Pownd – Circle of Power (2006)

Pownd_CirclePower3.5 out of 5 Stars!

Pound vs. Pownd…however it’s spelled, the name perfectly describes the music offered by this Kentucky Heavy Metal group.

Loud and brash with a full and robust sound, with a style that often reminded me of a mixture of Fight and Black Sabbath (especially since the vocalist seems a cross between Ozzy Osbourne when singing in his normal register but Rob Halford when belting out the high notes), Pownd released this sole album before disappearing.

Too bad, since the band showed great promise, especially on blaring tracks with rip-roaring solos and “pownding” rhythms such as “Slowly Drowning,” “Still I Bleed,” “Swatting Flies,” “Monster,” “Ellie,” and “Divided,” each meant to be played loud!

The only track that doesn’t quite work for me, or at least partially, is the lengthier “Never Means Forever,” where the band veers off from its standard Heavy Metal route into a piano-laced ballad—and actually includes some borderline off-key vocals. Only the blazing guitar solo in the second half saves the tune from being completely abysmal.

Regardless, out of eleven total tracks, ten enjoyable tunes (one handful about average, and the other handful simply killer) ain’t too shabby.

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