Cynic Paradise Review

Text: Tobias Nilsson, Lunah Lauridsen Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

This is a pre-listening review of Pain's new album Cynic Paradise, which will be released on October 31.
The comments will be marked either T for Tobias or L for Lunah.

01 - I'm Going In
T: The opening track of the album has some tendencies towards the Rebirth album. It's a mid-tempo song, with a lot of choir action and some computer doodling towards the end. Not bad, sort of Pain old-school.
L: This is something of a Same Old Song copy. Almost the same intro, and the typical Pain "slow-down" break in the middle.

02 - Generation X
T: Here things got a bit heavier. The style is closer to the latest releases, but still with quite a bit of electronica.
L: Its got sort of a mechanical "doing doing" intro to it, then the melody goes a bit monotonous for the rest of the song. A typical catchy Pain song at its best; it could come straight off of the Nothing Remains The Same album.

03 - Reach Out (And Regret)
T: Reach Out (And Regret) shows a Rock'n'Roll side to Peter Tägtgren, more so than I'm used to from Pain. At a first listen it sounds like a simple 4/4 beat throughout.
L: The lyrics seem to have a classic Pain theme about them, how life always seems to screw you in the end. Musically, there isn't really something new about it, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. On a note to change; be careful what you wish for.

04 - Follow Me
T: On And On lookalike was the first thought to go through my head. Listen to that one and you'll have a pretty good idea about what you're in for. There are also some female vocals displayed, which sounds pretty good. One of the best songs of the album, after a first listen.
L: First impression, I love it. I felt from the start that this will become the hit of the record. Again, nothing to surprise me here. This is one of the songs where Anette Olzon from Nightwish is singing. I have never been a Nightwish fan, but I think she fit in very well.

05 - Monkey Business
T: Fast beating drums starts this song off, which lyrically again seem to display Peter Tägtgren's contempt for the music industry. It has a very melodic vocal which isn't at all bad.
L: Wow, a surprising intro. At least for 2-3 seconds. I thought the vocals were weak in the verse, but they got a bit better in the chorus. The music starts of sounding exactly like it's been pulled from a Hypocrisy album, so as the big Hypocrisy fan I am I got very disappointed with the clean vocal style.

06 - Have A Drink On Me
T: Here we are back to the Rock'n'Roll tendencies. It's a monotonous, slow pumping song, which has the same guitar riff throughout the whole track, the only thing that changes even in a little bit is the amount of distortion on the guitar. It's the worst song of the album, in my opinion.
L: What's up with the title and the melody of this song? This is the weakest song on the album in my opinion as well, Oh Yeah! (you'll understand when you hear it, oh yeah)

07 - Cynic Paradise (working title)
T: The (possibly) title-track of the album is another mid-tempo song with a lot of electronica, and thoughts again go towards the Rebirth era. It seems to grow a lot towards the chorus, and I believe it will make a good sing-a-long song in live sets.
L: A tame start which moves over to a typical chorus. I think this is one of those songs which will grow in time though.

08 - No One Knows
T: This song has some clear Drum'n'Bass influences, it could possibly even work at a disco. It's very low-tempo, and the solo consists of some stray "ding-dong" notes from a piano.
L: Who's this? It sounds exactly like Marilyn Manson in the start. Again, the chorus has a classic Pain style about it. It has a very soul-filled vocal performance. By the way, No Ones Knows... no one knows what?

09 - Suck Me Sideways (working title)
T: This is definitely one of the best songs on the album in my opinion, so I hope he'll give it a better title than this. The tempo is turned way up again, and it's more aggressive yet catchy. Actually, I would say that this song could easily fit on the Catch 22 album from Peter Tägtgren's other band, Hypocrisy. The only problem I had with it was that it seemed to be a bit short.
L: What is this? It sounds very much like Turn The Page by Hypocrisy, but still it turns out to be a very good song.

10 - Not Your Kind
T: Here the style is turned more towards the Dancing With The Dead album. It has a great chorus, and we even get a short visit of Peter's grim vocals, seldom used in Pain affairs.
L: Slow tempo with some very good vocals. Cool song. I totally agree with Tobias on this one.

11 - Feed Us
T: The final song of the album starts off with a calm piano intro, which changes into a heavy mid-tempo riff a few bars in. Sadly, we run out of time, and the song is faded out before it is finished...
L: This is a great way to end the record. Great use of the piano throughout, and we also get another visit from Anette Olzon. Again, she does a good job, and fits very well in to the Pain style.


Q: Why did you choose to make another Pain album instead of a new one with Hypocrisy?
A: That's a good question. The reason is that right now Horgh is doing the Immortal stuff, and we've tried to plan it so that as he does his thing with Immortal I concentrate on Pain.

Q: The title of the new album will be Cynic Paradise?
A: I don't know, you got a better one? No seriously, it's just a working title. I don't really care that much about titles and covers. It's nothing I think that much about. And sometimes you just can't choose, you know? Like for the last album, Psalms Of Extinction, I really hated the cover, but the record company just said; "Ah, we can't change that, it's already been pressed." So, what are you gonna do?

Q: The title track had some quite dark lyrics, is this how you see things?
A: Well, I'm a parent, so I see all the negative stuff. No, really, when it gets to writing lyrics I don't really know what to write about. If it was up to me, I'd be releasing a new album every week, but that's the thing with lyrics, how do you make them interesting?
In the old days, we just took a porno magazine and screamed out whatever stood inside. It was much easier.

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