Pro-Pain
The Age of Tyranny-The Tenth Crusade

Is it really the tenth album from Gary Meskill and co.?

Truth be told except for the debut, 1992’s Foul Taste of Freedom, I couldn’t recall any of the bands other 9 forgetful but blue collar albums, but only recently armed with the knowledge that Built Upon Frustation’s Eric Klingler has played guitars for Pro-Pain for a while now, has re-sparked my interest in this fossil of a band. And boy has Bush and the situation in the Middle East got Meskil fired up, as The Age of Tyranny-The Tenth Crusade is a damn good album; their best in quite some time.

Having been mixing thrash and hardcore since most of today’s current so called American Metal bands were in diapers, Pro-Pain are about as meat and potatoes as you can get, but (and I’ll admit, I don’t have too much of the back catalog to reference), The Age of Tyranny really sees Meskil opening up his influences and writing really good, catchy yet heavy songs that have a vast crossover appeal.

The first two tracks alone sum up the new album’s stance; opener “The New Reality” is as lean and mean of a song Meskil has written, including spite filled Meskil’s vocals. Then the second track “All For King George”, is about as catchy of a song he has penned, with a silly catchy, clean, almost choral chorus. This album is a pretty serious affair both musically and lyrically and that development aids ‘different’ tracks like the somber “Beyond the Pale” which features female vocals (rather effective one at that) and acoustics, and a track that Pro-Pain would simply have not have written 10 years ago. “Leveler” then sees the band really crank up the intensity and pure thrash for a surprisingly vitriolic number while anthemic closer “Live Free (or Die Trying)” I see as a future fan favorite and show closer.

Some of Pro-Pain’s more traditional burly, structures appear for the likes of “Three Minutes Hate”, “Heads Will Roll” “Iraqnam” and “Company Jerk” but there’s still a sublime and swarthy sense of growth, rage and even melody permeating Meskil’s familiar workman like riffs and approach. The end result is an almost career reviving album that’s seems to have seen Meskil brought back to life by the political strife that surrounds us.

Bring on the strife.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
May 31st, 2007

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