great introduction to the band and shows how strong the songwriting can be along with the impressive style they deliver.

Of course all self respecting Mob Rules fans will already have all those songs so what is here to tempt them to buy? Actually a hell of a lot as it turns out. Disc 2 is titled 'Friends' and includes mostly rerecorded versions of old Mob Rules favourites with special guests. This means you get gems like Udo Dirkschneider adding his own inimitable stylings to 'Insurgeria' and the splendid Amanda Somerville helping to take epic metal ballad 'End Of All Days' to new impressive dramatic heights among other delights.

mob rules

Disc 2 also contains two brand new songs in 'Broken' with its' swirling melodic guitar hooks and a full orchestra imbuing 'My Kingdom Come' with a full symphonic vibe and removing the metal from the equation almost entirely while still sounding very Mob Rules in style.

The latter track is being released as a single and the 'normal' version of the song is included on the single release which is included as disc three in this package. Restored to full melodic metal style it is a stirring piece of work reminiscent of recent Avantasia releases which I hope they don't mind as a comparison. After all Avanatasia guitarist Sascha Paeth is a guest on their cover of Rainbow's 'Run With The Wolf' on disc 2!

Disc 4 completes the package and is a dvd of a live performance recorded in the USA with bonus footage of promo videos and bootleg recordings. Add in a 44 page booklet and a sticker and you have a box set worthy of the description.

Anyone who is a big fan of Mob Rules should get themselves a copy of 'Timekeeper', there is a lot here to be enjoyed that has never been heard or seen before. However I was looking at pre order prices and you can pick this up for as little as £15 and at that price this is a bargain way in for new fans too. If you like old school melodic power metal type bands and you haven't heard Mob Rules then check them out and make this the first purchase on your list. Excellent melodic metal and great value for money.

Line up:
Klaus Dirks - Vocals
Matthias Mineur - Guitars
Sven Lüdke - Guitars
Jan Christian Halfbrodt - Keyboards
Markus Brinkmann - Bass
Nikolas Fritz - Drums


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