Pro-Pain – Round 6

After listening to this CD for about the tenth time this week, I just have one question – “Why isn’t Pro-Pain the biggest band in metal today?”

Round 6 is Pro-Pain’s sixth studio album, and to tell you the truth, I don’t own the other five. I heard part of one many years ago, and to tell you the truth it just sounded like generic, New York hardcore. Not any more, my friends – not any more.

I was a little turned off by the album cover, which shows cartoon versions of the band members playing live. Unfortunately they are all end up looking like versions of Stone Cold Steve Austin. Once I got the disc in the player, I forgot any distaste I had for the cover. Cover? What cover?

Round 6 opens with “Fed Up,” a track that attacks hard and fast right off the bat – so fast, in fact, that I thought I had started the CD in the middle of a track. Pro-Pain never looks back, offering 13 tracks and 38 minutes of hard core metal. While Pro-Pain’s musical roots obviously lie in the NYC hardcore scene, they seem to combine equal parts of punk, metal, and old school thrash in their songs. If I were going to simply describe the band’s sound to someone, I would simply say, “Crowbar, sped up.” The double bass in “Fed Up” alone was enough to impress me. The drums throughout the album gallop, rock, and roll. The guitars are heavy, fast, synched, palm-muted power chords. The vocals are almost an exact copy of Crowbar’s emotion filled growls, but again, sped up. My wife’s comment in the car – “at least you can understand him.” And understand him I can, on several levels. Sticking true to their hardcore roots, Pro-Pain tackles several issues, political, social, and personal. In “Fuck It,” Gary Meskil throws it all out on the line, and you find out exactly where he stands.

According to the band’s website, over the past 10 years the band has sold “over 600,000 copies.” Make that 600,001, after this one. In fact, make that 600,006, as I’m going to have to pick up their other 5 releases. Pro-Pain has built a fan base without MTV, without videos, and without radio airplay – and that’s something to be commended for these days. I can’t help but to think that this is what Metallica might have sounded like had they not sold out. Somewhere between Crowbar and Pantera lies Pro-Pain.

Personally, I can’t wait for Round 7.

01. Fed Up
02. Desensitize
03. Substance
04. All Or None
05. Status Quo
06. Fuck It
07. Psywar
08. Take It Personal
09. Make Some Noise
10. Let Live
11. Thou Shall Not
12. Draw Blood
13. Down In Flames

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