Monday, July 15, 2013

To The Pain-To The Pain


There can't be that many things cooler then naming your band after a line from "The Princess Bride". That right there is both wicked and righteous with serious props due the pair of vocalist John Intagliata and guitarist Steve Shaver who, out of nothing more then a dream of forming the perfect heavy metal act, assembled this project in the summer of 2010. This New York-based band, which Steve and John original conceived of as far back as 1988 (when, as teenagers, they came up with the idea being a cross between Racer X, Megadeth, Metallica, King Diamond and Queensryche), would soon come together with rhythm guitarist Mark Trojanoski, bassist Jeremy Lustig and drummer Jimmy Klimatas brought in to round out the project. With new influences added to reflect today's tastes (Bullet for My Valentine, Shadows Fall and Killswitch Engage) and the ability to make dreams become reality that comes with being adults (hey, you can actually afford home studios sometimes when you're working 9-5 jobs kids!) this band has emerged as the be-all/end-all of "Let's throw everything together in one big bowl, mix it up like a bunch of maniacs and see how it tastes!" Normally something like this would end up as a "hot mess" (to quote today's kids!) which is why I struggle to comprehend just exactly HOW and WHY a band like To The Pain works so well? Lyrically this group follows Dave Mustaine's school of thought (politics and personal pain) while musically it's one big feast for the senses! The group's self-titled debut never stays in one place for too long as one can pick up on everything from 80's thrash love (Anthrax, Megadeth, Overkill, Testament, etc.) to admiration for all things doom (Black Sabbath and Trouble). Toss in those Racer X solos and the natural gritty vibe that comes from being a New York-based metal band and you've got an album that is just too good to pass up. Favorite cuts? Well, that's a hard one as the album opens with the heavy thrasher "For The People, Buy The People" and never let's up until the final notes of  "A Good Revolution" (Think "...And Justice for All" era Metallica meeting up the Suicidal Tendencies that gave us "Lights...Camera...Revolution!" for a play date from hell and you're in the ballpark!) fade out. All in all this one reads like a fan letter to all things heavy metal. As such it is a recommended addition to those who appreciate fun heavy metal and/or like their whiplash-inducing thrash to come from blue-collar bands.

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