Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Power Theory-An Axe To Grind

Pure Steel Records

Tullytown, Pennsylvania act Power Theory released their debut album, "Out Of The Ashes, Into The Fire... And Other Tales Of Insanity" in 2011. Now we have the follow-up album, "An Axe To Grind" which looks to prove that traditional U.S. heavy metal is alive and well. It's only after that shock sets in that you begin to acknowledge the huge debt owed to acts like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Cirith Ungol and Saxon. Onward the record spins and it becomes more obvious that their sound also pulls in some American traditional metal like Savatage, Sanctuary and Metal Church (this is especially evident in the David Wayne like lead vocals of Power Theory's Dave Santini) as well as some minor aspects of thrash (Metallica and Megadeth). More then anything though this is straight-shooting, no-frills U.S. power metal and for that there is cause to celebrate. Thank the maker above that modern metal hasn't made these sort of bands all but obsolete. Power Theory (in addition to lead singer Dave Santini) is Bob "BB" Ballinger (guitar and backing Vocals), Jay Pekala (bass and backing Vocals) and Lorin Savadore (drums) and even though the group are still young, having formed in 2007, they play with a level of maturity that is quite refreshing. Seldom have I seen (or rather heard) a band this young pull off an album that sounds fresh and timeless, relaxed and yet epic. "An Axe To Grind" is not quite in the same league as the bands that Power Theory idolize, but man if this still isn't some of the best power metal I've heard this year then I need my hearing checked! These 9 tracks seriously kick the crap out of modern metal and recall everyone from Savatage to Anthrax, Grave Digger to Metal Church, Cirith Ungol to Accept and, well you get the picture. This is classic power metal with a modern flair. From the insane lead work of Bob Ballinger (check out the number "A Fist in the Face of God"-wow!) to the serious bass work of Jay Pekala everything just clicks. And there is no way we're leaving out Lorin Savadore's high energy drumming! The whole band fits together perfectly giving "An Axe To Grind" this urgent sense of power and fury. Power metal fans (especially those that obsess over American power metal) would be well-advised to add this one to their collection!

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