In For A Penny, In For A Pound

Written by: MN on 27/07/2014 18:34:37

Powerstroke is from the beer-loving, chocolate-crazed nation of Belgium and have made it their personal mission since 2008 to pack as much groove into their metal expression as possible. It is pretty much raised fists, chugging fists (and beers), machismo and inevitably, power. A combination of early 2000's Soil with the same lions-roar vocals and perhaps the punches and lashes of Brazilian masterminds in Cavalera Conspiracy. Powerstroke isn't anything revolutionary within groove metal, but what they have accomplished with this third release is noteworthy, mainly because their songs have a selection of ear-clinging choruses which are not easily forgotten. When you get songtitles like the bass-driven and monumental "Until The Fat Lady Sings" and "Queen Of Mean" on your playlist, you know you're in for some fun stuff and not something morose and bleak.

Powerstroke is all about confidence and optimism in tone, not hopelessness and depression, which otherwise is often being expressed in metal. Hell, these Belgiums must throw a hell of a party at their live shows, especially when songs like "Uncovered", masked as midtempo-groove metal, provide a searing solo to keep the song fresh and dynamic. Some of their tracks do however stand out heavily,while certain tracks feel a bit as mere fillers, such as the rather primal "Just Sayin'" and the slightly boring "Toughlove". That being said, when songs like "Where My Head Lies" brings back the focus on variety, Powerstroke redeem themselves heavily with good song structure and brilliant drumming provided by Jannick. Vocally, Jonathan Matthys has a voice that is deep and penetrative.

Lyrically, the songs do not exactly contain the most awe-inspiring words, but when sung through the vessel of Jonathan's roar, then lyrics like "Remind we must not lead astray, when all that is good fades away. Got to keep an open mind in hard times, and listen to what we are saying." sound highly convincing. The finale track "Going Down In Style" is definitely one of the better tracks instrumentally and a good finisher to an album that contains some very good tracks, but unfortunately too many slightly forgettable ones. It is a record that I'd happily throw on whilst hanging out with buddies and drinking beers. I would also be the first person to sign up for their live shows which I expect could be fantastic.

Download: Until The Fat Lady Sings, Queen Of Mean, Face 2 Face
For The Fans Of: Pantera, Trivium, Godsmack, Disturbed
Listen: facebook.com

Release date 14.07.2014
Mighty Music

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