I must confess my unfamiliarity with metal music from the Far East, barring acts that have achieved a relative degree of success, Sigh and Intestine Baalism being the first to come to mind. Hailing from Singapore, Psycho are a death/thrash metal band signed onto Washington-based Moribund Records. The band and the album in review, Pain Addict Pigs, borrow thematically from horror and gore flicks, amply demonstrated by the song titles and the cover art, which I must mention is oddly disturbing, in a befitting way.
The music on Pain Addict Pigs is generally reminiscent of early Florida death metal, channeling the vibe of Tomb of The Mutilated-era Cannibal Corpse, melded with a thrash simplicity. While Psycho seem reasonably competent at reproducing these elements with sufficient dexterity and authority, the band seems to struggle with making them sound relevant and interesting in a modern context. For most part, Pain Addict Pigs chugs along at a moderate pace, churning out a classic 90s atmosphere, and while an entertaining enough listen, reveals little depth after several listens. A rather lazy and grating vocal performance drags this album further down a notch, which is a shame, because a convincing job behind the mic could have elevated Pain Addict Pigs to being a more enjoyable piece of work.
The album begins on an unremarkable note with an intro that admittedly sets the mood for the rest of the album, despite sounding cheesy with an indecipherable, pitch shifted spoken passage. The first real song on the record is the title track, a mid-paced churner sporting some of the more memorable riffs on the album, and serves as a representative sample of the overall sound that Psycho has to offer. Unfortunately, Pain Addict Pigs steadily outstays its welcome from this point, with 'Meat Slit Grinder' and 'Mater Lachrymarum...Mother of Tears' being the only tracks worthy of mention over the rest of the record's running time.
The production, while rendering the guitars beefy and razor sharp does little justice to the rest of the band. The percussive impact of the drums, an absolute requisite for the effective communication of music of this sort, sounds emaciated and washed-out. The bass sounds like embarrassingly like a tinny rubber band during its few solo moments on the album.
In all, Pain Addict Pigs isn't a bad album by any means. It's just undeniably ordinary, and struggles to make its presence felt as a force to be reckoned with, instead coming across as content with recycling and rehashing dated sounds. While the delivery itself is satisfactory enough, there's almost no originality to be found during the 33 minute run time of the album, and ultimately, the album falls into the ever-rising pile of merely average, can-do-much-better releases.
- Intro (The First Incantation)
- Pain Addict Pigs
- All are Dead
- Meat Slit Grinder
- Dr. Satan
- Revenge of the Raging Whore
- Lords of Slaughter
- Mater Lachrymarum…Mother Of Tears
- Demon Deathtrance