Titled with just two dots, the new album from Seattle’s Pound quickly proves absolutely maniacally unhinged and from there, repeatedly brings its sprawling mayhem together to hit with a resounding almost physical force. The music rockets through both technical and shuddering massive textures, culminating in what feels like the absolutely most brutal groove to come through in awhile. Every one of the eight entirely instrumental tracks shakes violently but with a sense of control that pops up repeatedly and allows for the music to keep moving relentlessly forward.
The band is composed of just two guys, guitarist Ryan Schutte who plays a baritone 9-string guitar and drummer David Stickney, who uses two drumkits positioned at a 90-degree angle. The impressive instrumentation shines through abundantly clearly and then some in the final product of these guys’ work, which feels absolutely as huge as possible, pushing the textures they work with to what feels like it’s got to be at least close to an absolute physical limit.
The frenzy permeating these thick mathy tracks easily jumps into the listener — this music is not for easy listening, even for those perhaps very used to the ingredients Pound put together. Their combination of mathy grind with oppressively brutal mountains of sound doesn’t detract from any one of the elements — rather, it’s like some of extreme metal’s darling bands piled atop one another and somehow, are still making great music. Pound’s new album might be what it would sound like if The Dillinger Escape Plan and Thou played at the same time on the same stage and somehow, some kind of synchronous sound emerged above the commotion.
The awe that would no doubt accompany that experience really feels like a defining emotional point of the record. There’s so much going on that the guys behind Pound clearly run from providing a showcase for their own technical prowess into also crafting a fascinating immersive experience for curious listeners. They’ve dialed up the sheer power of the extreme textures they work with to an extreme that might not have even been known existed before, and it’s a mind-bending absolutely thrilling experience.
Listen below via Bandcamp. •• releases in full on May 31 via Silent Pendulum Records.