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Yeah...this sucks - 25%

doomknocker, July 26th, 2010

Ah, the “Stone Cold” band…at least, that’s what these guys were called upon first knowing they exist by way of some random music video of theirs I caught. If I remember correctly, their hardcore/metal thing was a bit forgettable, but having a Steve Austin look-alike fronting the group lead to a few snickers, so the name wasn’t forgotten by any stretch. And since that day I’d not given their wares a second glance, though wondered if things would’ve improved over time.

And so, holding up both arms to avoid a much-unneeded Stunner (OK, OK, I’ll stop…), I plunged into their latest offering…

Straight away, I’ll start off by saying that hardcore is not my cup of tea by any stretch. From the solipsism of HATEBREED to the screaming-like-an-asshole approach of NEW BLOOD (I miss those goons…), there’s nothing really worth noting in terms of hardcore in this day and age. Plus, there’s the whole hardcore dancing thing, the straightedge movement…there’s much to decry and deny. And when it comes to PRO-PAIN and their latest, that typical anti-establishment rhetoric is present, albeit in a heavier, more groovy approach ala early PANTERA and mid-era SEPULTURA mixed with those moments where fists are pumped skyward many a time. I guess you could consider this a better alternative to their breakdown-laden early days and is very tight in compositional ability and performance…but what really kills me about these sort of rebellious-type groups is that, for all their protesting, the musical output doesn’t fit the angry scheme of things. I’ve felt more stirred by the politic-less wares of MARDUK and MORBID ANGEL just on the basis of their rage and insanity versus the truncated Republican Tea Party banter heard from these guys. Even on that musical level alone this disc leaves a lot to be desired…despite taking a more metallic road ala just-entering-metalcore-era SOILWORK, the guitar riffing, plastic-sounding drumming and all those strange sounding vocals (the cleans, the pissed-off Derrick Green rasps, and everything else in between) have the skill craft of a band with plenty of tightened chops but nothing else more to give the listener outside some moments of snickering and nary a sensation of raging against the machine. I can see this knocking their already present fan base for a loop, but for those of us who want real substance with our heavy music, the likes of “Destroy the Enemy”, “Road to Nowhere” and “Rise of the Antichrist” are there for the sake of being there, unable to draw in those pesky outsiders who may want to know what the deal is all about. Oh well.

All in all PRO-PAIN’s latest is better than their earlier works, but it’s way too vanilla and two-dimensional for me to enjoy properly. Didn’t think I’d take to this, and dammit, I was right. NEXT!