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Pain – You Only Live Twice: Review

On June 3, the most recent Pain album, You Only Live Twice, was released . Funnily enough, the band’s name is an excellent descriptor of the music. You Only Live Twice reminded me how excruciatingly horrible music can be. I should have foreseen it based on the amateurish tone of the album art. But this is a definite and much-needed wake-up call: there is still bad music! Brace yourselves…

The Music (rating: C-)

  1. Let Me Out
  2. Feed the Demons
  3. The Great Pretender
  4. You Only Live Twice
  5. Dirty Woman
  6. We Want More
  7. Leave Me Alone
  8. Monster
  9. Season of the Reaper

You Only Live Twice is a cross between electronic and industrial metal. The guitar distortion is thick and heavy – basically what one expects out of industrial metal. There is much synthesizer in the music, which is basically all that contributes the electronic side of the music. The first thought that comes to mind when one says “electronic, industrial metal” is exactly what this is. In fact, it is the bare minimum of that thought. It has a very modern, radio-worthy production. By that, I mean its sound generally resembles that of common “radio metal”.

One can take that further and state that the overall quality of You Only Live Twice is in the area of common “radio metal,” which I hold in low esteem. It is extremely basic, overly repetitive, and brought down to the lowest level of thought. The beats are very simple and unvaried along with the riffs. “Feed the Demons,” “The Great Pretender,” “You Only Live Twice,” “Dirty Woman,” “We Want More” – changing the tempo is the laziest method of concealing the lack of beat diversity; they are all the same. And they are the most basic of beats; hardly any off-beat accentuation is done in this record. This is undoubtedly what the most generic of radio music is made of. You Only Live Twice most certainly feels like a conscious attempt to dilute the music into the radio-accessible territory, but actually overcompensates and plunges into a cesspool of shit.

Even the instrumentals on this record are terribly poor. The guitar riffs are basically palm-mutes and power chords played with an indistinguishable distorted tone. As aforementioned, the drum beats are stale and unchanging, and the bass is almost always unnoticeable. As for the vocals, they are an absolute train wreck. The lyrics are beyond idiocy (like “Monster” and “Dirty Woman”) and the phrasing is average at best and unbearable at worst, as is the case with “We Want More”. And the potential edge the album has is its use of electronics and synthesizers. But musically, they do nothing. They just float around and tweak the style slightly in an attempt to individualize the album. But honestly, there is nothing unique about You Only Live Twice. There is not even anything good with this release other than the fact that it meets the raw minimalist requirements to classify it as music.

Generic, repetitive, poorly executed, diluted, excruciating – all qualities which describe the disaster that is You Only Live Twice. The music is of very low quality and basically no variation. It can be described as a bad song on repeat. Okay, maybe it is played at 1.5x or 0.75x speed, but it still is the same damn song! You Only Live Twice is a perfect example of what not to do in making unique, prestigious music.

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