To The Pain – X

Spread the metal:

Reviewed: September, 2020
Released: 2020, Self-Produced
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Erich

Long Island, New York’s To The Pain formed in 2012 as an original metal band heavily influenced by the Big Four of American Thrash. X is the band’s third album released in June 2020. I find it interesting and rewarding to find so many bands that are still inspired by that era of music. The Big Four’s influence on To The Pain is readily apparent, but there are enough modern inspirations to make this more than a mere carbon copy of a bygone era.

X consists of six quick hitting tracks clocking in at just under thirty minutes. Lead single “There Will Be Blood” has one of the heaviest retro influences on the album (along with album closer “Control), as singer John Intagliata channels his inner Hetfield, while guitarist Steve Shaver rips numerous solos that recall Racer X’s Paul Gilbert and Testament’s Alex Skolnick. The rhythm section is more than a match, with drummer Eric Healy and bass guitarist John Fila laying down a solid and driving foundation. The mid-paced chug of “System Slave” is a foot stomper, while “A Friend Indeed” slows the tempo with an intro that recalls “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath.’ “Bring The Gun” rears its black metal influenced head with a speedy tremolo riff intro and insane drumming from Healy, before transitioning to a slower tempo for the rest of the song.

Intagliata has an impressive range, hitting the high notes as easily as the growls. The coolest thing I can say about this album as that it sounds like it was hammered out in a garage or loft that really does capture the feel of many of those thrash albums released between 1983-1985 before the monster albums of 1986 were released. The songs are direct and enjoyable with enough variety to prove these guys absorbed the teachings of more than just the Big Four. Be sure to hang around for album closer, “Control”, a complex and twisting song where we hear a bit of Mustaine’s sneer in Intagliata’s vocals and his high range. This is perhaps his most accomplished work on X, and a fitting way to close a worthy album.

I dunno, maybe this album caught me at the right time after listening and reviewing too much prog metal this month. X is not the best thrash metal album you will ever hear, but it is also a long way from being a pooch. It has a confident vibe, with musicians that are technical, but choose their moments to shred carefully, preferring to pummel with riff and chug instead. Good stuff, and recommended for fans of the Big Four (or Big 8), as well as Racer X.


Track Listing:

1. There Will Be Blood
2. System Slave
3. A Friend Indeed
4. Fuel Injected Nightmare
5. Bring The Gun
6. Control


Steve Shaver- Lead Guitars
John Intagliata- Lead Vocals
Sean Smith- Lead Guitars
John Fila- Bass Guitar
Eric Healy- Drums and Percussion