Review Summary: Tagtgren goes solo for the first time.
“Pain” is the brain-child of a Sweden death-metal man-machine by the name of Peter Tagtgren. Somewhere around 2002-2004 it received recognition for providing a ringtone for each and every cellphone, which was the track “Shut Your Mouth” – a catchy little tune, that was popularized by The Prodigy, who provided a more radio-friendly remix of the song.
And, basically, that was all this project had to offer to the world… in the broader sense. But a whole bunch of industrial metal enthusiasts, and, to a lesser extent, fans of Peter’s main band “Hypocrisy” got hooked. A neat combination of cold electronic background and fierce guitar assault, groovy beats, catchy choruses and simple yet effective lyrics, covering a set of darker themes, surely found it’s listener.
But Pain’s self-titled record is a beast of a different nature – a more bestial one, to be precise. The material here is pretty far from the “Rammstein-lite” sound of Pain’s future records and is best described as a slightly less extreme version of Hyporcisy, that relies less on the growls, soloing and other death metal traits and more on creepy electronic glitches that creep behind processed guitar noise, which sounds like a huge futuristic chainsaw starting. But still, the metal roots of mr. Tagtren show here and there.
The lifeless, cold sound palette, combined with aggressive riffs and depressive lyrics, delivered in a very pissed manner, create a picture, reminiscent of industrial metal pioneers Ministry, only with a tad more pathos. Production is decent considering this is the first time Tagtgren recorded all the instruments and produced the whole thing. Vocals sometime get lost in the mix, which actually sounds very appropriate at times, adding to the misanthropic quality of the album.
There’s nothing mush to say of the record, really, for it is not long and not varied. It’s a short blast of concentrated anger in the form of a very straightforward amalgamation of metal and industrial and it does just what you’d expect it to. So, if you’re looking for a good old hate-ride –please, get this record and feel the Pain.