The eights full-length studio album from Hypocrisy maestro Peter Tägtgren under the Pain moniker drops a year on from his controversial collaborative effort with Rammstein's Till Lindemann and a full five years since the last Pain effort 'You Only Live Twice'. The new album, 'Coming Home' may be the result of a long path, but the Lindemann project must have been a good release for Tägtgren and he has returned perhaps bigger and better than ever.
Rather than sticking to the usual tried and tested Pain formula, Tägtgren flips things around a little throughout the album. Alternative metal, electronics and more overt orchestral elements converge in typically bombastic way. The opener 'Designed To Piss You Off' has a distinctive country rock flavour to its riff around which is a great incendiary chorus, but a more subtle display of power. This serves to heighten the effect of the next track 'Call Me' which is a brilliantly over the top blending of electronic and symphonic permeating a strong and identifiable Pain style core of thrashing industrial metal guitars. 'A Wannabe' then flips things around again with it's acoustic guitar lead set to electronic beats that gives way to a symphonic metal backbone.
The album has plenty of heavy metal meat to get your teeth stuck into with tracks such as 'Pain In The Ass', 'Black Night Satellite', 'Final Crusade', and 'Natural Born Idiot' that will appeal to fans of pains headbanging side. While the likes of 'Coming Home', 'Absinthe-Rising Phoenix', and 'Starseed' continue that more experimental flavour with more alternative rock elements coming to the fore.
The production is as strong as always, with Clemens “Ardekˮ Wijers of Carach Angren adding some finishing touches to add an extra dimension to Tägtgren's already strong work. The end result is an album that feels diverse, bombastic, and brimming with a manic creativity that is barely contained.
Peter Tägtgren's CV speaks for itself, and it is great to see that nearly 20 years on since Pain's eponymous début he can still pull something new and different out of the bag. 'Coming Home' is a huge sounding album, subtle in places, but with an uncompromisingly heavy backbone that will not only appeal to long-time fans but also certainly hook some newbs as well. People may be waiting with baited breath to see what moves Lindemann pulls next, but in the hear and now, Pain is flexing its own might.