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Johnny Main

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to the pain

New York based quintet To The Pain were formed in January 2012 and have wasted no time in getting their original brand of Metal out to an eager public.

The band's self titled debut album was released in 2013 and was a milestone for the band and their growing legion of fans – referred to as "Painiacs" by the band – turned out in force for the live shows to support it. As with any band, of course, you have to keep the momentum going for your fans with live shows whilst also taking time to produce new material.

The band have successfully managed to juggle writing, studio recording, live dates and life in general when they produced their first new material in two years, the single 'Seven', back in March 2015. With the impetus firmly engaged, the full album has now been released as it features a selection of quality tracks.

Also called 'Seven', the album may be a shade under half an hour in length but the bonus here is that all the tracks are one hundred percent full on and there's nothing that can be classed as filler material – maybe some other bands should take a leaf out of the To The Pain manual for writing an album, eh?

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The title track is surprisingly not the first number, that particular honour goes to the slow and steady build up of 'March For Mankind'. As it reaches a crescendo, 'Heavens Carnage' takes over and as frontman John Intagliata lets rip a blood curdling scream, drummer Jimmy Klimatas punches out the beat. It's a fast paced number with some shouty backing vocals but this is Klimatas' moment in the spotlight as his drums almost overpower the sharp guitar riff. There's a slower paced section towards the end that builds up to the guitar solo from Steve Shaver which is amongst the best solos featured on the album.

'Is It My Turn To Die?' continues the fast pace and is another good solid number. Intagliata's performance is full of passion here, especially when he asks if "you'll be ready when the Reaper comes?" Pure theatre yes, but it's very well executed.

Intagliata shows his skill as a vocalist on the final track, 'Don't Eat The Eyes', once the forty second instrumental intro has been negotiated. Starting with a more subtle vocal performance than on some of the other tracks, the vocals may be set quite far back in the mix it but Intagliata is gifted the opportunity to really stretch his voice by the time he gets to the chorus, and the momentary pauses add another element to the performance.

to the pain

'Cry Out For Justice' is more of a mid-paced number with another solid guitar riff leading the way. It has Intagliata and either Shaver or bass player Chris Borgia (I'm not too sure to be honest!), trading vocal lines before they join together on the chorus giving it a somewhat unique sound for the album. This is by far the most accessible track on the album having that incredibly easy to remember sing-along chorus but that doesn't mean is not heavy! A very strong number that certainly proves that the musicianship in the band as a whole is without question, which makes this song a firm favourite of mine, alongside 'Killzone'.

Talking of 'Killzone' it is, without a doubt my absolute favourite track here. The slow steady bass line from Borgia is soon joined by the solid drum beat and a chunky guitar riff as the slower paced number attains maximum velocity. Intagliata comes across really well here and once again shows off his powerful voice – especially when he gets to the chorus. The guitar riff punctuates some of the verses but it never really steals the show from Intagliata's performance. Y'see, sometimes faster isn't actually better and this is a supreme example of a classic slow and heavy number.

You can listen to 'Is it My Turn to Die?' here:

'Seven' Tracklist:
March For Mankind
Heavens Carnage
It is My Turn To Die?
Cry Out For Justice
Don't Eat The Eyes

To The Pain are:
John Intagliata - Lead Vocals
Steve Shaver - Lead Guitar/Backing Vocals
Craig Piano - Guitar
Chris Borgia - Bass/Backing Vocals
Jimmy Klimatas – Drums

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