IN PAIN “The Thing From the Grave”

By Dr. Abner Mality

I love the chainsaw HM-2 sound of vintage Swedish death metal as much as anybody who haunts the crypts of extreme metal and boy, do you get a lot of it with these guys. What makes IN PAIN more authentic than most is that none other than TOMAS SKOGSBERG himself, the man who originated that guts-churning tone decades ago, is manning the boards for IN PAIN. As for the band, they actually got their start in 1992, when they were part of a veritable flood of bandwagon-jumpers looking to get into the then red hot genre.

This album has got zero pretension towards being anything other than pure Stockholm death metal worship of the most vintage kind. Every track here is literally humming with that raw chainsaw sound. If I had to compare IN PAIN to one of the more well-known Swe-death bands, I think it would have to be GRAVE. The songs are based on easy, crunching riffs that are morbid but painless (ironic, I know) to get into. “Predators of Death” starts with classic GRAVE-like gore and on we go from there. “Witchcraft” has got such a cool loping groove to it, it’s indescribable. “Kill” and “Cannibal Feast” are two more tracks that stand out for their utter barbarity yet their pure listenability.

To be honest, the album is ridiculously old hat when it comes to subject matter. On “Predators of Death”, we get the news report from “Night of the Living Dead” for about the 5000th time. Come on, man, that shit was old 20 years ago. At least try to put some kind of twist to it. Although I gotta admit, the Bernie Wrightson fan in me loves the zombie on the cover art. The vocals are also extremely generic and sound like every other Swedish death metal growler.

But oh man, that guitar tone! With the master Mr. Skogsberg turning the knobs, you just can’t go wrong if you love that classic HM-2 death metal sound. On that level, IN PAIN absolutely succeeds.