POUNDER – Breaking The World

POUNDER - Breaking The World
  • 7.3/10
    POUNDER - Breaking The World - 7.3/10


Shadow Kingdom
Release date: January 29, 2021

User Review
7.5/10 (1 vote)

Los Angeles power trio Pounder drops their second full-length Breaking The World, the follow up to their 2019 debut Uncivilized. Featuring just seven songs and clocking in at a brief thirty-seven minutes, the album almost merits EP status, but Pounder’s aims to deliver quick, uncompromising anthems hearkening back to the early days of the Sunset Strip, before bands began recording extended epics. They largely succeed in this endeavor on Breaking The World, with the speed and competency of their execution somehow making the thirty-seven minutes seem even shorter than it is.

From the first note, Pounder doesn’t shy away from telegraphing their influences–eighties Speed, NWOBHM, and especially early eighties American Classic Metal underpin nearly every riff and chorus. “Spoils Of War” gets the aural assault rolling with a straightforward martial march. Things get interesting at the break with a tempo shift and solo that invigorates the closing verses with fresh energy. Bassist Alejandro Corredor takes the central role at the start of the title cut, a tune clearly designed to reveal Pounder as being Manowarriors at heart with it’s chanted chorus and the gradual build to chaos. Vocalist/guitarist Matt Harvey, taking a break from his Deathgrind act Exhumed, doesn’t have Eric Adams’ range (who does?), but he injects an appropriate amount of grim resolve in the vocals to sell listeners on the fight.

Lead guitarist Tom Draper (who recently joined English band Carcass) crafts a great riff for the third track and best of the album, “Hard Road To Home”, which also features his best solo and some nice double-tracked guitar harmonics. The cut also features a great euphoria-inducing eighties-style chorus.

Strange, though, for a band named Pounder to leave the drumming on the album uncredited, especially when the drumming anchors the sound so solidly in the following track “Never Forever”. While most of the beats take on a steady machine gun style, there’s occasional flares and flashes of inspired syncopation.

“Hard City” and “Give Me Rock” continue the retro groove, decent tracks to lay alongside Quiet Riot or Twisted Sister on the setlists of the hardcore fans of that style of music; solid tunes that won’;t win any new converts but not offensive or incompetent tracks. Harvey sounds world-weary enough on “Give Me Rock” that a listener might assume that he will, in fact, grow weaker and die if no one provides him necessary Rock.

“Deadly Eyes” brings Breaking The World home with some pyrotechnics from Draper. Despite the promise inherent in the title, the album, while satisfying, falls short of being earth-shattering. Worth a few spins, but it won’t be knocking any classics out of frequent rotation.


  • Daniel Waters

    Daniel was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. Iron Maiden’s Piece Of Mind wasn’t the first Metal album he owned, but it was the one that lifted the lid off his soul when he received the record as a gift on his 15th birthday. He's been a Metal fan ever since. He's probably best known as the author of various Young Adult novels such as the Generation Dead series and the ghost story Break My Heart 1,000 Times, now also a major motion picture entitled I Still See You, starring Bella Thorne. Writing and music, especially Heavy Metal music, has always been inextricably linked in his mind and career. His first paid gig doing any type of writing was for Cemetery Dance, where he wrote a horror-themed music column called Dead Beats, and when he was writing the first Generation Dead novel he had a ritual where he started his writing day with a Metal playlist that kicked off with “Crushing Belial” by Shadows Fall.

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1 Comment

  1. I have to disagree my friend. Classic metal sound from some veteran musicians. I notice the 80s sound is not usually your thing Daniel, so I understand where you are coming from.

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