"Absolute Power"

by Solomon G

Please - Unrestrain Yourselves!

Original, old-school hardcore/metal crossover stalwarts, Pro-Pain, return with another in a long series of super-sturdy, dependable grumblings from the underground to fuel your own personal mosh-pit.

Originally rising from the ashes of '80s NYHC legends, Crumbsuckers, Pro-Pain has averaged a little less than an album or so per year since founding in the early '90s. For people who might gripe that their material sounds a little same-y over the course of years, I have to say in return that they are missing the point entirely. Along with bands, such as Cro-Mags and Agnostic Front, nobody else can lay claim to this sound with as much authenticity. You're basically tapping into the source here.

That being said, Absolute Power - while not striking out in a completely unexpected direction - is a new high from a production standpoint. Working closely with an outside producer for the first time in over a decade (V.O. Pulver - Destruction, GURD, Phased, et al), the new stuff shimmers in imaginative ways: lots of unexpectedly tasty guitar shadings around the (dangerously sharp) edges, and some of the most killer drum tracks you'll hear anywhere in this band's prodigious repertoire. And, as always, it's all about true song-writing chops and killer delivery - not campy gimmicks and extemer extreme extremeness that is oh-so-important these days.

Basically, at the center of it all is bass-man/singer, Gary Meskil, and his long-time road-dog, guitarist Tom Klimchuck. The sound they make (here with Marshall Stephens on rhythm guitar and the excellent Rick Halverson on drums) leavens it's brutality with melody in a way that compromises neither [guest shots by Schmier from Destruction (guitar on Stand My Ground), and Giannai Pontillo of Pure Inc. with Inga from Pulver (backing voc.'s on Going Rogue (I Apologize))]. So to all you new kids out there with either (or especially both) of the 'metal' and/or 'core' in your band's musical description, here's what you do: shut up and sit down while Pro-Pain gives you a little lesson in how it's done.

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, in conclusion - if you're not as pissed off as Pro-Pain (and Solomon G) regarding the situation at home and abroad, you are simply not paying attention. And should you wish to know more - and you should - shut your Facebook, crack open a newspaper(!) and crank up Pro-Pain's Absolute Power. Ol' Sol wouldn't steer ya wrong, now would I?