By Dr. Abner Mality

I don’t doubt for a minute that Dutch band Purest of Pain put their heart and soul into this record. I just can’t get into it that much. A lot of that I can just chalk up to stylistic differences. They play a very modern sounding type of metal that straddles melodic death like Soilwork and In Flames and typical radio metal. That’s just not my thing. And although “Solipsis” is extremely well played and has interesting moments, a lot of it strikes me as just too boilerplate.

It’s pretty well stuffed at 14 songs and my interest only really perked up at song #7, “Tidebreaker”, which is a quite bracing cross between black metal and modern melodic death metal. Some very interesting riffs and ideas here.  “Trial_Error” and the oddly melodic “Terra Nil” also had their moments. But a lot of it just seems faceless and by the numbers. Songs like “Phantom Limb” and “Crown of Worms” just kind of lumber by with oh so typical chunka-chunka riffs and homogenized harsh vocals. There is the potential for quite an interesting band here, but they are tethered to what seem “expected” of them. The result is kind of a blander Soilwork.

If you do like that Soilwork or Children of Bodom type sound, maybe Purest of Pain is for you. I just know it’s not really for me.