Powerman 5000

Builders of the Future

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On their first album of new material since 2009's Somewhere on the Other Side of Nowhere, Powerman 5000 stick with their industrial metal sound to bring listeners their vision of tomorrow with their seventh studio album, Builders of the Future. Like watching an old science fiction movie set in a far-off time that has already come and gone, the album feels like a dated prediction of what the metal of the future is supposed to sound like. With a blend of synths, pulsing beats, and driving guitars, Builders of the Future is essentially a glossier take on the sound the band began exploring in 1999 with Tonight the Stars Revolt! Despite Spider One and company (which, it should be noted, is an almost entirely new band than the one that appeared on their last album of new material) mostly sticking to their comfort zone, the most exciting moments of Builders of the Future come when the band breaks from tradition, like the languid "I Want to Kill You," a slow burner that starts innocuously enough as an acoustic ballad before the addition of some droning, guttural fuzz takes the track in an unexpectedly sublime direction. If PM5K's career has done anything, it's shown that they're one of the best in the business when it comes to pulse-pounding, adrenaline-fueled industrial metal. This makes the moments when they step away from their strength to try something new all the more interesting, even if they're few and far between.

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