“Long awaited” and “long time in the making” are oft-used phrases while we wait on tenterhooks for a band’s latest offering. Take Metallica and Hardwired…To Self Destruct, 8 years we had to hang around. Whether it was worth it is a discussion for another day.
That time, though, is no time at all when compared to how long it has taken the debut album by Painful Pride to see the light of day. The band was formed way back in 1983 and it takes more than counting with my fingers and toes to figure out it has taken a mammoth 34 years for Lost Memories to be released.
Out via No Remorse Records on February 17, this is no nostalgia trip. It is a record full of bang up to date rock, including its fair share of power metal, not really a thing back in ‘83. It has more of an edge than those cock-rockers had back when hair metal (God only knows why the word metal is used) was at its hair sprayed peak.
This Swedish band now consists of Peter Ljungqvist on vocals, Örjan Härdig on guitars, Tommy Carlström also on guitars, Peter Nilsson on bass and Mathias Pettersson on drums and they pull together superbly. Every facet of Painful Pride works to perfection on Lost Memories, from the rocking rhythm section to the quality guitar work to the well-suited pure vocals.
This is highlighted excellently in the opening track, “Visions” which is a rollicking start. Fast paced with power and a top solo this definitely encroaches on power metal turf.
The edge of “ Visions” is smoothed somewhat on “A Thousand Lies” but it’s full of melody, encouraging foot-tapping aplenty. The twin guitars riffing away really adds to the enjoyment.
Painful Pride are seemingly fond of eccentric song openings. The opening track begins with what sounds like a movie quote and “Into The Fire” gets going with tweeting birds before it explodes into life. Whatever floats their boat I suppose.
“Into The Fire” is another great head-nodding singalong. The pace is spot on and the guitars take it to the next level.
Crunchy riffs open “Heal Me” which is definitely not from the class of ‘83. It verges on nu-metal but with more tune. Not their best but still enjoyable and shows their versatility.
“Sands Of Time” is a bit trudgy at times so it’s nice to move on to the cleaner sounding “What You Give Is What You Get”, another fine rocker with attached fine solo.
The fast paced, pure, well-produced rock keeps on coming with “Somewhere” which is quickly followed by the heavier “Fires”, though still full of melody and catchiness. It also has a thunderstorm effect at the beginning…
“Die For Me” follows the now familiar pattern of quality rock with pace, power, and melody but is ultimately overshadowed by the stunning final track, “Lost Memories”. This is such a fantastic way to finish a superb album. 6 minutes and 9 seconds where the band gives it’s absolute all.
A tempered, thoughtful start gets us going before moving up a few gears to their hardest rock.
It’s almost as if you can feel the tension being released after a 34-year wait to realize their dream. The best soloing on the record is on display here too, emotional stuff.
If I have to compare them to another band I’d say they were a less claustrophobic High Spirits.
Many congratulations to Painful Pride on both their desire and perseverance and for giving us such a treat.