Thursday, June 04, 2015

To The Pain-Seven


Take heed of my warning friends! It's time to batten down the hatches and lock up your sons and daughters! You need to hold your loved ones close and say a pray or possibly two so that dawn's early light finds you all safe and sound. There's a storm coming in and it's coming in fast! Ladies and gentlemen prepare to meet your maker! Doomsday is upon us and it's name is "Seven"!!!! It's taken two years to put all the pieces together, but here it is all the same and yes, the wait has been worth it! This is the follow-up to 2013's "To The Pain" and for this New York power metal/thrash band there's no such thing as the sophomore slump! "Seven" is everyone that fans could have hoped for only better. Oh, and it's also heavier. As in much HEAVIER! That much was hinted at when To The Pain released the album's title track and first single, "Seven". Fans and critics alike found themselves drooling in anticipation of To The Pain's sophomore album
and quite obviously this one does not disappoint! Vocalist John Intagliata sounds as good here as he did on "To The Pain" and it's not just the title track that we're talking about friends! This underrated front-man is right there IN YOUR FACE from the word GO so make sure that you're well aware of what's in store before you decided to hit play! John Intagliata's impressive range has always been from low demonic grunts to hitched-pitched banshee wails and on "Seven" he is as evil as he is enlightening! And he's just the lead vocalist of this Long Island five-piece! If this is first you've ever heard of To The Pain then here is the skinny.  To The Pain was formed in 2012, but their roots go back to the band-members high-school days. Back in July of 2013 I covered the band's self-titled debut and that fantastic release was somewhat of a long-awaited dream for the members of To The Pain. I followed that review up with a interview and between these two articles you can get a good feel for the band's past as well as their current standing. The band's 2013 debut album is a must-have and now the same can be said of the upcoming "Seven"! To The Pain's new album is both a continuation of the sounds and style of their self-titled release and a step-forward in terms of originality and overall intensity. "The March For Mankind/Heavens Carnage" opens things up rather perfectly and this raw thrasher had me caught up in the moment and raging for more! From there it's the previously-mentioned title track and let's just call it like it is. "Seven" is nothing short of awesome(!) and on the title track this New York band goes full-tilt BALLS TO THE WALL! "Seven" is the very definition of metal and it's a heaven sent moment for those metalheads out there who still believe in the power and glory of true blue heavy metal! Lead guitarist Steve Shaver is at his technical best on "Seven" (the single and this album as a whole!) and the same thing can and should be said of his fellow bandmates! Second guitarist Craig Piano forms a solid tag team with Steve Shaver while the rhythm section of Chris Borgia and Jimmy Klimatas (crunchy bass and thunderous drums respectively!) helps push the band's new album to it's absolute limit! It was actually "Killzone" that made me push my car to the absolute limit so maybe another word of caution is in order. Take special care should you decide to play this album in your car. Before I knew what I was doing I was speeding along rather fast. Thank God I caught a glimpse of the speedometer and came back to my senses. The last thing I needed was a speeding ticket! That's the power of "Seven" though. It reaches right in and grabs hold of you. It makes you want to speed along and there's not much you can do about it friends! Not that you'd want to let up on the gas. The wicked "Is It My Turn To Die?" doesn't let up so why should the listener? That same feeling of frenzied excited follows over into album's last two tracks, "Cry Out For Justice" and "Don’t Eat The Eyes". Both numbers combine traditional heavy metal with gritty thrash and it's interesting to see just how far this band has evolved between albums. On "To The Pain" there were still fleeting images of the band's many influences. From Megadeth to Black Sabbath it was all there on "To The Pain" and even though the material was original you could still pick up on these ghosts and hear what bands helped to sculpt this New York act. On "Seven" you get the sensation that To The Pain has found their groove and that the band has really come into their own. "Don’t Eat The Eyes" offers telltale signs of this great achievement as it's all kinds of nasty, but nasty in such a way that it's distinctly genuine and original! At this point in their career To the Pain has crafted their own version of heavy metal and it's one that is second to none. It's abrasiveness and loud as f**k, but it's still technically sound and it has all the hallmarks of traditional heavy metal. Even though the music is aggressive and often-times stone-cold evil it still feels oddly hopeful. "Seven" is well-constructed and soundly-executed. While it embraces the band's past it doesn't so much rely on the group's previous influences as the building blocks for the album's foundation as it does crush those influences into a fine white powder to be mixed with the foundation's concrete basement. In a word "Seven" is Awesome and it fits in perfectly with what To The Pain is all about. This one comes with my highest recommendations! Just be sure to play this one at home first and not in your car. Especially as To The Pain can not be held responsible for speeding tickets or potential road rage incidents!

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