Painted In Exile
Revitalized EP

Without fail, the same thing happens at the end of every year; I submit my year end picks to various outlets, only to have a release cross my path that would have made the list. In this case the second self released EP from Long Island’s Painted In Exile would have hands down been the best EP of 2009, if not certainly one of the best self released efforts I heard in 2009. (Thanks to Infinite Death for the recommendation)

The most immediate and viable comparison for this stunning 3 song, 27 minute release is Between the Buried and Me; scatter shot, intricate and progressive metal with lots going on from jazzy interludes, rap, and a bit more emphasis than BTBAM on rumbling death metal vocals and grooves.

With a the same cacophony of sweeping, arpeggios, stuttering rhythms, synths, dreamy tangents and a mix of growls and svelte clean croons from Rob Richards, Revitalized is a consistently morphing listen that will garner the same levels as love or hate as BTBAM due to the constant shifting of styles. That being said, Painted In Exile are not quite as adventurous as BTBAM (there’s no 14 minute songs, circus music or country ho downs), as each of the three songs do stick to a somewhat more structured formula and have more of a tech death metal backbone akin to the likes The Faceless and Born of Osiris. In fact, I hope Sumerian Records is reading this….(or maybe Victory/Prosthetic Records?).

All three tracks are chock full of lurching loping riffage, soulful singing, melodic solos and rumbling discordance that all cones together in something far more engaging, epic and memorable than the Sumerian Records roster and none of it seems forced or trend hopping. Richards’ clean vocals are engaging without being too emo (they are more prog/power metal than anything), and the acoustic/synth tangents are well placed without sounding piecemeal such as 5:30 of “Revitalized”, early sections of “Distance by Dissonance” (which is followed by a brutal blast beat). However, a real curveball opens “Skylines” with a rap metal intro before the song careens into a vortex of tech metal then a languid lounge-core tangent – but it all works here. As with most music of this style, the musicianship is flawless and the production is pro quality. The only issue will be can fans stomach the vast array of styles on display, even when blended as seamlessly and brilliantly as it is here.

I have not been this blown away by a band like this since I first heard BTBAM, Lye By Mistake, early The Number 12 Looks Like You or DEP. And the fact this is self released (with a version available from itunes for a mere $4) makes it even more mind blowing.

I hope someone at a decent label takes notice, cos these guys should blow up anytime now.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
January 5th, 2010


  1. Commented by: AARONIUS

    I love BTBAM so your review intrigued me. I did check out the song they have on their myspace which is pretty good, except for the fact that it is pretty much Between the Buried and me worship (like you said without the country ho-down weirdness BTBAM have started doing recently).

    Then I checked out the lyrics they had posted for the 3 songs on the ep, and more specifically the song Skylines………..seriously?

    I’m sorry but how can these guys not be laughed at like Limp Bizkit?

    I really don’t consider myself a musical snob, but to me those seemed like stupid lyrics, and in fact seemed so stupid to me that I am now not interested in listening to this band at all. (I’m sure the members of P.I.E will weep openly)

    I’m just asking the question, is it worth suffering through horribly written lyrics just because they’re a decent band?

    I will give them credit though for being able to get “bitches” to call them Gandalf (I love Lord of the Rings).

  2. Commented by: Sal

    AARONIUS you and every other idiot doesn’t realize that the rap is a fucking joke.Iam from the same town as thes guys and am good friends with them. It was them having fun just saying “hahah fuck it we are back”. The music is incredible so stop with your BTBAM blowing. BTBAM is good but every song is the same thing. Stop being so close minded. You just aren’t ready for new talented music.

  3. Commented by: Brandon Reinhart

    The lyrics are, I think, meant to be funny not serious. They seem to mimic the cornball lyrical style of the musical form they are working with at the time. So the lyrics for the death metal sections are death metal cheese and the rap sections are rap cheese. Works for me.

    As metalheads don’t we all sort of build up an immunity to garbage lyrics, anyway?

  4. Commented by: Infinite Death

    This is excellent Erik…accurate comparisons to other bands as well. I’m really glad you ended up reviewing this. Every piece of exposure they get will surely be good for them.

  5. Commented by: yupyup

    AARONIUS. the beginning lyrics to skylines are a joke. the talent that this band has is insane.their drummer / guitar players are the best i have herd in this genre of music in a long time. the lyrics to all the songs are very well written. their knowledge of all music fields is also a breath of fresh air. curb the ignorance. jazz influenced metal is going to be huge. and this band did it perfect. great review. amazing band. keep it up painted, you guys will make it big.

  6. Commented by: blastmeat

    we’ll a few of you have said it already but yes the beginning of skylines is meant to be fun. How anyone could have anything bad to say about this band is just unreal. If you like and respect bands such as BTBAM and the faceless then you should have no problem listening to such a talented band that is painted in exile. their singer has the best untrained voice out there , whether it be clean vocals or not. drummer is off the charts. strings shred it up. and the keys just tie it all together. also their keyboard player is not just one of their friends that they threw in the band for a ride like alot of these bands do today . i can point out a few bands with very untalented keyboard players that just want a spot in a band. keys go overlooked a lot thats why i am just pointing out his talent.

