Another gem from Swedish mastermind Peter Tagtgren
Tagtgren went crazy with his last side-project, teaming with Rammstein industrial icon Till Lindemann for the Lindemann debut. The industrial flavored sides of both bands merged into a surprisingly successful marriage between the two colleagues. Fresh off of that trip, Tagtgren takes another with the newest Pain release ‘Coming Home' (Nuclear Blast). It's not that surprising for Tagtgren to release another Pain album, after all it's the cycle. He does his death metal roots with a Hypocrisy record, followed by Pain and then rinse and repeat. But the biggest surprise here is the change in vocal styles.
Peter isn't screaming anymore.
Although he would probably dismiss clean vocals as the least of his three favorite styles (scream/growl) the guy can actually sing when he wants to. Whether he used assistance or not some of his clean singing and layered vocal harmonies are part of the charm of Hypocrisy, after all eerie is just as part of it as the aggression.
Opener "Designed to Piss You Off" is the first of four back to back songs that pick up the typical tongue in cheek humorous side of Pain. The starter slice has a weird "old west" riff that is slightly up tempo but still retains the heaviness. Peter's clean singing is evident right away and really helps make this song and others unique and refreshing. "Call Me" is the band's lead in single for the album, a duet with Peter and Sabaton singer Joakim Broden doing a little ode to gigolo. "A Wannabe" is straight up hard rock, like a weird culmination of freaked-out modern Crue crossed with bar-room groove. It's nuts, followed by the even weirder "Pain in the Ass", the last of the really humorous stuff.
"Black Night Satellite" is more down the self-titled Hypocrisy album route as Peter writes about every UFO conspiracy theater's favorite 13,000 years old alien satellite. It's a nice change into a more mature pace as the introspective "Coming Home" follows, seemingly Peter looking in the mirror. The second half has some pick-up as well on "Absinthe-Phoenix" and "Natural Born Idiot". The album ends with another slow paced flavor in "Starseed".
Peter Tagtgren is getting older and wiser as he revolves around the sun. We're getting old too watching him write and perform year in and year out. A testament to his abilities and seasoned veteran status is his son Sebastian Tagtgren, who steps in to help out with drums on the record, sort of the helping hand behind the fake ones. I believe as the two get older we'll see more and more of their partnership. After all it's a family affair with Tommy, Peter's brother, a long-time producer and engineer as well. It's a family that continues to provide a vast fortune for metal fans like myself.