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An ocular, unnerving vernacular - 75%

autothrall, February 12th, 2013

Hallucinating Anxiety had technically already been released through Earache Records, or rather Necrosis, a short-lived sub-imprint run by Carcass members; but for its followup ...In Pains, the Norwegian band was shifted over to the primary label. This increase in visibility, and also availability, coincided with a more professional, tightened direction for the group musically, and thus it's no shock that the sophomore was the disc to land them onto the radars of the underground death metal audience, who had begun expanding their collections as the genre truly took off with a number of important releases in the early 90s. Quite like the previous album, ...In Pains was hardly pursuing the most unique of identities, but where Hallucinating Anxiety fused a smattering of influences into a grisly, primitive and entertaining melting pot, its followup was more or less standing in the shadow of the Floridian band Death, who had at this point released their highly popular Human.

...In Pains is no direct bite off that record, but it's similar in structure. I'd characterize it as a more simplistic alternative to Human or Spiritual Healing, with a lot less guitar finesse, melody and lead-work, and a few mildly inventive embellishments in instrumentation: flutes, double bass, etc. Other comparisons I could make would be to Dutch bands like Pestilence (Testimony of the Ancients) or Creepmine (Shadows). The 'progressive' influence isn't quite so overt or spastic as a Cynic or Atheist, but it's largely felt through the swerving bass performance or the slightly jammy, dissonant nature inherent to several of the bridge sections. By and large, though, it's pretty much pure death metal, alternating between palm muted chugging and the expected tremolo picked patterns. Both were present on the debut, but to be blunt: ...In Pains is different enough due to its increased production standards that the two discs might as well be from separate bands. The UK influences like Bolt Thrower, Napalm Death and Carcass have been all but erased; you might hear a few similarities to Necroticism, perhaps, but that cruddy feeling, that grime, and that grind have been sacrificed in favor of a tighter, controlled, bass-heavy mix which was far more accessible to the death metal initiate, or the more musically demanding following who were already installed.

Gone are the repulsive, distorted bass-lines, and replaced with a more pulsing, pumping fusion, jazz or funk influenced tone that competes with the drums and rhythm guitar for volume. Ole's vocals aren't much different than before, but the syllabic structures feel a bit more blunt and slack. His drumming, on the other hand, is better balanced and engineered, with more prevalent bass than the debut. Some of the power and charm has been leached out of them, and the construction of the riffs doesn't lend itself to much intensity, since there is a taut but lazy playfulness to the album which is like a recreation room at a mental hospital. The rhythm guitar tone is rich and propulsive, lending a thicker viscosity to the power chords, and the airier melodies and brief leads help flesh out the music (something that was admittedly absent on the debut). There are points through ...In Pains (like "Blurred Visions" or "Ins-through-mental") where the composition becomes very chunky and reflexive, the guitars and rhythm in a dextrous, acrobatic union both reflexive and interesting, and quite modern for their day, even if some of the aforementioned acts were doing it more successfully or with a more obvious experimental edge.

Granted, the heightened emphasis on bass guitar, and the few existing lines of flute or string instrument are about as 'far out' as Cadaver's sophomore is willing to go, but overall it conveys a real sense of evolution that was not at all unwelcome. In retrospect, though the busyness and effort placed into this record are to be admired, and most of the tracks have at least a temporarily interesting or catchy twist, I do feel that the contemporary atmosphere and polish of ...In Pains has never really given me that same thrill of pathos and nostalgia that the debut evokes. It's a solid album, I'd hazard even a 'good' album, with an understandable appeal. More psychological and subtle than its precursor, unquestionably. Yet for the same reasons I'd rather be driving some vintage muscle car over a 21st century economy auto, I favor their first full-length. But if you've any natural predilection towards records like Human, Individual Thought Patterns, Testimony of the Ancients, Erosion of Sanity, Unquestionable Presence, Hallucinations, Considered Dead, or even Necroticism, then certainly check this one out.

-autothrall
http://www.fromthedustreturned.com

Morbid metal! - 96%

natrix, January 29th, 2008

Morbid...it's not just for describing Angels anymore, it can also be applied to Cadaver's In Pains. And that's about the best one-word description I can give on this album: MORBID. Not as overtly suicidal as Bethlehem or Silencer, but you really get the feeling that this is the product of abnormal minds that is reflected in the bizarre structures, warped riffing and odd uses of cellos and violins.

The general style is progressive death metal, but this is not the linear form of Death's later work or the jazzy experiments of Atheist and Cynic. Even though I love all those bands, there was something keeping their feet on the ground, something that kept their music from being dangerous. Cadaver is really unpredictable and sick. The guitar riffs could best be compared to maybe Coroner, but much choppier with masses of unorthodox chording thrown in. I would agree with the last review that there is a good bit of Voivod influence in here.

