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Straight To Pain - Cycles Award winner

Straight To Pain
by Joseph Hausmann at 13 January 2020, 10:15 PM

Formed in 2009 STRAIGHT TO PAIN has released their sophomore album “Cycles” on October 25th 2019 through Hellbones Records. Based out of Italy, this five-piece Melodic Death infused with Metalcore brings an interesting sound to both genres. They blend a variety of different influences and elements to create a unique sound that is refreshing to both genres. When it comes to Italian bands, they are generally on the leading edge of experimentation with genres and STRAIGHT TO PAIN is no different. They definitely do not take the standard approach when it comes to their music.

“Recalling Lifetime” is intro piece for “Cycles”. This track has a synth melody reminiscent of the 80s. Layered upon that melody is a melodic guitar solo that has an almost haunting feel. The guitar fades away and the synth melody picks up speed before transitioning into the next song. “Shaping The Existence” continues the synth melody from the first track but with heavier distorted guitars to bring the weight of their core sound into the mix. They employ the use of two vocal tracks, one low range and one mid-range. This gives the track a much more intense ferocious feel than if they were to just use the standard of one vocalist. This also brings an interesting and heavy balance between the vocal work and instrumentals.

“Superior Condition” sees the band transition to more of a Metalcore sound but it is not overt. It is a subtle transition that does use clean singing but more at a mid-range clean than the normal higher pitched singing that is used in the majority of Metalcore. This makes them unique in this regard and they still attain the sound without sacrificing their Melodic Death roots. The guitar work throughout this track and the entire album is ridiculous and masterfully done. Harmonious guitar solos fade out the track.

“Rith The Awakener” shows off STRAIGHT TO PAIN’s Melodic Death side. They return to brutal, deep vocals and driving instrumentals but they also leave the clean singing in there. Again, not a common attribute that you see from Melodic Death metal. The further into this album that I went, the more impressed I became with the guitar work. “Before The Abyss” is their interlude and midway point in the album. The synth melodies return with more of a haunting atmospheric feel. Overlaid on the ambient melodies, there is acoustic guitar work. “Down At The Roots Of The World” continues with the previous tracks melody but they really open up the brutality of that melody. This song holds on to a melancholic feel that is more prominent in this track. Earlier in the album that layer was there but it was more hidden.

There are a couple more tracks on “Cycles” but you should experience them for yourself. The one thing that really caught my ear about STRAIGHT TO PAIN was the ability to sustain a continuity of melodies throughout the album while still adapting them to the individual track. That gives this album as a whole a story like presence and gives the album a firm foundation for the listener. Like I said earlier this band really takes meshing genres together to give the listener a very unique experience. It also gives STRAIGHT TO PAIN a very original sound that a vast variety of fans from many aspects of Metal can enjoy thoroughly. They did one hell of a job creating this album and I would highly recommend giving “Cycles” a listen…or two….ok definitely three!

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Recalling Lifetime
2. Shaping The Existence
3. Superior Condition
4. Rith The Awakener
5. Before The Abyss
6. Down At The Roots Of The World
7. The Messengers
8. Beyond The Origin
9. To The Brightest Star
Simone Luise - Vocals
Marco Salvadori - Guitars
Thomas Laratta - Guitars
Stefano Ravera - Drums
Andrea Core - Bass
Record Label: Hellbones Records


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