It’s not unusual for bands to cover others outside their own genres. This prevalent within the metal industry as bands such as Children of Bodom have covered hits like Brittany Spear’s Ooops…I did it again. It is also not as unusual for bands to cover Bjork as bands such as 30 Seconds to Mars are testimony to this as they recently covered her song Hunter. So it shouldn’t really come as a surprise that a band like Peter Tagtgren’s Pain decided to cover Bjork. Peter Tagtgren is more known for his guitar and singing with Hypocrisy, Bloodbath and his other side project The Abyss. He is also a rather well known producer as he has worked with Dimmu Borgir, Immortal, Marduk and Celtic Frost.
I guess as I have already mentioned the Bjork cover it would be nice to start with that song. Play dead
fits surprisingly well in the middle of the album. He adds a violin which sounds a bit computerized (ironically on the album is song about the negativity of computers). The Bjork version of Play dead
is a bit childish as it is about how if you play dead then any pain will be gotten rid of. However, the Pain version brings a lot more maturity and brings out a lot more negative emotions then the Bjork version. It is a very well constructed cover as it conveys the feelings of a child into a more mature level and adds the violin into another song. It is easily one of the best songs on the album.
The opener Save your prayers
is an angst driven song about heartbreak. It has a bit of thrash style riff throughout the song, the bass (by Peter Iwers of In Flames) gives a bit of a fuzzy sound. This adds an almost techno effect which is essentially what Pain was meant to be. The bass is subtle but adds a distinct feel to the song without interfering with the guitars or vocals. Peter Iwers also features on the next song, Nailed to the ground
, which has an anti-religious theme. The bass yet again adds an almost techno feel but is less noticeable in this song. However, he does add a nice little solo in the middle of the song. Mr Tagtgren sings ‘I don't believe in god or destiny/ I always lived my life with one foot into the grave’
. In the song he has a bit more of a harsher vocals as it’s a bit of growl. The next song Zombie Slam
is, well, about zombies. It features Mikkey Dee of Motorhead fame, he doesn’t really add anything to the song. The drums are a bit sub-standard as the vocals give the melody and the drums just work around them. The lyrics as I said are about zombies for example he sings ‘Come and die with the zombies in the moonlight/ They become alive when you die, you cannot fool them’
The next song is the title song and is the other song with violins in it. It also has an anti-religious theme to it, however, it’s a bit different as its more about the fact that religious is going to create the extinction of the human race. The violin is in the background but adds some nice variety to the album as they are used sparingly which enhances the emotions. The next song Clouds of ecstasy
is about how about superficial Hollywood is with lyrics such as ‘Feel it, it's knocking on your door/ The parasite is ready to strike/ Digging for gold’
. The guitars have a bit a techno feel as they layered with effects, this is a nice touch to the song as it stops repetitiveness. However, the lyrics do get a bit boring as they tend to repeat themselves as they chorus-verse-chorus. The next song has already been mentioned as it is the Bjork cover of Play dead
The seventh song, Does it really matter
, features a piano. The piano is very nice as creates versatility and some variety. The lyrics are a bit like Clouds of ecstasy
as they show peoples superficial side as he sings ‘With money we think we're god/ With success we think we can do whatever we want’
. Computer god
describes the negativity of technology especially how much we rely on computers these days. He states computers are only a device which is used to garner a high in a way and this will be the reason for the ‘end of humanity’ as he puts it. Just think again
features Children of Bodom’s guitarist Alex Laiho which adds some contrast to Peter Tagtgren’s guitar work. The vocals are more distant then on other songs and are a bit harsher with a slightly monotonous feel to them. Alex Laiho’s guitar solo is nice as it uses some pinch harmonics and is very good. There is a vocal sample which seems to be from someone within the government as she describes about how weapons are killing anyone including children. These weapons are also causing widespread chaos and destruction. The tenth song, Walking on glass
, is a song about his life in retrospect and how it’s painful just like as the title suggests. He sings ‘Life's too short but I don't give a ***/ Why try to think like you/ I have my own free will/ Life is built on sorrow’
. Bottle’s nest
opens with an effect laden guitar riff which is almost techno. It adds a nice touch as riffs such as that is used sparingly and with thoughtfulness. However, it does get a bit boring as it’s a bit too mechanical. The final song, Bitch
, is a bit in the same frame as the previous one as the opening riff is used for most of the song. It does make the song a bit tedious and annoying which is a shame as there is quite a bit of variety throughout the album. However, near the end there is a guitar solo which makes the song a bit more bearable. It’s a mediocre way to finish the album.
Overall it’s a good album with quite a lot of highlights. This is due to the various guest appearances such as Alex Laiho, Mikkey Dee and Peter Iwers. The Bjork cover is also very good as it shows diversity. I will leave you with a quote from the song Bitch:
‘And another one bites the dust, Bitch’