Album Review: Pain – I Am (Nuclear Blast)

Pain, the Swedish industrial project helmed by Peter Tägtgren will release their highly anticipated new album ‘I Am’ on May 17th via Nuclear Blast Records.

The lack of boundaries within Pain should be evident by now, and even though it’s been eight long years since the last release, the mantra that ‘anything goes’ with this project is still clear. I Am is not one thing or the other, aside from being rooted in an industrial soundscape. Listeners will hear everything from groovy club-style bangers, heavy riff-driven intense efforts, haunting melancholy-focused listens, and so much more across the eleven tracks of I Am.

It makes for an exciting and eccentric listen, and one that is very enjoyable. Beginning in heart-racing and head-banging fashion with the crashing industrial beats of I Just Dropped By (to say goodbye) as Pain brings the energy in memorable style. Although, memorability is what this album is all about and the drama-laced synthy effort of Don’t Wake the Dead hits that bar too. A track with a very big anthemic chorus.

Talking the crown for the catchiest track on the album though is Go With the Flow, which finds Pain combining goth-infused industrial rhythms with body-shaking synth, and a clear desire to create a singalong. Something that works exceptionally well, with it being one of the more accessibly pleasing listens of the album.

There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, nor is there anything wrong with the contagious chorus of Not for Sale (who isn’t going to be shouting “suck my balls” out loud!?) or the beloved ‘party’ anthem that is Party in my Head. This latter track might be the most popular track Pain have ever put out, and while it doesn’t have the depth or detail of much of the rest of the album, there’s on denying its lovable anthemic and super-accessible vibes.

It’s time though for Pain take things to a moodier place with the title track, yet even then this track has a big chorus. Whereas Push the Pusher brings the energy back with a brash combo of riffs and hyperactive electronica. Another likely firm favourite of those who live and breathe Pain.

How about the super synths of The New Norm though? Or the manic speed and heavy groove of Revolution? A pair of late album bangers that continues to show how varied this album is, and how creative Pain are.

Leading to a pair of wonderfully melodic and melancholic tracks to close things out. First, My Angel, where guest vocals from Cecile Simeone adds a lot. Playing off the deeper voice of Peter Tägtgren impressively. Then, Fair Game, that has a delightful cinematic edge and grows in grandeur as it goes on. Of the pair, it’s the latter that stands out more, but they’re both really strong tracks, regardless.

Which sums up the album perfectly, it’s strong all over, with some absolute bangers and all being mostly memorable. Pain are back and time hasn’t diminished their capabilities one bit.

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Pain – I Am Track Listing:

1. I Just Dropped By (to say goodbye)
2. Don’t Wake The Dead
3. Go With The Flow
4. Not For Sale
5. Party In My Head
6. I Am
7. Push The Pusher
8. The New Norm
9. Revolution
10. My Angel
11. Fair Game


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  • Carl Fisher

    Owner/Administrator/Editor/Writer/Interviewer/YouTuber - you name it, I do it. I love gaming, horror movies, and all forms of heavy metal and rock. I'm also a Discworld super-fan and love talking all things Terry Pratchett. Do you wanna party? It's party time!

Pain - I Am (Nuclear Blast)
  • The Final Score - 7.5/10
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