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Painstaker - Terminal Velocity

Terminal Velocity
by H.P. Buttcraft at 17 June 2014, 1:30 PM

PAINSTAKER is back in 2014 for a great big LP called ’Terminal Ferocity’ shooting their Bavarian cream all over the place. Fronted by tough girl Charlie, PAINSTAKER bring the crust and boy, do they layer it on heavily. They are definitely alumni of the “old school” of heavy metal even if PAINSTAKER has only been around since 2011. They have done their best at polishing off a lot of older tones, voices and songs back to the 21st century.

But I just gotta ask… What in the hell is going on with this album cover? Giant anthropomorphic mouse giants burning up in the atmosphere of an alien planet while some dude’s just floating there, unafraid, playing a space horn… and what does all of this have anything to do with the band or how it sounds or the album title ‘Terminal Ferocity’? “Nothing?” Oh, ok then we’ll just move along now.

Terminal Ferocity’ is a thrashy, punky feel to it with a lot of dormant hostility that doesn’t translate well over the music. A “Fuck you attitude” doesn’t even begin to describe a lot of the attitude put into some of these songs. If you listen closely to the lyrics of the song “Hate For Breakfast”, it’s a song about the band gang-raping somebody. Now before you get all shocked and disgusted, you should probably know that this song was written by Charlie, PAINSTAKER’s female vocalist.

Knowing this in context really helps provide some explanation to this album and its lyrical direction. At first hear, I thought that PAINSTAKER was fronted by a rather low-energy teenage boy because the vocals lack any amount of crunch to match the distortion of the guitars. There’s no pretty female vocals on ‘Terminal Ferocity’ either, just straight up hollering, crossover punk-style yelling.
There’s clearly a big love for Swedish death metal from this band. The song “Tribute” is a mashup of three coversongs from TERRORIZER, GRAVE and EXHORDER and they even borrowed the solo from the ENTOMBED song “Hollowman” on their song “Milking A Dead Horse”. And this album is completely soaked in the dense metal tone of the Boss HM-2 Heavy Metal Distortion Pedal. It adds a distinct tone to the guitars. However good the riffs and tone are, with the vocals the way they are and the really Punk Rock moments in songs like “Dragrace” and “The Samson Complex”, I just don’t enjoy the way these songs sound.

I feel like a great record was somehow compromised by sub-par harsh vocals that, while would be great to see in a live setting, do not transfer over all too well on wax. If you are super into bands like BLACK BREATH, MUNICIPAL WASTE, SUICIDAL TENDANCIES and CANNIBIS CORPSE, you should try to give PAINSTAKER a listen.

2 Star Rating

1. Relationshit
2. Hate for Breakfast
3. Milking A Dead Horse
4. Macaroni Politics
5. Skank – feat. Phil (Combustion)
6. Live Healthy
7. Nothing You Can Do About It
8. Dragrace
9. Bloodsport
10. Pocoloco
11. Asshopper
12. The Samson Complex
13. Don’t Call Me Emo
14. Underground
15. Tribute
Charlie – Vocals
Haris – Guitars
Andi – Bass
Dani – Guitars
Kosta – Drums
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 10 June 2023

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