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propain 20yearsofhardcorel
Artist: Pro-Pain
Title: 20 Years Of Hardcore
Genre: Groove/ Hardcore metal
Release Date: 26th August 2011
Label: AFM Records

Album Review

’20 Years Of Hardcore’ might seem a bit of a sceptical title as hardcore band PRO-PAIN has already released 2 ‘Best Of’ CDs, so fans might be a bit turned off that another one is coming out barely six years later from the last one released in 2005. However, just after their last studio album (which wasn’t exactly received too well), PRO-PAIN have done some digging and put together something that might be worthy of listening to for diehard fans. This is not a new album, but more like an EP, Best Of, and Live CD all mashed into one. On ’20 Years…’ PRO-PAIN revisit their roots by re-recording some older songs while adding in four new ones along with a huge amount of live tracks. For those who are not used to PRO-PAIN, this album might actually be a good thing to listen to so one can get a broad scope of what the band is like live as well in the studio. The new tracks like ‘Damnation’ and ‘True Liberation’ are still in that hard groove metal fashion that made albums ‘Absolute Power’ so popular (or unpopular) with the mix of harsh roars and cleaner vocals that were equally ugly (similar to maybe the way SIX FEET UNDER tried to do the album ‘Warpath’). So the older fans might not be into those tracks too much. Then there are the re-recorded earlier tracks like ‘Make War (Not Love)’ go as far back as their second album ‘The Truth Hurts.’ Here the band took more of a hardcore thrash stance with more energetic solos to go along with the chugging guitars and buzzing bass. Some considered ‘The Truth Hurts’ PRO-PAIN’S greatest album, so it is nice to see them revisit classics again, much in the way that a Best Of album would.

The live tracks span all across PRO-PAIN’S discography, but surprisingly enough they sound very similar to the studio tracks. Either PRO-PAIN are very good on the stage as they are in the studio, or the live cheers from the audience were just added in. Tracks like ‘Neocon’ have a bit more gritty guitar and drum tone, but the vocals sound as clear as ever like they do on the studio tracks, save for when there is interaction with the audience at the end of the songs. Lots of the live tracks may serve as the best highlights of the album to new fans simply because of the musical structure in groove metal. They borderline the hard chug of bands like SEPULTURA with the rhythms of CHROME DIVISION and when combined aim to create something that will stick with the head for days. ‘The Foul Taste Of Freedom’ touches on some great rock oriented tones that are reminiscent of groups like STONE TEMPLE PILOTS with harsh vocals added and certainly serve as one of those highlight tracks, but others such as ‘Draw Blood’ don’t really have as much of that grab with the hooks and fall more along the lines of sounding like more typical hardcore metal like THROWDOWN used or HATEBREED.

PRO-PAIN also include a BÖHSE ONKELZ cover of ‘Keine Amnestie für MTV’. Here PRO-PAIN really try to envelope the rock groove sound that was mostly on their previous album, ‘Absolute Power’, but with the rhythms and clean vocals involved, it feels more like a bad attempt at a drinking song, especially when it comes to the cleaner vocals. Compared to the other, more ferocious tracks on the album, this pales and probably comes off as more of a laugh rather than a serious piece of hardcore. Perhaps that was the band’s intention; sometimes humour is a great way to break the ice. However, mostly PRO-PAIN basically created a live album here with most of the tracks (and a live DVD included) that was completely meant for the diehard or new fans who have just stumbled upon the PRO-PAIN legacy. One is usually better at studying the studio albums as opposed to ‘best of’ because it is best to let the fans decide from themselves what is best from the overall discography, but the touch of both studio with live action on ’20 Years…’ gives a more authentic touch to the new album overall. Perhaps if PRO-PAIN had released a large amount of demos and unreleased tracks along with the new and re-recorded ones, then this would have been a true anniversary album. But, for now, it’s just another “best of compilation”.


01. Damnation - 5:34
02. Hands In The Jar - 4:00
03. Someday Bloody Someday - 1:29
04. True Liberation - 3:51
05. Foul Taste Of Freedom (2011 version) - 3:29
06. Make War (Not Love) (2011 version) - 4:35
07. Denial (2011 version) - 3:19
08. Shine (2011 version) - 3:36
09. Keine Amnestie für MTV (Böhse Onkelz cover version) - 2:50
10. Unrestrained (Live In Brno (CZ)) - 3:29
11. Three Minutes Hate (Live In Brno (CZ)) - 2:49
12. Can You Feel It (Live In Brno (CZ)) - 3:01
13. UnAmerican (Live In Brno (CZ)) - 4:31
14. Neocon (Live In Brno (CZ)) - 2:56
15. No Way Out (Live In Brno (CZ)) - 2:35
16. F*ck It (Live In Brno (CZ)) - 2:25
17. Draw Blood (Live In Brno (CZ)) - 3:13
18. The Shape Of Things To Come (Live In Brno (CZ)) - 2:12
19. In For The Kill (Live In Brno (CZ)) - 2:58
20. Let The Blood Run Through The Streets (Live In Brno (CZ)) - 2:13
21. Foul Taste Of Freedom (Live In Brno (CZ)) - 3:05
22. All For King George (Live In Brno (CZ)) - 5:06
23. Destroy The Enemy (Live In Brno (CZ)) - 5:09


Rick Halverson - Drums
Marshall Stephens - Guitars
Tom Klimchuck - Guitars
Gary Meskil - Vocals, Bass


Cover Picture

propain 20yearsofhardcorel


Music: 5
Sound: 5
Total: 5 / 10

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