Cynic Paradise by PAIN
Release date : October 2008
Reviewed by Anthony Morgan
In early August 2008, it was announced that PAIN would release sixth studio full length Cynic Paradise on October 31st via Nuclear Blast Records. Spinefarm Records UK, meanwhile, issued the album four days earlier within the British market. Nightwish vocalist Anette Olzon guested upon two tracks, namely “Follow Me” and “Feed Us”. On October 9th at Tavastia in Helsinki, Finland, Olzon participated in a live rendition of “Follow Me” alongside PAIN. The album's cover artwork, meanwhile, was handled by Travis Smith (who has designed cover artwork for the likes of Opeth, Amorphis, and Nevermore).
In mid September, Cynic Paradise's track listing was revealed. By early October, a studio report had been released, with an e-card following midway into the month. A week later, another studio report was issued. A few days afterwards, Cynic Paradise's tracks were available for streaming in their entirety via PAIN's official MySpace page.
Religious, plaintive voices inaugurate opening composition “I'm Going In”, which then merge against the dancier tones that subsequently follow. A disco oriented, industrial tone is prevalent, mostly caused as the result of synthetic sonics. This affects the mood, channelling a darker, frostier demeanour into the material, not to mention additional angst. When the mixing process is underway, most productions favour placing vocals at the tracks' very forefront. Cynic Paradise, however, wraps the vocals against the music, so that both exist as one. Tägtgren's vocals are seemingly desperate, fraught with torment. A plight denotes the vocal execution, and Tägtgren's spirit undergoes an emotional outpouring. Hook-laden choruses collectively unite disco's gloomier constituents, all of whom can mouth Tägtgren's heartache, and relate that strife to their very own experiences.
Without doubt, “Follow Me” garners immediate commercial appeal. As the clock flirts towards two minutes, the second verse emerges, and boasts Olzon at the helm. More restrained than her vocal contributions to Nightwish's material, its downcast poise appropriately suits “Follow Me”. A slow, melancholic piano flutters its chime as the track approaches three minutes in length, fusing against an equally wistful guitar solo. Olzon's vocal outpourings surface once this duo has briefly established itself, and those intonations perfectly compliment the ambience birthed by the aforementioned duo. Concluding “Follow Me”, the chorus takes its last stab at the listener. “Have A Drink On Me” comprises track four, and proves a stark contrast when critiqued against the tempo favoured by its predecessors. Featuring a Country-esque ambience, a future acoustic rendition seems a likely possibility. A slower number, “No One Knows” opens via the falling of synthetic raindrops.
Cynic Paradise will find a receptive audience amongst Metal fanatics who possess a broader mind, and find delight in a wide range of musical styles. Admirers of Industrial Metal, particularly, should lend the album an initial airing, and arrive at their own respective conclusions. Those whose palettes happen to be more exclusive, and loath the incorporation of synthetic ingredients in whichever instance, should be discouraged. Within Metal's sphere, countless groups fetter the scene, and plug undistinguished stylings. In penning PAIN's material, straightforward Metal has never been a goal in the mind of Tägtgren, and for that, the mainman should be commended. As the proverb states, variety is the spice of life.