  7. Commented by: BKaz

    I think I can speak for alot of people in that we were waiting for something like this for a while. In my honest opinion this has transcended acts like The Faceless and Born of Osiris (and even BTBAM quite frankly), and P.I.E has righteously conquered (or rather “pioneered”) this entire style of music with a 27 minute EP (and this is not an easy task by any means). The EP isn’t some sumerian-flauntfest; it has depth, originality, brutality, grace, and even a sense of playfulness that coexists with dark and brooding sincerity. The heavy sections are downright blistering and groovy, and the jazz/progressive sections (favorite example being 2:45 on “Distanced by Dissonance”)have a great fluid dynamic and they’re overall tastefully done.

    P.I.E makes pretty much every big-name scene act look like a fuckin’ joke, and I’ll say that this EP is the only metal material that I’ve spun since I gotten ahold of it on its online release date. It’s smart, fresh, and exactly what we needed.

    *As a final note too, if you are discarding your interest or P.I.E’s talent because of the beginning rap section of “Skylines”, then you are genuinely a critical, close-minded and elitist douchefuck

  8. Commented by: Lappo

    This band makes me angry; so much wasted potential. They are clearly extremely awesome at their instruments. Even some of the parts they write are pretty great (particularly the jazz and clean bits).

    But as a whole, their “compositions” are such dogshit. It’s as if they compiled 100 different ideas, separated them randomly into 3 piles, and then turned each pile into a “song”. PIE doesn’t have its own sound. Their music is an unfocused, incoherent mish-mash of ideas that make prior pioneers of genre-salad-surgery (Unexpect, BTBAM with their latest efforts, etc) look like pop artists by comparison.

    If they held on to their better ideas and expanded on them with coherent motifs, weeding out things like excessive forced chugging sections that plague and define every ‘technical/progressive deathcore’ band out there today, perhaps they could come up with something worthwhile.

    2009’s releases from Into the Moat, Starring Janet Leigh, A Textbook Tragedy, among others are examples of how to make smart technical metal/hardcore music that is progressive, but focused.

    Focus–it’s what this band lacks.

  9. Commented by: stinkbox

    I agree with lappo and arronius. Definitely a ridiculous amount of BTBAM influence in there. I am not impressed with the orchestration whatsoever, and the rap is pretty silly. However, these kids are unbelievably talented and I think that once they find there niche they will completely blow everyone away hopefully with the next cd.

  10. Commented by: shaolinlambkiller

    I went and listened. I liked it enough to buy the most recent ep.

    I hated the rap shit at the begining of skylines, but it didn’t ruin the entire band for me. I don’t care if it was a joke or not.

    Other than that I’d look forward to another cd. hopefully without jokes or at least saved for an extra hidden track so I don’t have to listen to that at all.

  11. Commented by: AIMP

    these guys were our artist of the month awhile back. mad love for these guys. there really fucking good and talented

  12. Commented by: AARONIUS

    To each his own. I didn’t think I was being closed-minded or ignorant by stating my opinion.

    Personally joke or not, I don’t want to hear rapped lyrics that have nothing to say other than “look how funny it is to rap this stuff”. To me it seems unprofessional and something a young inexperienced band would do.

    If my opinion made you guys that crazy maybe the ignorance isn’t coming from my end at all.

    I simply choose not to listen to this particular band that’s my choice, if you don’t like it uh…tough luck I guess.

  13. Commented by: Marius

    I really don’t care about the lyrics when the music is so incredibly versatile and innovative! I was a little confused by the lyrics at first, too! but shit these guys are raising the bar for any progressive music in general so unbelievably high! at the moment I really enjoy their music a lot more than btbams, although I loved their last 3 albums a lot, too!! it’s crazy these guys haven’t got a deal! quite ridiculous! I gotta spread the word here overseas in germany! perhaps mike portnoy should just get a listen! seems he’s the guy for the REAL promotion!

  14. Commented by: Shane

    Painted in Exile has officially been offered a contract by “Metalblade Records” and the talks are ongoing with them. Expect big things from this band.

  15. Commented by: Matt

    Yes, Metalblade records has given Painted in Exile a contract. Wow that is awesome. Congrats guys!

  16. Commented by: Chris

    Painted in Exile has Officially been offered a contract from “Metalblade Records”. COngrats guys. DO BIG THINGS!

  17. Commented by: Bryan

    This band is amazing. The rap at the beginning is a fucking joke and people are taking it way too seriously. Listen through the entire song and after you finish picking your jaw off the floor you would have forgotten all about the rap.

  18. Commented by: Rob Richards

    You think The Rap’s Bad?! wait till next album When we not ONLY Rap…. But add Straight up Guido, Fist pumpin, jersey Shore, fake ass tan techno AHAHAHAHA it isent stoppin here! the non sense will continue … Painted in exile loves you all guys thanks for the support the love – Robert Jerome Richards III

  19. Commented by: D.N

    “Personally joke or not, I don’t want to hear rapped lyrics that have nothing to say other than “look how funny it is to rap this stuff”. To me it seems unprofessional and something a young inexperienced band would do.”

