Released: 2004, Candlelight
Another year, another Pro-Pain release! You can’t fault the band for lack of trying. A solid work ethic has provided fans with five releases in five years. Yet more line-up changes, and the longstanding band are back at it. FOH has a super dull cover by the band known for lousy cover art. “Oh look! A picture of a hand! How inspiring!” Gimme a break. The band that never really had that many ideas to begin with has run out of ideas.
I really think this band could go to the next level if they would take care of a few details. Get a stable line-up (easier said than done), put some thought into the presentation of the band. There are no pictures of the band and the design and layout are non-descript and dull. A lyrical change is need as the band drones on about the same old nonsense, bashing politicians and anti-war, neither diversifying nor exploring new territory.
However, like many bands they have found their formula and are not inclined to change and according they stay at the same level on my appreciation scale which is an average band with not much to say lyrically or musically.
Musically, Pro-Pain still live in that same re-tread, 90’s metal zone along with Sepultura, Biohazard, Machine Head, Pissing Razors and newer Metallica; not too heavy, and not too commercial just sort of sitting there afraid or unwilling to stretch musically. he band chooses to unwisely to open with a slow, plodding song almost mallcore in temperament, breakdowns, little intensity or emotion. The song is called ‘Can You Feel it?” I certainly can! I feel the shudder of repulsion! The song is a bad play at commercial sensibilities and a bad choice to start the CD.
Having said that, this album does have one absolutely killer instrumental cut called ‘The Better Half of Forever’. It is metal through and through with an awesome guitar, very fast, probably one of the best songs they have ever done. If they could do a whole CD like this they would have a whole new fan base. The song is quite atypical of the band and buried at the position of track nine, so it might be destined to be lost in a mediocre CD.
New drummer JC Dwyer is a weak link thumping away like an amateur with lousy fills, and hardly any brass to be heard. A bad drum sound and lackluster performance. Gary continues to growl away lots of effect on his voice, just belting out tunes about whatever pissed him off that day, still not possessing much in terms of range, tone or delivery. It never ceases to amaze how these guys constantly confuse shouting with intensity or aggression. The quality of solo is up a notch from the last few CD’s giving the CD a bit more of a metal feel and less of a punk vibe; it’s a welcome change.
Another average CD from an average band but yet somehow I still listen to each
CD as it comes out so there must be enough here for me to consider myself a fan.