An innovative and often forgotten speed metal band from the 1980s who infused progressive metal styles and European styles into abstract American speed metal.
flag of the United States Powermad - Absolute Power (1989)
Absolute Power
Production: Clear but obnoxiously mainstream production gives this release the same thin guitar sound and echoing vocal heavy metal treatment as most 80s bands received.

Review: Sliding somewhere in the speed metal space between Iron Maiden and Prong, Powermad make conscientious and technical anthems which show a mastery of rhythm lead guitar alongside variable riff-writing. With echoes of the refined jazz-based offbeat percussive guitar styles that have been a hallmark of European progressive metal bands, this album injects a free-ranging roadhouse chorus equally descended from punk and heavy metal bands.


1. Slaughterhouse
2. Absolute Power
3. Nice Dreams
4. Return From Fear
5. Test the Steel (Powermad)
6. Plastic Town
7. B.N.R.
8. Failsafe
9. Brainstorms
10. Final Frontier
Length: 43:09

Powermad - Absolute Power - Speed Metal 1989 Reprise
Copyright © 1989 Reprise

Clean vocals with the riveting shout of righteous anger define the leadership to these tunes but the underlying interaction of harmony and rhythm in guitars builds solidity to this type of music, here flowering through varied and yet cohesive riff formulations keeping time with the military nature of percussion driven by broad-hearted kick-snare combinations and delicious, split-second fills. For what speed metal was, this gave, and did it uniquely by staying in a heavy metal verse-chorus structure that varied surprisingly into a stream of articulate recombinations of major themes in riffing.

To ears ten years after this was released, it sounds tame and its dependency on tone centers and rhythmic counterpoints recollects the more stable but deluded worldview of the time as a whole; to ears for time immemorial, this release will capture the spirit of yearning for awareness through directed intelligence in a time of oblivion.

BLACK   |   DEATH   |   HEAVY   |   SPEED   |   THRASH   |   GRINDCORE