    They ARE a young and inexperienced band (most or all band members are under TWENTY I believe), cut them some slack. The rap section is a bit much for my taste as well, and I think it is risky to put a “joke” at the beginning of one of your songs when you are a new band and still searching for an identity. Many people may not get “the joke,” and using the word “nigga” in your rhymes is just plain ridiculous when the entire band is composed of suburban white kids.

    That aside, the band has MOUNTAINS of talent. When they focus their sound instead of just using every single cool thing they can think of per track, the result is going to be nothing short of amazing. Even now while lacking a bit of focus, they are original, creative and technically great. I’m from Long Island as well, and really looking forward to future shows from P.I.E as well as releases.

  20. Commented by: Muhahartin

    I fuckin looooove this band so much.. They totally encouraged me to write songs again! Which is a hard thing to do, because i almost gave up on metal.. For me almost any riff has been there before and thats why i love how they have this fuckin riffs and then you just dont hear them again until you listen to the whole song again. It may sound ideotic but thats what i’ve always been waiting for.. A fuckin 30 minute package of kick-ass tech-death riffs, flawless jazz-parts and fuckin brOotal breakdowns.

    Hands down.. best band i’ve heard since veil of maya

  21. Commented by: Muhahartin

    Sry for all the “fuckin”s.. i think i just overdid it a bit in my last comment ^^

  22. Commented by: PaullieOpps

    “Personally joke or not, I don’t want to hear rapped lyrics that have nothing to say other than ‘look how funny it is to rap this stuff’. To me it seems unprofessional and something a young inexperienced band would do.”

    While I do respect your opinion I whole-heartedly disagree. Are they a young and inexperienced band? Sure. Are they unprofessional? Not in the slightest bit. I think too much has been lost in this new era of progressive music. Bands such as Dream Theater and Between the Buried and Me have created such a stigma for “professional” playing that having a little bit of fun in songs is seen as “unprofessional”. Personally, I never want to listen to a band who takes themselves too seriously. I want a band who lives for their music and feels what they play. PIE exemplifies that. This is a band that enjoys what they do and wants nothing more than to create music for the masses and just plain ol’ have fun. Go ahead. Compare them to BTBAM. I’m sure they wouldn’t mind the compliment. These guys have what it takes to do great things.

    On a side note, listen to BTBAM’s old stuff. It does not even compare to albums such as Alaska, Colors, and The Great Misdirect. They grew as musicians as they got older and became influenced by bands as they grew, such as Dream Theater (which the influence can easily be seen after they toured with them). So the fact that the 20-somethings from PIE are drawing comparisons to BTBAM after their EP makes me incredibly thrilled to see what they do in the future.

    And one other side note. I don’t remember there being rules to progressive music. I think that is the whole beauty of it. If you want to write a song with lyrics about nothing and rap them, then go on ahead and do it. If you want to create a muddled mix of 10 second snippets of music and put it into a 9 minute song, then go for it. Progressive is the best genre because of the simple fact that it isn’t a genre. It isn’t confined to rules and regulations to abide by. Anything goes at anytime.

    One last side note. I love BTBAM and Dream Theater very much so I don’t want the first point to be misconstrued that they are too professional and don’t have any fun. They obviously do.


  23. Commented by: William Murphy

    I just want to thank everyone for supporting us and we hope to continue to write music that both our fans and ourselves love.

  24. Commented by: Gregasaghost

    These guys are incredible no matter what way you spin it. This review pretty much hit the nail on the head as far as their overall sound and style. What some of you people fail to realize is that this “rap-metal” part your all talking about in skylines is rather ingenious. Not only is it one thing that anyone can listen to no matter what their musical preference, but also, i can see this part selling big on itunes man. People love unexpected things like this, and it also gives us a feel on how the band is a good group of humorous guys. As for me, i give this whole EP a 10/10. These guys really put their all into it, and shelled out a fortune to record this record with Will, from The Machine Shop, which has recorded quite a few big name bands on huge labels. Can’t wait to see what these guys come up with next.

  25. Commented by: failed_drummer

    While I would agree that, at first, it does sound like a bit of a mess, repeated listens seem to make sense of the changes until you feel wrapped in a layer of skill and awesome sound. Love it.

    Also, this was the third metal album I ever bought, and I cannot think of a better way to start.

  26. Commented by: jerry

    you’re still yet to buy your 3rd metal record.
    do not be fooled!

  27. Commented by: venomspitter666

    Glad I read this review. I think this has been a very underestimated band and hopefully this review can open the eyes of music listeners everywhere.

  28. Commented by: Bobster

    Painted in exile is incredible!! Their three song ep is better than a lot of “bigger” bands full legths, and I think the fact that they produced it without a lable behind them shows how dedicated they are to their music. As far as being compared to BTBAM I think people should just stop because even if they are inspired by BTBAM they are in no way copying them or stealing their sound. There a lot of other bands that they sound way more simmilar to but it doesn’t matter because they have a very distinct sound!

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