Released: 1986, Shadow Kingdom Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Back in 1986, American Speed Metal band POWERLORD released their only full length album The Awakening, and now Shadow Kingdom Records have decided to re-release this obscure record to the masses once again. POWERLORD's music follows more or less the established template that bands like EXCITER, METAL CHURCH, ANNIHILATOR and other 1980's Speed Metal bands are known for: galloping beats following palm mutted guitar riffs, almost non-audible bass, screamed vocals, and a warm crisp production. The vocals may remind some of EXCITER's Dan Beehler, but with more range. In fact, most of the stuff in The Awakening sounds like a more technical take on EXCITER's particular style of Speed Metal.
The album is comprised of only six songs, but the songs do have their distinctive sections in which the guitars and drums either play off one another, or race relentlessly until reaching the climax of the song. As stated earlier, the bass is inaudible in the mix, which is a bummer, but those of us used to the 1980's style of production are accostumed to that. Like EXCITER the band include a track that is a slower, more haunting number than the rest of the material: that would be "Silent Terror", which has chainsaw-like guitar riffs played over a slow drum beat while vocalist Dane Cook sings in an eerie tone, just like EXCITER songs such as "Iron Dogs" and "Wake Up Screaming". Of the other songs, stand outs like "(The Awakening) Powerlord", "Malice" and opener "Masters of Death" are pretty solid material that make this record worth it if you are into classic Speed Metal.
I can see how this album managed to slip through the cracks back in the 1980's, with so many bands adopting this style. The similarities with EXCITER are pretty evident, yet if you enjoy that band, then POWERLORD might be an interesting choice to pick up. I wish the band would have had a chance to make more records, and maybe find an original voice of their own, since the musicians in this band were pretty talented.