POUNDER - Faster Than Fire
Release date May 25/18 (Shadow Kingdom)
Here we have a debut 3-track EP from traditional heavy metallists, Pounder. The opening title track grabs the listener right off the bat in all of its pistons popping, melodic speed metal glory, lead guitar work spraying out at the tail end. Easy to envisage the band headbanging in unison to this one, hair flying everywhere. 'Last Stand' follows, an up-tempo track with NWOBHM influences, lots of dual guitar action keeping things accessible and melodic. 'Come Alive' concludes the EP in old school traditional metal form, straight out of the Dio playbook.
The lead vocals, provided by rhythm guitarist Matt Harvey of Exhumed fame, are somewhat limited (he struggles at times on the latter ditty), but are delivered with so much enthusiasm and his own unique charm that this doesn't become an issue. Reminds me of many of the NWOBHM vocalists who weren't noted for their high end skills, but are still beloved nonetheless. Not everyone can be a Halford or Dickinson after all.
Overall, a youthful and energetic take on traditional heavy metal, produced properly, allowing for rhythm section and lead guitar clarity. A very enjoyable romp that was easy to imbibe and sets Pounder up extremely well for its upcoming full length. Fun stuff.