Review: Pain – Coming Home
PAIN was created by Peter Tägtgren as a side project back in the late 90’s, fusing heavy metal with 1980’s industrial and techno. Nearly 20 years since their first release this “hobby” of their mastermind front man has become something much more, which is quite clear with their forthcoming 8th studio album Coming Home.
Album opener ‘Designed to Piss You Off’ calls upon a country style feel then hits in hard with some hefty riffage. Keeping the country influence bobbing and weaving throughout the whole track, this song features a great sing along chorus, but somewhat of a lack luster ending, which very reminiscent of what Tägtgren recently created with Rammstein’s Till Lindemann.
‘Call Me’ blends jagged guitars and orchestral strings in beautiful cohesion with some outstanding vocal harmonies in the chorus matched with impeccable double kick drums performed by Peter’s son, Sebastian. The band recently released an amusing video for this song showcasing the lyrics themes about being a Gigolo. Clearly, Pain is never one to pass up an opportunity to be tongue in cheek.
‘A Wannabe’ starts off with some toned down acoustic guitar. While this may seem strange its inclusion makes the big arrival of strings and chugging guitars all the more powerful. Some catchy hooks, steady bass lines, and even more keyboards throughout the track just keep reinforcing why PAIN morphed from a side project into an actual band.
Following up with ‘Pain in the Ass,’ PAIN delivers a track that is delivered brilliantly and sure to be a classic. Synchronized guitars and drums come blasting in bit by bit right from the get go, injecting euro-industrial electronics into the rest of the track. This is going to be a live crowd pleaser and is probably my personal favorite from this release.
The first single from their 8th opus is ‘Black Knight Satellite,’ which is great choice as an introduction to this collection and another well orchestrated song. Full of electronic synths and strings, head banging guitar riffs, a constant barrage of pounding drums, and unforgettable vocal melodies that will brand themselves into your mind.
The title track ‘Coming Home’ takes the pace down a bit, but delivers more of those hooks, both musically and vocally. I’d liken it somewhat to an 80’s pop song with a modern twist and some subtle downtuned guitars for the chorus.
Jumping the pace back up slightly is ‘Absinthe Phoenix Rising.’ This track has more of rock ‘N’ roll” thanks to its riffs, distorted bass lines, and the “HEY!” group chants. It definitely carries on the groove the band continues to capture, though this track could be considered a bit out of place for this bundle of songs. Regardless, it’s still very catchy.
Blasting in once again with ‘Final Crusade,’ this track brings more PAIN-esque guitars meshed perfectly with industrial keyboards, sing along vocals and marching drums. Breaking it down halfway through with another bout of down tuned chugging, again it puts me in mind of something that would have fit perfectly on the ‘Lindemann’ release.
Nu Metal guitars and EBM-like keyboards kick off ‘Natural Born Idiot’ fusing into synth-laden verses then slamming us with a crowd jumping, fist pumping chorus still carrying on that EBM feel. Taking the electronic and heavy metal elements then binding them together is something that has been done very well on this track.
Rounding out the album we come to ‘Starseed,’ which creates one final piece of epicness with big strings, big vocals, and big choruses. The only lacking element in this song is the outro; it just feels like it comes too soon and fades out too quickly and quietly.
Summing up, here we have another Peter Tägtgren masterpiece. As always there seems to be some tracks that are out of place, but isn’t that what PAIN does? And does well? They take the unexpected and slip it in when no one expects it. They blend and mesh styles, genres and sounds, and ultimately give us something different; something we didn’t think we would want to hear yet they make it work. After nearly 20 years of fusing different genres of music together and still delivering something this good, all I can do is tip my hat to this pioneer of Industrial-Metal. 8/10