Pro-Pain - "Absolute Power" CD Review (Regain Records) ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Pro-Pain - "Absolute Power" CD Review (Regain Records)

Pro-Pain - 'Absolute Power' CD Review (Regain Records)NYC metal crossover band Pro-Pain are back with their thirteenth studio disc, Absolute Power, which also marks the band’s second disc for Regain Records. This new disc was recorded in February 2010 at Little Creek Studios in Gelterkinden, Switzerland with producer V.O. Pulver (GURD) and the end result is some of the hardest hitting material that the band has done in years.

While the band’s rhythm section has shifted over the last decade around core members Gary Meskil and Tom Klimchuck, the only change this time out is that Rick Halverson (Stephen Pearcy, Cellador) has replaced JC Dwyer on the drums. Rounding out the lineup, the disc includes guest vocals from includes Destruction’s Schmier (on “Stand My Ground”) and Pulver’s Inga Pulver (on “Gone Rouge”).

Like most Pro-Pain discs, the lyrics are of a political bent with tales of government tyranny and oppression and these themes extend to the album cover as well. "The cover idea was inspired by an anti-communist illustration which depicted a worker smashing a red star with a sledge hammer. Our concept was to turn the imagery into something more us," bassist/vocalist Gary Meskill said. "So, the sledgehammer became a guitar, and the worker was made a musician. The statement that we are trying to make is that music has the ability to influence the political landscape a la the '60s. Music as a weapon, if you will.”

Musically, the band is well into its second decade but their high energy attack still hits like a runaway freight train; there are galloping drums, razor-sharp guitar blasts, hoarse, barking vocals and sing-along choruses. This is everything that you would want from a NYHC album and Pulver’s clear production sharpens the attack. Where Pro-Pain breaks from other bands in the genre is that, while Meskill and the band are obviously pissed off at the state of the world, the disc never loses its sense of melody.

Here is the live video for the disc's lead-off track “Unrestrained”:

Absolute Power holds its own with the band’s back catalogue but updates the classic Pro-Pain sound, bringing it into the present. The band has announced plans for a full US tour later this year.