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Pain – Coming Home Award winner

Coming Home
by Erika Kuenstler at 20 September 2016, 3:25 PM

Swedish mastermind Peter Tägtgren has long been hailed as one of the most talented Metal musicians and producers around, working together with a slew of bands, all the way from SABATON to CHILDREN OF BODOM, all whilst playing in numerous other projects such as HYPOCRISY and LINDEMANN. Despite this daunting schedule, and a full two decades after its inception, Peter's hobby project PAIN, is back this year with “Coming Home”, unleashing the eighth full-length album five years after its predecessor “You Only Live Twice”.

From the get-go, “Coming Home” treats us to an explosion of experimental elements, featuring facets that have as yet not been explored before. Starting off with the audacious “Designed to Piss You Off”, an irresistible Bluesy melody complete with grooves that will go straight to your feet, this song delivers a resounding unexpected punch, and gives us a first glimpse at what Peter's son Sebastian can do on the drums. This leads to the memorable “Call Me”, featuring vocal work from Joakim Brodén of SABATON and stunning orchestra arrangements, unmistakably courtesy of Clemens Wijers from CARACH ANGREN. Before you listen to this song, be warned: you will most assuredly have this sinuous song insidiously stuck in your head for days. The up side of this is it gives you a chance to catch onto the multitude of hidden facets that might not be so obvious on the firsts few listens. Strumming guitars lead us into “A Wannabe”: a softer yet relentless melody that marches ever on, embellished by majestic orchestral parts. But just as things start to feel a bit slow, the pace gets taken up a notch. “Pain in the Ass” and “Black Knight Satellite” are both bombastic and intensely powerful songs, dancing on the fine brink between melody and heaviness. At the pinnacle of the album we have the title song “Coming Home”, a more melancholic song encapsulating the nostalgia of home. Worried yet that you're not getting enough of your dose of Industrial madness? Then look no further than “Absinthe Phoenix Rising”: this song, written about that time the band was assaulted in Germany, incorporates an almost sleazy tune with some headspinningly trippy moments. “Final Crusade” on the other hand starts out with a monstrous intro, turning this lithely into a catchy swaying song that mixes in unexpected breakdowns, emphasised all the more by a resonating growl at the end. Penultimately we have “Natural Born Idiot”, its thunderous atmosphere being tempered by spacey orchestral sections and bizarre experimental moments. Closing off the album is the ethereal, epic, and lonely “Starseed”: a slower song that speaks of the yearning for a far-away home among the stars. After all, it wouldn't be Peter Tägtgren if there were no extraterrestrial moments.

As to the production of this album, it's Peter Tägtgren's work, needing nothing further said to attest to its excellence. Granted, this release is not exactly ground breaking or boundary defying, and may follow a pretty scattered lyrical theme, but who the hell cares? Peter has once again managed to weave together a catchy blend of styles that really shouldn't be mixed, resulting in a fresh, well thought-out opus that is one of the crowning jewels of PAIN's discography. Be sure to catch PAIN on their current European Tour if you can; I know I certainly can't wait!

Memorability: 9
Songwriting: 8
Production: 9
Originality: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Designed to Piss You Off
2. Call Me
3. A Wannabe
4. Pain in the Ass
5. Black Knight Satellite
6. Coming Home
7. Absinthe-Phoenix Rising
8. Final Crusade
9. Natural Born Idiot
10. Starseed
Peter Tägtgren - Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Keyboards
Record Label: Nuclear Blast Records


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