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Badass: More Pain, More Gain

Let's just put aside the awful band name and instead focus on whether the debut album Badass have put together can indeed convince that more pain equals more gain. The coming together of Titta Tani of DGM on vocals, Alberto Rigoni on bass, Alessio Tricarico on guitars and Denis Novello on drums, finds the Italian foursome pooling talent that has already graced numerous acts and projects, and turning it into Badass. Surprisingly, considering Lion Music are heavily involved with this release, it isn't actually Tricarico's guitars that take centre stage, in fact often it isn't even the vocals of Tani that set the scene. Instead it's the booming bass of Rigoni leading the way, the album opening and closing with two bass workouts uninspiringly titled "Intro" and "Outro" - while it's often his four (or five, or maybe even six) string that provides the melodic focal point of the songs themselves. In itself that makes for a gritty, maybe even grungey experience, something the rasping but soaring vocals confirm and contradict, a traditional/symphonic/melodic metal singing display sometimes feeling at odds with the big dirty riffs that sit beneath. Unfortunately neither instrumental bookend does the album any favours, an intentionally distorted, crackling delivery simply proving a turn off.

However, when Badass get it right, the results can indeed be quite potent, album opener proper "More Pain, More Gain" a menacing strike of pounding bottom end and strident guitars. Add in a thunderous kick drum assault and the kind of Dokken gone grunge result is a striking one. With the second last track, "Don't Bother Me", infusing proceedings a with melodic undercurrent not always seen elsewhere, the clever guitar lines and aggressive vocals make for fine counterpoints. It's just a shame that it isn't an attack utilised more often. Instead "One More" crunches and grinds, the bass overpowering all in sight, while "Strong And United", which is more of a mid paced boiler, suffers from the same fate. Unfortunately it's a theme throughout, Rigoni's bass presence so strongly felt, whether through melody lines, thrumming bottom end, or even solo slots, that it becomes an overly dominant feature. Making even the more readily accessible moments on More Pain, More Gain, muddy and remote.

Lovers of growling bass and unrelenting bottom end may well find what Badass do to be a refreshing change from the norm, it's just a shame that for the rest of us, what's presented simply isn't memorable enough in terms of structure, or virtuosity hugely talented though everyone involved here is to keep you coming back for more gain or more pain.

Track Listing
1. Intro
2. More Pain, More Gain
3. Nightmares of My Youth
4. Royal Chains
5. Strong and United
6. What We Need
7. Join Me
8. Redemption
9. Don't Bother Me
10. Outro

Added: April 15th 2017
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Badass Metal
Hits: 471
Language: english

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