Released: 2015, Pure Steel Records
Reviewer: Robert Williams
Power Theory was formed back in 2007 in Tullytown, Pennsylvania and have previously released two full-length albums. Their new album DRIVEN BY FEAR features an almost completely different line-up than it's predecessor "An Axe To Grind" save for founding member and lead guitarist Rob Ballinger.
DRIVEN BY FEAR kicks off with the thrashing and melodic "Spinstress". Power Theory vocalist Jeff Rose has a considerable range and brings a lot to the table as a singer. There's something about his delivery that reminds me a little bit of Bruce Dickinson. Also worth noting is the incredible new rhythm section firing on full-tilt with bassist Alan D'Angelo and drummer Nick Bunzck packing a lot of punch and kick with the bottom-end.
"Long Hard Road" is the band's re-telling of the infamous Metal Masters tour of 2013. Both Seven Witches and Vicious Rumors toured alongside Power Theory and are immortalized in the lyrics of this song. An atmospheric keyboard intro sets the mood for the decimatingly-metallic opening riffs of the new album's title track "Driven By Fear". This song is the just the right mixture of melody and mayhem, a double-pedal ass kicker of a title track. Guitarists Rob Ballinger and Nygil Hoch trade off some tasteful soloing and harmonizing during the latter half of the song.
Pretty much every song on DRIVEN BY FEAR is a winner but the next one I want to tell you about is "Dark Eagle". This is old school traditional heavy metal the way it's supposed to sound. Epic choruses, tales from the battlefield and pounding drums pave the way to heavy metal victory.
"Cut And Run" is another standout track. This song has been circulating online for at least a year or two now and really showcases Power Theory as one of the leading acts of the current American power metal scene with it's hook-laden riffery and infectious choruses.
All in all, Power Theory have unquestionably delivered their finest effort to date. The new batch of songs are classics, the newly revamped line-up brings a lot of energy to the band and really work well together as a whole. Also, probably worth noting is the awesome album artwork courtesy of Timo Weurz and the stellar production of Carlos Alvarez (Accept's Peter Baltes is also credited as Executive Producer). I expect this album to rank pretty high-up on my "best of" year-end list. I would encourage all die hard fans of true American steel to definitely pick this up this killer heavy metal record.