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Now this is a single! - 97%

MaDTransilvanian, June 7th, 2010

Ah, Pain, Peter Tägtgren’s beloved industrial/metal/techno band with an average of over two singles for every released album. Of all those singles, one of the most outwardly interesting ones to me is Same Old Song, simply due to the title track. Upon listening to the whole thing however, it turned out to be much more valuable than just for its main song.

First off comes the obligatory title track, and it’s essentially the same as the album version. The Same Old Song is quite possibly Pain’s best song ever, and that’s up against some pretty stiff competition. It’s excellent because it mixes the classic Pain catchiness with a powerfully epic atmosphere as well as a keyboard melody which sounds rather exotic, perhaps slightly Persian/Middle Eastern in nature. It’s extremely memorable in almost every way possible, as Peter’s vocal performance is among his best ever here, which is saying something. Additionally, it’s unique among Pain songs because of the event starting at the 3 minute mark. The song slows down, and then Peter follows with a crescendo of clean vocals which eventually morph into an inhuman scream, fully reminiscent of his evilest of Hypocrisy vocals.

The excellence of the Same Old Song was known to me before ever having heard this single. However, the same can’t be said of the only exclusive B-side found here: Trapped. Allow me to say that it’s simply inexplicable why this would be a B-side relegated to a single: it’s extremely good, catchy, fun… the staple of excellent Pain songs. It actually deserves to be its own single. Its quality revolves around the incredibly strong chorus, consisting of a kind of shout/yell which borders on harsh vocalization. Its borderline harsh nature is what makes its genius, allowing Peter’s vocal capabilities to create a feeling of agony and power that virtually no similar artist can create. This song truly is the application of metal elements to benefit non-metal music.

Finally there’s the other B-side, Not Afraid To Die. This song is also available on the contemporaneous Dancing With the Dead album, and while a highlight there I’d have liked another exclusive B-side. Still, this is an excellent song, fully clean and focused on being catchy and fun, instead of creating a menacing atmosphere. It’s also a bit slower, more melodic than the two other numbers; another great Pain song.

Listening to this single made me realize how simply owning the Pain full-lengths is insufficient for anyone wishing to have all of Pain’s good music. While the other two tracks are excellent, the exclusivity of Trapped makes it the only real reason to seek this rather rare single out (aside from collection purposes). However, it’s an extremely good reason since there’s no other way to get the song until the day when Peter Tägtgren decides to release all B-sides in one convenient spot for fans. Until then, I’ll be hunting down more Pain singles for the awesome exclusivities to be found.