Pro-Pain’s new album, “Straight To The Dome” is pure, pro rock. This veteranNew Yorkbased hardcore act is as loud and brutal as ever on its thirteenth full length studio release. Hatebreed being out on the road, touring, Pro-Pain does an excellent job filling in with a brand new album that is without a shadow of a doubt, one of the year’s best rock/metal records.
“Straight To The Dome” opens with pure hardcore ferocity in its title track and refuses to look back with even the slightest fleeting glance. The title track is a blistering, defiant song that comes across very much in the style of Hatebreed, lyrically. Vocalist/bassist Gary Meskil (who looks eerily like wrestler Stone Cold Steve Austin—which means this reviewer would not want to make him mad) seems to be speaking of standing up to anyone who would try to kick a person down. He and the band sing, “He’s coming back for more/he said/you’re no friend of mine/don’t cross that line/right now you need to stop.” It really comes across as a song that emphasizes self empowerment and not letting people get you down. That could very well be an incorrect interpretation. That is just this critic’s opinion. It may not be the longest song on this album. But it is one of the album’s best, and a perfect re-introduction to this veteran hardcore band.
The band doesn’t let up even the slightest bit after the album’s opener/title track. Right after that song, the band launches into an equally scathing song in ‘Payback.’ Meskil writes in this song, “Took for granted all the things that you’ve got/protected/neglected/any food for thought/your shallow/your narrow world’s closing in/ever so quickly/as payback begins/Goodbye!/Farewell!/You get on my nerves/In the end/You get what you deserve!.” Meskil and his band mates go on in the song’s chorus, “Payback!/for how you act!/Payback!/You get what you deserve!” The band leaves little room for guessing here. The scathing lyrical attack combined with the equally pummeling music makes this one more of so many greats on this record.
In another of the album’s numerous hit tracks, the band has what seems something of an anti-war song in ‘Bloodlust for War.’ Meskil writes in this song, “shattered lives/are left in ruins/with no one left at all/to pick up the pieces/nobody’s at a loss/desensitized/who would’ve thought?/war is in the air/and we couldn’t care less. The song goes on in very similar fashion, lyrically. It may not be the first anti-war song ever written. But it definitely is hard hitting. It even touches on how soldiers are taught to become killing machines, as he writes, “Lord please take away the pain/so I’ll be free to kill again/cause that is what I live for.” The message here is clear to say the least.
Whether it be the seeming protest song that is ‘Bloodlust for War’, ‘Payback’ or even the pummeling opener that is the album’s title track, Pro-Pain’s new album is one that long time fans of this band will love, and new fans will love just as much, if not more. And it’s one more album that any true metal head will love both for its music and its no nonsense lyrics that epitomize all that’s right with the hardcore genre. Simply put, “Straight To The Dome” will hit straight to the core for every true purist metal head out there. It is without a doubt, one of the best metal/rock albums of 2012.
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