Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Pain - Coming Home (2016)

Peter Tägtgren is a very busy man, so busy that he has not had the time to record a new Pain album in over 5 years. That is quite a long time for a man that is so productive. During that period, he has released one Hypocrisy album called "End of Disclosure", he has started a new project with Rammstein singer Till Lindemann and released its debut, "Skills In Pills", he has toured with his two bands, and Peter has also helped out in producing the two latest Sabaton albums, "Heroes" and "The Last Stand".

Despite the five years since the last album, Pain is more or less the same, both in personell and in music. "Coming Home" is album number 8 for the "band", and it contains very few surprises. It is simple industrial metal that puts most of its focus on being catchy, while still maintaining the heavy aspect. It is definitely what you would expect from Peter and co., so if you like their style, you are surely in for a treat

Most of the good stuff is up at front, especially the second song that was released, "Call Me". Peter unleashes his classy side with this song that is about prostitution, and he does so with a super catchy chorus, some amazing, yet simple, riffs, and some unexpected help by Joakim Brodén, singer of Sabaton. Seriously, it is extremely weird to hear Joakim sing about something other than war and destruction, but it works just as well, giving the song another edge. I will give it some time, but this might be my favourite Pain song of all time, and it gets only sweeter when you get to watch that ridiculous music video that accompanies it.

"Call Me" is definitely a fun song, and the album is filled with humour in it, which must mean that Peter really loved doing that collab with Till Lindemann, since he kept the quirky comedy with him to his main project. Sure, it is not as vulgar here, but it is still silly, singing about being designed to piss you off, idiots, and even puns(!) in "Pain In The Ass". They do work, and the songs are neat (except "Natural Born Idiot", needs more imagination there).

What does impress me the most is that Peter is using a lot of orchestral elements in this album. Songs like "Starseed", "Black Knight Satellite", and the title track gets another epic flair with the orchestra in the background, ultimately helping the whole album to stand out in the discography. And while I do wanted to hear more of this in the album, it is probably a good idea to restrain it a bit, just so the original Pain sound does not get too disoriented.

While I do think "Coming Home" is a good record, it still holds some short comings here and there. The overall quality is kind of uneven, the weakest songs being really weak, and the mere play time of 41 minutes is not what I hoped for after five years of absence. Nonetheless, "Coming Home" is a good, catchy record with several fantastic songs that I think will stand the test of time. Peter delivers a nice load of music that may not blow you away or win any awards, but it does its job, and it does it really well. So, all I have to do now is to wait for the next Hypocrisy album, hope it is not too far away.

Songs worthy of recognition: Call Me, Black Knight Satellite, Coming Home

Rating: 7/10 Absinthe Phoenixes

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