The Problem of Pain-Part 1, the latest release from California's Torman Maxt, is a concept album based on themes rich in Christianity, centering on the characters Angel, Satan, and the main character Job (based upon the book of Job from the Old Testament that investigates why God allows evil and human suffering on earth).. Yes, this is a highly religious affair, but steeped in prog rock and prog metal elements, featuring rich keyboard soundscapes, crunchy guitar work, crisp drum and bass rhythms, and solid, melodic vocals. Divided into five chapters, The Problem of Pain-Part 1 plays almost like a mini-prog rock opera with a spiritual bent, with lead vocalist & guitarist Tony Massaro leading the charge through 13 accessible tracks that are both catchy yet adventurous. Sections like "Job's Resolve", "Satan's First Song", "Job's Commitment", and "Job's Wife" have plenty of textured musical layers, and despite the obvious proggy appearance of all this there's a certain AOR element that can't be ignored, giving some of these songs a real radio friendly appeal, especially thanks to the Beatles-influenced vocal harmonies. Otherwise, expect plenty of tasty guitar licks (that include crunchy riffs & melodic leads), sumptuous keyboards, tight rhythms, and melodic vocals.
If all this sounds appealing, then you will be making a smart decision to investigate The Problem of Pain-Part 1 further. Yes, this is a fairly religious affair, but if the lyrical content doesn't bother you, then there will be much prog-rock rewards awaiting you at the end of the tunnel.
1) Chapter One: Prologue
2) Chapeter Two: Job's First Test
The Angel's First Song
Satan's First Song
3)Chapter Three: Job's First Response
Job's Initial Shock
4) Chapter Four: Job's Second Test
The Angel's Second Song
Satan's Second Song
5) Chapter Five: Job's Second Response
Job's Second Response
A Great Silence