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Intruder – Escape From Pain (Reissue)

Intruder
Escape From Pain (Reissue)
by Santiago Puyol at 04 January 2021, 10:29 AM

We continue our revisit of American Technical Thrash Metal band INTRUDER 2020 reissues. Now it’s time for "Escape From Pain", an EP released inbetween their second ("A Higher Form Of Killing") and third ("Psycho Savant") albums. This 5-track EP sees the band in a transitional spot from their high-energy Tech-Thrash from previous records towards the proggy, slower sound from their final album.

Things start on an amusing note with "25 Or 6 To 4", an outstanding thrashy reinterpretation of the CHICAGO classic. There are some weird transitions here and there, but overall, it is a fine rendition and tons of fun. It works better on the slower paced sections, as the band really gets grooving, one of INTRUDER’s strengths for sure.

The title track comes next. "Escape From Pain" features powerful instrumental and vocal work. The gang vocals add an interesting touch on the chorus, being quite punkish. It moves into a slower paced, proggy section for its middle third, with some atmospheric guitar work and effected vocals. Things even get slightly psychedelic in an early BLACK SABBATH way, and the track plays around a bit with time signatures. The chaotic, noisy ending, complete with Exorcist-like piano and/or bells, sounds like a demented coda from a lost KING CRIMSON track.

"Cold-Blooded Killer" is the first of three re-recorded tracks from their first album Live To Die. A funky bassline functions as the backbone of the track. This version has a more bass-heavy mixing in comparison to the original version and it is clearly a bit more refined. Akin to "Killing Wings" on their previous record, the track makes a nice shift from 4/4 to 6/8 for a jazzy, technical middle jam. Aside from that, it is a straightforward, mid-tempo banger.

Beautiful Flamenco-tingled guitar gives "Kiss Of Death" a delicate intro. It certainly pays homage to METALLICA’s "Battery" by starting slow and then going full-blown Thrash mayhem. It retains a groovy edge characteristic of the band, quite clear on the song’s bridge. John Pieroni gets to show-off by playing with metronomic dexterity, holding the track many tempo and mood changes together.

Closer "T.M. (You Paid The Price)" begins with the full-blown force of classic Thrash, adding enough Metal’n’Roll spice to keep it fresh. Its infectious riffing recalls MOTÖRHEAD most of the time. It is a fun ending track, brimming with swagger. Arthur Vinett shreds along, bringing the track home.

I know some people complain about the EP feeling a bit rushed, and maybe it is, but what I get is a sense of urgency that is really hard to replicate when you spend too much time on a record. Time does not equate quality, some recordings take a long time, others can be done with relative ease. Here, if there was any kind of rushing, it worked quite well for the material at play.

Overall, "Escape From Pain" is a solid EP that shows signs of the band evolving into a different sound and perfecting their technique, as well as the songwriting, that was a bit off on some tracks on "A Higher Form Of Killing". The hooks are there, too, adding replay value, and the band doesn’t lose their sense of fun and clear love of Classic Rock something showed by the CHICAGO cover.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. 25 Or 6 To 4
2. Escape From Pain
3. Cold-Blooded Killer
4. Kiss Of Death
5. T.M. (You Paid The Price)
Lineup:
James Hamilton – Vocals
Arthur Vinett – Guitars
Greg Messick – Guitars
Todd Nelson – Bass
John Pieroni – Drums
Record Label: Lusitanian Music (Grand Sounds PR)
     


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