In case you don’t know that already, Pounder is the band where Matt Harvey (Exhumed, Gruesome) expresses his love for old school, pure heavy metal. The line-up is rounded-up by the equally talented Tom Draper (guitars, Carcass), and Alejandro Corredor (bass, Nausea). Pounder’s debut full-length Uncivilized came out in 2019 and impressed by ticking all the right boxes in classic, stripped down, melodic heavy metal. Now, Breaking The World was only meant to be an EP, but the pandemic has given the time Matt needed to “upgrade” it to a full-length, which will be released on January 29th, once again by Shadow Kingdom Records.
Matt’s clean singing has improved a lot since the last album, and this is the first thing to make impression (apart from the super cool artwork, of course). The style is unchanged, with the new album maybe sounding a bit more straightforward even. Hard Road To Home is certainly one of the highlights with a very melodic and catchy layered chorus, as well as Never Forever (again, a wonderful chorus) and Hard City. The speed metal aspect is toned down in comparison to the debut, with only the closer Deadly Eyes obviously out-speeding the rest of the songs.
Breaking The World is another step in the right direction for Pounder and even if it isn’t better in quality to Uncivilized, the band certainly sound much more confident in what they want to put on display. The solos are more elaborated, as well as some of the harmony melodies (Hard City is a great example). There is honesty and naïveté in Pounder’s music and from that comes a great delight for an old school worshipper like me.