Pain – You Only Live Twice (Nuclear Blast Records)

Friday, 22nd March 2013
Rating: 7.5/10

The reason why Hypocrisy has been so inactive is because of Pain. Across the pond, Pain outsells Hypocrisy and is a commercially-viable act, which means we won’t fault main Pain/Hypocrisy-dude Peter Tagtgren for going with what’s currently clicking…and is more popular. And it’s not like Pain sucks (Hypocrisy is better, however), and on You Only Live Twice, there’s even more to like about the band’s very Euro and keyboard-dominated industrial metal sound.

With a rash of quick and punchy songs at his disposal, Tagtren gets things started with the hyper “Let Me Out,” a song that displays a death metal-like intensity, only it’s not really death metal. Lead single “Dirty Woman” evokes AC/DC at its most dirty, while the throbbing “The Great Pretender” manages to work in spite of its techno/Marilyn Manson vibe, something Morbid Angel should take some notes on.

Parallels to Hypocrisy are here in spots, specifically on the title track, “You Only Live Twice.” Here, the keyboard swaths bear resemblance to Hypocrisy’s epic self-titled album in 1999, an album that saw Tagtren employ layers upon layers of atmosphere to quite the effect. With Pain, it’s simply scaled-back, and it’s also evident on “We Want More” and “Monster.”

Pain can only benefit Hypocrisy; it doesn’t apply the other way around, unfortunately. Tagtgren and co. have the Euro industrial metal market cornered at the present time, and on You Only Live Twice, they add another notch in their belt. Granted, Pain is totally overlooked on these shores, but a fella as tenacious as Tagtgren won’t be denied for much longer, regardless of how much the death metal world would salivate over a regularly active Hypocrisy.

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