POWND – Circle Of Power

POWND - Circle Of Power
  • 7.5/10
    POWND - Circle Of Power - 7.5/10


Nightmare Records
Release date: April 1, 2007

User Review
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From Detroit, Pownd is now ready to impress the world with their debut album. And yes, especially for a new band, Pownd shows much muscular strength within their meat and bones already. No, this is hardly Motown here. Rather, very loud production work, with bone-crushing guitar volume to keep the distortion in the foreground.

Opener ”Still I Bleed” comes with the bass slapping in the background to further endorse the heaviness of the material. ”The Stand” is especially well-organized with its harmonic riff leads and effective rhythm interplay primarily where the verses are concerned. Being a slower track, it still comes through powerful and would make a good track used for radio and various promotional outlets. ”Changes” features further crunching riff work and an instrumental passage built on vibe — it otherwise focuses on pure groove and Arena Rock imagery builds up. ”Never Means Forever” is quite a beautiful piano-led ballad, but this is where the production marks a disadvantage. Loud guitars come in and takes away from the song’s essence where audibility is concerned. Musically, it works, though, with a long drawn lead guitar outro … clocking in at over 7 minutes, it’s by far the longest song on offer. Oddly enough, ”Divided” is reminiscent of latter-day Ozzy during his more aggressive moments. Unlike the Ozzman of latter days, though, it ends up “not bad,” but forgettable overall. Following that up, ”Slowly Drowning” unfortunately also serves up non-memorable moments.

”Ellie” suddenly at times showcases a different song technique from earlier tracks, which certainly works as a surprise, with Halford-like shrieks ala War Of Words-era Fight (and possibly Anselmo back when he had pipes and not opted strictly for the one-sided, dull aggro approach) coupled with keyboards and an overall slight “Progressive” feel. On the contrary, ”Place In The Sun” works just for that; it’s a nice soundtrack to have blasting through the stereo when you’re soaking in the sun on the balcony, cold drink in hand. Jolly good, indeed! ”Monster” introduces Pownd’s more modern side, but that doesn’t take away from the impact of the guitar work, even though the lead is kept to a minimum.

Ignoring the lesser, weaker moments, for the most part this album is a pleasure for the ears. Circle Of Power is well-worth checking out for any fan of straightforward, Hard Rockin’ Metal in a modern setting, and provides more proof that Metal is alive and well.

Perhaps of special interest, vocalist Michael Duncan also sings in St. Heathen.


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