Pain Control - _Subvert_
(Demolition Records, 2002)
by: Pedro Azevedo (6 out of 10)
An old-style thrash metal band at heart in terms of guitar work and vocals, Pain Control sound like they are trying really hard to modernize that sound and come across as really varied and innovative. In fact, at times they sound like they are trying -too- hard to achieve that. Still, Pain Control certainly manage to put together some good thrashing moments, mostly reminding me of a more aggressive but less talented (especially in terms of songwriting) version of Nevermore -- which, given Nevermore's impressive quality, does not necessarily doom Pain Control, who are quite capable of creating some entertaining music within their specific genre. Midway through the album and again near the end, however, the band goes into piano and clean male and female vocals mode. It's not that I cannot appreciate these elements when used in the right context, but in this case the whole thing seems rather odd, and then the mediocre couple of tracks that close the album pull my rating down somewhat. Adequate production and technical qualities complete the picture; overall, _Subvert_ clearly cannot compete against the likes of Nevermore, but its more aggressive edge may be a good reason for you to look into this competent album.

(article published 3/7/2002)


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