Pro-Pain - Prophets Of Doom - 2005 - Candlelight Records
1. Neocon 2. UnAmerican 3. Hate Marches On 4. One World Ain't Enough 5. Getting Over 6. Operation Blood For Oil 7. Torn 8. Death Toll Rises 9. Prisoner, The 10. Days Of Shame
Back at it again, marching into the most wind-swept battlefields, a war-torn soundstage of the most battle hardened extremes, Pro-Pain now hitting the lines and pushing everything forward once again. In a time and place where everything seems to be pushed harder and harder for mainstream acceptance, these fire fisted New Yorkers just continue their persona, to simply lay down the most elemental of attacks, a basic understanding of what is needed to survive in the aggressive thrash genre. Really that is where Pro-Pain lives, in fact they have been there for thirteen years, carrying on in grand style and never compromising their fan base. They simply march forward, chest held high, always carrying on the most brutal and punishing of sounds with consistency and perfect procedure.
"Prophets Of Doom" marks the eighth studio recording for the group and second for new label Candlelight Records. Pro-Pain now enjoying a new home after spending time with Spitfire Records, a label that saw three releases for the band. Interesting to see Pro-Pain line up with Candlelight, as the majority of the label's material should be catered to this type of fan following. This should be the perfect marriage and one that will hopefully re-introduce the group to a whole new legion of fans. That is really where I am at, with most of Pro-Pain's back catalogue simply escaping me. With this new album in my hands I must say that I feel very weak for missing the boat for so many years.
This is just an intense record from start to finish. Pro-Pain have built their career around a tough, street crime mentality. With "Prophets Of Doom" I don't hear that street-ready persona anymore. It is indeed a pleasure to see the band sort of wipe the slate clean in regards to that element, of course still sounding harsh and weathered but not really falling prey to the bitter urban mentality. This is a far bigger step this time, with the act simply going back to basics. Here you will find the most groove heavy riffs of the band's career, all neatly centered around Sabbath's flavor for big block hooks and massive carry through. At times the band really seems to keep 80s thrash at heart, following the codes of Slayer and Blessed Death while still keeping a certain power metal philosophy neatly tucked away for flash and appeal. This is the first release to feature new drummer J.C. Dwyer, who in my opinion really helps out this band's tight delivery. I loved his work with prior band Paingod and it seems like Pro-Pain is going to be the best place to expose his skills.
Like most of today's more aggressive records, "Prophets Of Doom" is a very bold and in your face political message. Gary Meskil and company really firing off on the war in Iraq and our nation's current goals and priorities. The record sounds very angry and sinister, but at the same time it keeps an easy-to-jam type of feel to it. This isn't something that needs to be played when nerves and mind are strained and stressed. No it really goes beyond that, really going into that fun thrash mode made famous by the likes of Anthrax, Forbidden, Testament, and Slayer. Musically speaking I would say at this point that Pro-Pain are probably laying down the year's best riffs, just hitting on all cylinders and delivering a bottom-heavy groove that just absorbs everything. From the "Children Of The Grave" type of waltz on "Hate Marches On" to the dynamic leads on "UnAmerican", the band just simply blister the competition, taking into effect all things lean and mean and adding in those huge barrels of grit and determination. This is where the talent and ability lies, with these guys hell-bent on pushing the envelope, but never to the point of getting disruptive or compromised. No, Pro-Pain are right on track here with "Prophets Of Doom", easily one of their finest records to date.
About this Writer: Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has contributed to MaximumMetal.com since it's conception in 2003. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia. You can also find him on his paperbackwarrior.com blog discussing all things action and adventure.
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