Pain Is The Game

Written by: PP on 23/10/2006 18:48:51

With the Hatesphere vocalist Jacob Bredahl fronting and Denmark's best producer Tue Madsen mixing and mastering, in theory Allhelluja should be able to do very little to fail, but yet they come frighteningly close to average as their sophomore album "Pain Is The Game" establishes. One can only stop and admire the versatility Jacob possesses, as evident on here and on the Hatesphere albums. On the latter, he screams his heart out on ultra-heavy metal with brutal breakdowns and few melodic intervals, while on the former he uses a much clearer vocal style that suits the different sound perfectly.

Let me get this straight right away; "Pain Is The Game" is groovy as f*ck. "Superhero Motherfucker Superman"'s fast revolving riffs make you wanna dance on the spot, rotating around yourself like a maniac banging your head likewise to the fast rhythms and catchy choruses. Many of the songs on the record rely on alarmingly similar riffs, but when it sounds this groovy, you can't help but love 'em. The positive attribute about this is the central theme it creates, the overall feel and sound of the album that you can instantly recognize of being Allhelluja's. This impression is of course decidedly helped by Jacob's characteristic vocal yells and screams that by now every reader of this site should be familiar of (given the amount of coverage we've given to his main band Hatesphere in the recent months), and with your mind's eyes it's easy to see Jacob running around the stage hyperactively yelling "SUPERHERO MOTHERFUCKER SUPERMAN" with a giant grin on his face.

On the surface the album seems fine. Perhaps not great, but without major flaws or fillers. Tue Madsen has chosen the production to be less crystal-clear than on Himsa's "Hail Horror" for instance, and less brutal than on Sick Of It All's "Death To Tyrants", and mastered it to sound slightly messy at times. The fretting that's clearly audible obviously gives the groove much more strength, but at the cost of reducing the sharp effect the riffs otherwise could have on you. On "Soul Man", Tue and the band somewhat oddly choose parts of Jacob's great vocals to be recorded over a microphone without enough range, breaking it into similar kind of feedback-distorted noise you get out of your stereo when you turn the equalizer settings all the way to the top. These however are just minor flaws and not enough to signify a huge drop in ratings for the album.

But what does have significance is the lack of direction on the album. After giving it a good couple of spins I'm still unsure of what exactly the band is trying to achieve here. Do they JUST want to make a groovy album? Or do they want to incorporate metal elements into to create some kind of new genre-cross over, or is it just a fun side-project that's designed to give Jacob an inspirational break from the brutality of Hatesphere? Whatever the reason is, not much else is achieved than a more metallic version of dirty rock 'n roll bands like Motörhead and Kyuss, but as evident already in the debut album, the band and "Pain Is The Game" seem more like a drunken 'lets get some noise out' project than serious efforts. There is lots of noise and activity going on but little substance and meaning to it all. Fine for a couple of listens, but tiresome thereafter.

Download: Superhero Motherfucker Superman
For the fans of: Motörhead, Kyuss
Listen: Myspace

Release date 25.09.2006
Provided by Target ApS

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