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Album Reviews : Powerflo – Powerflo

By on June 29, 2017

While the band name Powerflo might not be prompting any memory flashes, the earlier projects of some of its members might ring some bells – Cypress Hill? Fear Factory? Biohazard? Yeah, you have probably heard of these guys. So when you mix the lyrical genius of Sen Dog (Cypress Hill), riffage of Billy Graziadei (Biohazard) and Rogelio Lozano (Ex-Downset); backing bass of Christian Olde Wolbers (Ex-Fear Factory) and drums of Fernando Schaefer (Ex-Worst) into a melting pot, the end result is Powerflo. Nu-metal and Rap Metal has seen a bit of a resurgence lately, with bands like Korn and Body Count releasing albums over the past 12 months that have seen the genre make a relatively strong comeback to its once great heights of the late 90’s/early 2000’s, and with supergroups seeming to be raging in popularity at the moment, Powerflo has all the foundations of a success in the making. But how does it actually sound?

For starters, the bouncy and groove-laden riffs are some of the key strengths on this album, but act as a double-edged sword and also prove to be some of its key detractors, with the same formula growing tiring towards the tail end of the album. There are some particularly epic moments in tracks like Less than a Human and Where I Stay, that truly exemplify that the potential is there, but they just don’t come frequent enough for my liking. There are also some nice solo’s scattered throughout, with My M.O coming to mind. In addition, the drumming is pretty damn decent, with Schaefer putting in a tremendous effort, and while it’s nothing that is going to blow the cream of the drumming crop out of the park; it is precise as all hell – and when taken at its lowest level – it’s this precision that gives the other instruments and the tracks a chance to shine.

Lyrically, this album is as strong as you would expect with someone like Sen Dog in command, and it is perhaps through his vocal execution and dedication towards each track that their powers of each song is truly highlighted. Don’t get me wrong – it’s still good musically – but it is through that precise lyrical delivery that you truly get an idea on just what this band is all about as the impactful lyrics and their earnest delivery, truly shine light on the great potential of this band. This is best exemplified in opening track My M.O, but is prevalent throughout the albums duration. Perhaps the one thing that will dissuade many of the more conventional metal heads is the fact that most of the lyrical delivery is freestyle, and at times the album can feel like straight-up hip-hop with heavy music behind it, but there is still some heavy stuff in there to boot.

The album structure is interesting, as it seems that with the exception of a few tracks here and there that the heavier hitting songs sit at the beginning. This is great to make an impression, which it certainly does through the opening knockout of My M.O and Resistance, but as the album spins out towards its end it feels like that impact is lessened, except on tracks like Crushing and the more frenetic double knockout of Made it This Way and Finish The Game.

Combining all the influences from their previous projects, Powerflo unfortunately presents like a Jack of All Trades, but a master of none; and while their self-titled release is a good beginning, I feel that it may not be the album that many had hoped for. While my expectations might have been raised due to some great releases in the hip-hop/metal fusion genres over the past 12 months, I feel like this album won’t make the big splash it is probably looking for. While so many of their songs provide a strong and solid framework, particularly through Sen’s vocal delivery, the precise drums and the heavy groove laden guitar riffs; it just feels like the band is missing that final potent piece that would bring their tracks from being in the ‘suitably decent’ category into the ‘must listen’ one. While the album does enough to satiate its listeners and introduce the band to its audience, it’s very tricky to say whether or not it will have constant replayability beyond a few listens – and this is probably something that is best discovered at an end-user level.

Band: Powerflo
Album: Powerflo
Year: 2017
Genre: Nu-Metal / Groove Metal
Label:  New Damage Records
Origin: USA

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