Pain: “Cycle Of Hate” – aggressive and mind-blowingly arranged

Experimental metal band, Pain are heavy, brutal, and uncompromising, yet oddly progressive in their overall musical goal. Not many bands that I know of can successfully combine both harsh and melodic vocals with a Slipknot-esque guitar sound, while sprinkling Meshuggah-style basslines that rock heavily under the surrounding chaos. They deliver all of that obvious brilliance, while maintaining the perfect blend of positivity and dark angst. There are thousands of metal bands all fighting for a little piece of attention, so how do you stand out? You blend the old and traditional with the new and the cutting edge, and what you get is this 6 song record – “Cycle Of Hate”. Pain attack every one of their songs with the sort of innovative bone-crushing vigor not seen in a long while.

So what’s so great about this band? Their ability to make different songs and original lines; there are some bands with similar originality levels of course, but Pain have the guts to add bizarre tones, crazy bass-lines, asymmetrical drumming and varied vocals. Dynamic, aggressive and mind-blowingly arranged through-and-through. Pain prove all the metal haters wrong – this album has good songwriting and interesting structures.

The songs presented here are as catchy as most metal-riffs, but there are many technical and progressive edges; it’s actually great to hear those thumping bass-lines and irregular beats in their songs. The playing on the record is intuitive and indicative of musicians who sound like they have worked together for a long time.

What I like the most of Pain are their layered schemes, the instruments can be fully appreciated both in separate ways and as a whole, the structure of their song is like few you’ve heard before, something like simultaneous chord progression with multiple breakdowns between them to finally end with an explosion of every element presented in the entire song.

But what also shines here is the vocals: most of the time he’s screaming flaming lyrics, changing pitches ten times in one verse. His screams are particularly ominous, and if they don’t blow you away with their pure savageness, they still bring your heart up a couple of beats.

If you had to pinpoint the lead singer’s greatest talent among his many, you would have to say his unmatched ability to go from more melodic croons to instant spine tingling screams loud enough to raise the dead.

Starting from the opening track, “Breathless”, through “Time To Wake Up”, “Change” and “Feed Humans Not God!”Pain come across as one of the more reliable, and consistent bands pushing the boundaries of what experimental metal can be. They flirt with a number of musical developments while never compromising their sound or slowing down experimentation.

Primarily a blazing metal record of epic riffs, the most adventurous tracks on here do reach extremely lofty technical heights, but none more so than the EP’s centerpiece – “Cycle Of Hate” – it’s difficult to imagine the band sounding any better than on here.

They rip through infectious vocals and raps, while also venturing into diverse instrumental and tempo explorations. There are all kinds of instrumental touches throughout as the band display their virtuosity amazingly. They perform from a slow build up into dashing pace, propelling breakdowns and unbridled riffery with verve and admirable precision.

Compared with the current metal sound, this band creates a much more refined and intelligent metal form than many other pretenders around. Without this in your collection, you’re really missing out.


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