With earth-quaking, bass-laden grooves, chaotic energy, and dissonant odd timing Pound is ready to pound their listeners to smithereens. •• is one step ahead of its predecessor in every segment and it’s a gargantuan display of sonic demolition discharges.
All the way from Seattle, Washington, extreme metal duo Pound send massive waves throughout the high octane laden niche of dissonant and bass heavy metal. To the best of my knowledge, the project came to life last year with the release of their self-titled debut. It featured a mix of ingredients never before blended with such surgical precision and balance. From angular riffs, heavily dissonant chords, and sludge-esque bass, to frantic percussive assaults, madly chaotic structures, and heavily groovy rhythmic passages they seem to have managed to cram basically everything everyone loves about metal into one dense package.
•• is the sequel that is quite simply put, harder, better, faster. Right off the bat, structurally it comes together as a much more cohesive affair than Pound. All the presented ideas blend together with organic ease, passing from one phrase to another with brutal elegance. There seems to be a much more focused equilibrium between the riffing and the leads. This is obvious not only in the present dynamic but also in how they let each other breathe through their torrential downpour. While the disharmonious leads stir the air it’s not long until the heavier than life bass riffing lets the listener bang his head into oblivion.
I’d like to say that the songs have captured a more clear sense of identity than before, but I think that works more for the record as a whole. The songs both on the previous release and on the current one suffer from a certain interchangeability. The said trait doesn’t affect negatively in any way but it makes it really difficult to distinguish songs even after a dozen listens. It is still quite obvious that there is a more crystallized stylistic identity on ••. This characteristic is catalyzed by the monstrous production value. The bass is not only heavier and gnarlier than before but it also lays in its own space while adding all the necessary beef to everything that goes on. The drums just as well feel much tighter, louder without any sacrifice to the final product in terms of how the sound stage is felt.
There are a lot of memorable moments, but as aforementioned, it can be difficult to pin them down. The ones that I would like to note though, are found in “x-.+.+.x-.+.x-.x-.+” and “–x–xxx–xx–x–xxx–xxx” rather coincidentally around the middle sections of each. The fact that the overall density of the record is close to that of a dying star does not make it any easier to remember what happens where. In spite of this dizzying characteristic •• is a very fun listen. It successfully keeps the listener at the edge of his seat by sheer compositional ingenuity rather than by flashy artifices that lack substance. This is a kind of multifaceted balance that is so sorely missed from the arsenal of many modern bands.
Pound bring to the table a mountainous slab of obliteration that will not be easily paralleled. Very few groups reach such a complex recipe in general, let alone at their first release with an upgrade around the second. Whether you want mad chugs, pure chaos, screeching leads, dynamite percussion, mathematical precision, or subsonic bass, •• is here to pound it all down our throats. Destruction never looked so divine.