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Painful Pride - Lost Memories

Painful Pride
Lost Memories
by Anna Chase at 02 July 2017, 8:52 AM

 PAINFUL PRIDE definitely has a unique story as a melodic Hard Rock/Metal band. They’ve been around for quite a while- since 1983- and released their first demo, “Rehearsal,” in 1986. What’s surprising is that, despite touring throughout Europe and being active for a total of 24 years on and off, the band hasn’t released a single thing since ‘86… until now. They dropped “Lost Memories” in February of 2017, and it’s clear that the band has poured decades of work into what is their first full-length album in their extensive career of playing music throughout Europe. They’re from Sweden, which is notorious for being the birthplace of huge Heavy Metal acts like OPETH, IN FLAMES, and MESHUGGAH- unlike these bands, though, PAINFUL PRIDE never really rose to the same level of fame. They’ll probably never be a household name- however, given the somewhat shocked and pleasantly surprised reactions their new album received, they probably would’ve had more success if they had released more music during their heyday in the 80’s.

“Visions” opens with a traditional Hard Rock riff, before diving into chugging rhythm guitar and Ljungqvist’s soaring melody in the chorus. He doesn’t have the classic Rock n’ Roll voice- his vocals are surprisingly clean, actually- but he packs enough of a punch with the sheer power of his voice that it doesn’t make a difference. It’s pretty obvious, even in the first track, that those decades of work weren’t for nothing. “A Thousand Lies” starts with a slightly melancholy riff and isolated vocals before shocking the listener with a blast of distorted guitar and drums. Metal drummers always impress me with their boundless energy, and Pettersson is no exception- the man is a machine on the drums, and can’t be matched in the complexity he brings. The solo shreds, the chorus is catchy as hell, and the riffs mix together in perfect harmony- all of the essential elements of a great Metal song. In “Into the Fire,” the band decides to shake things up a bit with what else but bird and airplane noises. I was a bit confused at first, but the rest of the track is a blast of chugging bass, distorted guitar, and Pettersson’s relentless attack of drumbeats. This song is 100% classic Heavy Metal- quite honestly, it could be right up there with any IRON MAIDEN or JUDAS PRIEST song. The different rhythms and melodies they introduce here keep the song consistently shifting and they demand the listener’s full attention. “Heal Me” introduces a sound that’s almost bordering on punk. It’s a lot heavier than the previous tracks, and the layered, slightly sinister vocals give the whole track a darker tone. This was definitely one of my favorite tracks on the album, especially due to the contrast between the brighter, RAMONES-esque chorus and the thumping, gritty guitar riffs in the verses. “Sands of Time” takes a page from METALLICA’s book in “For Whom the Bell Tolls” and open this beast of a track with ringing bells before they blast into an aggressive drumbeat and electrifying guitar riff. The chorus is blissfully catchy, the solo is at the speed of light, and although PAINFUL PRIDE is technically categorized as Hard Rock, I think that this song undoubtedly establishes them as pure Heavy Metal.

“What You Give is What You Get” is a strangely dreamy, melodic blast of energy which reaches its climax as Ljungqvist snarls “lying and cheating… defying, mistreating…” Overall, this surprisingly energetic song hides an undertone of thinly-veiled aggression which gives the track a slight element of delicious danger. This is only exaggerated by the squealing guitar riffs and pounding drums behind it all. “Somewhere” takes on that traditional 80’s vibe with chugging, percussive guitars and a powerful lead melody. This was another one of my favorite songs- the rhythm twisted and turned around the vocals in order to create a complex and powerful harmony. This track definitely drew elements from older Heavy Metal bands, but played with the tone and rhythm in order to make it their own. “Fires” is a heavy, distortion-packed, ripper of a track which chugs along and meshes with the drums to form a kickass melody that makes it impossible to not headbang. The vocals float over the heavy instrumentals in the chorus to create a perfect contrast, and juxtapose the melody of the guitars without making the track too light. “Die for Me” definitely sounds like it could be an IRON MAIDEN track- however, it’s heavier- and dare I say more complex- than a lot of the MAIDEN riffs I’ve heard. While I questioned Ljungqvist’s clean vocals at first, I think they provide the perfect contrast to the distorted, Speed Metal-influenced guitar and drums, and especially in this song he demonstrates the power he can get without screaming. The rippling solo in this song is especially impressive, and cuts the rest of the song with a short blast of brightness. The title track, “Lost Memories,” is coincidentally the last track as well, and opens with a haunting acoustic riff and eerie, monotone vocals. I get the point of this track- it’s a reflection for the band, and takes the place of a ballad, but I didn’t love the opening. I was actually losing interest until about 2 minutes in when it finally drove itself into the chugging guitar riffs and forceful vocals I had gotten used to. I did love the rhythm here- it was unique, galloping, and could’ve made a perfect song without what I thought was a drawn-out, unnecessary intro. In general, I’m very impressed with PAINFUL PRIDE and I think that if they needed 30 years to crank out an album this good, I’m willing to wait. They walk the tightrope between Hard Rock and Heavy Metal, and do something that’s hard- bringing in influences from 80’s Metal without sounding recycled or repetitive. Overall, I think that this album is definitely worth a listen- it bridges so many eras and genres that it’s impossible not to like.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 7
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Visions
2. A Thousand Lies
3. Into the Fire
4. Heal Me
5. Sands of Time
6. What You Give is What You Get
7. Somewhere
8. Fires
9. Die For Me
10. Lost Memories
Peter Nilsson- Bass
Matthias Pettersson- Drums
Tommy Carlström- Guitar, backing vocals
Örjan Härdig- Guitar, backing vocals
Peter Ljungqvist- Vocals
Record Label: No Remorse Records


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Edited 01 June 2023

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