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my ears hurt - 35%

Noktorn, January 19th, 2011

I own eight Pro-Pain albums. I have no reasonable explanation for this other than that they were cheap and I'm really stupid about what I buy. This is the second Pro-Pain album, which means that it's terrible as all old Pro-Pain is borderline unlistenable- it's only about halfway through their career that they started to become something I'd actually want to hear, and even then, only in very small doses. A lot of Pro-Pain fans consider this the band's best album but that's because those said fans' homes are replicated on the cover of the album.

Since this is an early Pro-Pain album, it means that it's bad hardcore straddling the line between oldschool Cro-Mags shit and modern Hatebreed shit without embodying the good points of either. Pro-Pain are intriguing at this point in their career for being the only hardcore band in the world who appears to have zero aggression or intensity to their sound- it's like Barry Manilow replicating a First Blood CD. This impression is heavily influenced by the always amazingly flat production, with very little body to the guitars and vocals that sound like they were recorded in another room. Pro-Pain's early music is dawdling, and this is no exception: you have what amounts to a limitless array of midpaced groove riffs without any of the faster sections which build tension to be released in breaks like these. Instead, Pro-Pain just strings together a bunch of annoying breaks into single tracks.

There's a bunch of inadvisable decisions on this record, from the cringe-inducing Ice-T inclusion on 'Put The Lights Out' to the awkward, invariably incompetent and unrelated solos. I will say that this is a step up from the band's debut simply for having better production, but for the most part this record is just as odious as the first- static, motionless, and pointlessly rockish without embodying any of the things that make hardcore, oldschool or modern, so great.

Skip this. If you need Pro-Pain, get 'Act Of God' and move forward through the catalog from there. Nothing before that album is worth mentioning.