CD Review: Pro-Pain – The Final Revolution

CD Review: Pro-Pain – The Final Revolution
All Access Rating: B+

Pro-Pain - The Final Revolution 2014
Chances are, The Final Revolution will not be televised. Too unflinchingly honest, too hostile and too ugly, the fiery cross-pollination of hardcore and metal that Pro-Pain's been spewing since the early '90s couldn't possibly ever appeal to an anesthetized mainstream that would rather stick its head in the sand and pretend that everything's swell, even as the world devolves into utter chaos.

Maybe it's not as bad as these fearsome New Yorkers, led by firebrand bassist/vocalist Gary Meskil, make it out to be, but there's plenty to be apoplectic about. Pro-Pain's been raging about the socio-political ills that have befallen humanity for a long time now. The Final Revolution is Pro-Pain's 14th studio album, and it is brutally efficient, always going for the throat. 

His guttural voice a flamethrower that leaves behind nothing but scorched earth, the idealistic Meskil barks out his plain, unvarnished truth with all the tenacity of a junkyard dog, sticking up for the beaten-down common man with deep passion and unimpeachable integrity. And the music of Pro-Pain is just as uncompromising, like that of The Exploited or Earth Crisis, although it's a damn sight more metallic.

Relentlessly intense from the word "go," with disciplined grooves and breakdowns, flurries of double kick-drum violence and furious, sometimes down-tuned, riffs, The Final Revolution relies somewhat less on the thrash dynamics of its predecessor, Straight to the Dome, and gets to the point quickly. Aggressive, with rhythms that seem to enjoy slamming into walls, "Deathwish" is followed by another punch to the mouth in the bruising "One Shot, One Kill," and Pro-Pain keeps upping the ante, as the unstoppable momentum of "Southbound" crashes headlong into the high-velocity "Problem-Reaction-Solution," which is just prelude to the even more blistering "All Systems Fail." Immense, permanently stuck in overdrive and more weighty than expected, the all-consuming guitars are predatory and full of piss and vinegar, always wanting to go faster, but content to downshift ever so slightly when a change in direction is necessary.

Going 10 rounds with Pro-Pain is exhausting, a rigorous test of stamina, as Pro-Pain rarely strays from its righteous path, plowing straight ahead with intellectual and instrumental vitality and a visceral energy that is ferocious, raw and dangerous. Pro-Pain may have been a bigger deal in the mid-'90s, when their particular combination of hardcore and metal was being devoured by a wider audience, but they haven't lost any of their vitriolic fervor. It's serious music for serious people.
– Peter Lindblad

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