Am I the only one on this dirty old planet we call “Mosh” that doesn’t “get” the new Iron Maiden album, ‘The Book Of Souls‘, or believe that isn’t quite the best thing since the invention of heavy metal? I am? Oh well… wouldn’t be the first time I’ve been a lone voice in the wilderness… But, that’s the beauty of this business: each and every single one of us has an opinion, and right to express that opinion, not matter how unpopular or against the grain that might be. So, there it is… the aforesaid opus left me feeling colder than a red snapper on a bed of ice down my local fish market…
Coincidentally, on the day ‘The Book..’ was opened, a link to an advance copy of ‘Driven By Fear’, the third album from Pennsylvanian metallians Power Theory landed in my normally over-full inbox. And it was just the antidote I needed, as this is a good old-fashioned, straight-down-the-line, unpretentious, loud-and-proud heavy fucking metal album, pure and simple.
‘Driven By Fear’ draws very closely on the traditional NWOBHM sound that the Maidens went on to characterize and popularize, with references to Saxon and Priest, particularly in the guitar harmonics of Rob Ballinger and Nygil Hoch. Vocalist Jeff Rose definitely echoes Biff in his style of delivery, but also contains elements of Mustaine (especially on the growling sections of the epic ‘Truth Shall Set You Free’) and Udo Dirkschneider, as the band also reference traditional Euro power metal grooves on the likes of the title track and the extremely Teutonic battlecry of ‘Dark Eagle’, while they’re not afraid to either press the accelerator to the floor or ease it right back as and when the need arises (often within the framework of the same song, as on the segue of ‘Break The Glass’ and ‘Don’t Think Twice’).
Musically, the performances are nigh on flawless, and aided by a well-defined production, and the songs, individually and collectively, are thoughtfully constructed and developed: they don’t stray too far from the traditional metal path, but that is why the album works on the level it does and makes it a recommended listening for lovers of straight-ahead no-frills pure fucking metal.
Spinstress /Long Hard Road / Driven By Fear / The Truth Shall Set You Free / Dark Eagle / Break The Glass / Don’t Think Twice / Cut And Run / Beyond Tomorrow (After The Fall)
Recommended listening: Dark Eagle
‘Driven By Fear’ is out now on Pure Steel Records.