Pain - _You Only Live Twice_
(Nuclear Blast, 2011)
by: Aaron McKay (5 out of 10)
The industrial / techno / thrash piledriver Pain released _You Only Live Twice_, adding to its impressive six full-length album back catalog. Where does frontman / founder Peter Tägtgren find the time? Producing bands recently like Immortal, Overkill, Belphegor, Septicflesh and Abigail Williams all in addition to Pain and his better known outfit, Hypocrisy, it is obvious Peter has found the answer to somehow bending the time continuum in his favor.

Dimensional physics aside, it is a fair bet that Peter Tägtgren could belch "Due Gamla, Du Fria" and it would sound epically metal in nature. However, _You Only Live Twice_ doesn't seem to be the beneficiary of that talent. Typical keyboards provide the underlying flow throughout _YOLT_ heavily layered with catchy tempos and riffs, yet this offering comes off slightly less intense than you one might expect from an outfit like Pain; especially from a band that exploded 2008's _Cynic Paradise_ upon the metal-loving community. While adequately delivered with some blackened harsh and clean vocals alike, "Leave Me Alone" demonstrates this keen lack of typical Pain piss and vinegar.

_YOLT_ seems like the vehicle Tägtgren has recently opted for in an effort to explore, and possibly expand, his vocal style. To that point, there is a stellar example on this release: "Dirty Woman". Guaranteed that it is -not- Udo Dirkschneider from Accept on vocals, because this isn't a Lordi release, right? But damn if the vocals didn't invoke an image or two of "Midnight Mover". "Dirty Woman" is wrought with a guilty, radio-friendly pleasure and silly juvenile Kiss-esque lyrics, a la "Have a Drink on Me" from _Cynic Paradise_, but Pain's signature riffy fingerprints are all over this track, as well.

Not to put too fine of a point on it, _You Only Live Twice_ is every bit an emblematic Pain release. That said, just about any of their previous efforts would be a preferable choice for a CD spin in your player or for new fans to purchase prior to _YOLT_. Add this album only to complete you Pain collection, but don't begin it with _You Only Live Twice_.

It is time now to get out Hypocrisy's _Osculum Obscenum_ or Lock Up's _Pleasures Pave Sewers_ to balance out all this Pain for the moment; _The Other Side_ from The Abyss might be an overcorrection for the time being, but tomorrow for sure!


(article published 4/3/2012)

8/12/2000 A Bromley 6 Pain - Rebirth
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