Sound — 8
First became aware of Pain through a promotional sampler CD, given to me by a store clerk after purchasing Machine Head's The Blackening, which was basically a Roadrunner Record's sampler disc. One of the songs on this disc was Nailed to the Ground by Pain. After first listen, it wasn't that appealing, but as I focused more, I began to feel the catchiness and the groove thrown into this form of industrial metal. After being a fan of Hypocrisy for so long, I thought I'd best check out Pain properly and so picked up a copy of this album, Psalms of Extinction. This album immediately grabbed me with the groovy, low tuned guitar work of Mr. Tgtgren and the amazing amount of things going on at certain times. It's this perfectly refined groovy, driving industrial metal album, with thousands of effects and keys and a perfect vocal quality.
Lyrics — 6
Peter has really shown his versatility on this album, with the vocals differing on nearly every song. His lyrics are straight to the point. Nothing fancy, nothing really that outstanding, but a few quick decent metaphors but really, it's industrial, do the lyrics need to be that clever?
Overall Impression — 8
The guitar work, as mentioned, is crunchy and low tuned, but still catchy and groovy. Riffs like the intro to Nailed to the Ground, Bitch and the title track are so simple, but work perfectly with the music. The keys are a great asset, as Peter has obviously tried to make them a focus, but still not the centre of attention. The keys in the verses of Bottle's Nest are perfect for the song, as they help keep the focus on the lyrics (dealing with alcoholism). The tone for the guitars on this album is a really good balance, heavy, but not just plain fuzz like some bands adopt when setting their tone. The mids are higher than usual with metal, along for a more defined tone, but still retaining the certain buzz-saw sound pioneered in Swedish death metal. The drumming on this album is simple, straight to the point and diverse in sound. By that I don't mean it's like he played the drums with carrots or something, I mean that on each song, the drum tone changes. On some songs it's obviously a real kit, on some songs it's obviously a drum machine, on some songs you can tell it's just a triggered kit, hence throwing in some diversity. There are 3 major guest appearances on this album, Peter Iwers (In Flames' bassist) plays on "Save Your Prayers" and "Nailed to the Ground", Mikkey Dee (from Motorhead) plays drums on Zombie Slam and Alexi Laiho (of Children Of Bodom fame) plays a guest guitar solo on Just Think Again. Oddly enough, only the guitar solo is really anything special, as the bass and drums just add more to the band vibe with the album. Still, it's a nice touch, and probably would have saved Tgtgren some time better spent tuning or something, I don't know. All in all, don't come to this album looking for the brutality of Bloodbath or even the heaviness of Hypocrisy, just come here with an open enough mind to accept some really quite good, interesting, industrial metal. Stand-out tracks: Nailed to the Ground, Bitch, Psalms of Extinction, Just Think Again