The drumming is very skilled, quite jazzy with lots of fills and odd timings. The dry, high ended production on this highlights the cymbals and snare, which give it kind of a jazzy black metal feel. And the vocals are more of a rasp, rather than a growl, further adding to the black metal feel. By the way...what the hell is going on with the lyrics? Some sort of strange psychological study?

Odd time changes, bizarre chords and a few creepy melodies certainly add a degree of individuality to this, but then they have to throw in cellos and violins. Most of the time, that means that the result is going to suck balls, but these are done more like the violin on At The Gate's first album, ie: effectively! I would say that they're even better performed here, as they really fit in with the music, and are rather used to emphasize certain passages rather than act as the melody.

This album certainly does get better with repeated listens, but that doesn't mean you ever really get used to it. In Pains is one of the most unique albums in death metal, and one that was never big enough to warrant a slew of copycats, and even Cadaver themselves never made anything like this before or after.

A rewarding listen - 99%

ozzeh, January 28th, 2008

Cadaver are one of those bands that are somewhat well known in the underground metal scene, but they never really reached the level of fame they probably deserved. This release is nothing short of a masterpiece, but it is not an easy listen by any means. "In Pains" is fucking depressing. It's nihilistic, dark, and evil.

Death/thrash is one of my favorite musical genres; this release borders more on death metal, but there are thrash riffs aplenty. The guitar tone is dirtier than a crack whore on $2 crack whore night. The production is actually masterfully done and fits the overall mood of the album very well.

Listening to this album is like staring into a dark abyss: foreboding. The vocals are awesome in their own right; they're very much death metal oriented but also match the extremely talented riff-work found on every song. The album doesn't really have any progressive influences but all of the songs seem to follow a linear pattern that doesn't really reach any climax.

Like I said previously, this album is seriously depressing. It's also extremely well crafted and not accessible by any means. Cadaver are the Voivod of death/thrash but much better musically.

There is no closure to be found on this album but I honestly think that "In Pains" gets better the more times you listen to it. This is an extremely ominous album and probably not fit for a neophyte of death metal. "In Pains" is highly addictive and highly recommended; this release only gets better as the album progresses.

Truely Innovative - 94%

AnInsidiousMind, December 4th, 2007

Looking at the booklet of Cadaver’s second release, In Pains, sets the mood for the album. It has something shoved into a man’s eye socket, while poking out the other eye. The album starts off with letting you know how their rhythmic riffing is going to be the entire album. The relentless assault of riffs that change from tremolo to palm muted creates an odd atmosphere, which makes the listener feel confused and never knowing where the song is going to go. Cadaver uses start/stop riffing and continues to play the same riff but they change to a different time signature or to tremolo picking; moreover, this is used tastefully which adds to this odd atmosphere. The drumming, which is obviously written around the guitar, varies every time the riffs changes from a tremolo to a palm mute. These minute changes in the drum patterns help make the riffs flow and keep the listener entertained. Everything put together with the combination of the lyrics show Cadaver could care less about the this life. The lyrics try to make death seem like it’s not all that bad because they are constantly being humorous about it. The blackish vocals weave in and out of the songs, for no apparent reason, adding to the confusion to this album. Cadaver shows it’s possible to use the darkness of death and put an apathetic tone to it. This tone comes from their ability to write metal that combines multiple styles of riffing for almost no reason, making the listener feel confused. This is really unlike anything that came about before, and it is truly innovative. Cadaver knows what death metal is, and they used their strange riffing to make a great album about how pointless life can be.

An innovative release - 92%

Doomwatcher, September 25th, 2004

While Cadaver’s debut “Hallucinating Anxiety” showed a grinding hybrid of black and death metal in the style of early Mayhem, Asphyx and Merciless. It’s follow-up takes a different turn.

This album could be described as Darkthrone’s “Soulside Journey” with progressive tendencies and influences from the other Scandinavian death metal scenes (Sweden in particular). The music frequently changes direction through the use synchronized power chording, abrupt pausing within songs before quickly resuming with cadence making it perplexing and disconcerting (in a good way). Vocals on this album are harsh, almost similar to black metal but in the death metal essence and are preformed in the style of Atheist and Pestilence. The Lyrics tell tales of psychological mishaps and macabre with slight humour (the lyrics to “Runaway Brain” as an example).

Along with Therion’s “Beyond Sanctorum”, Miasma’s “Changes” and Demilich’s “Nespithe”, this is one of death metal’s most inventive releases. Unfortunately though this album is out of print, meaning it wouldn’t be easy to come by but it’s worth seeking out.