Self Dubbed as "Unique Metal", Germany's P.A.I.N. Management has released their latest CD entitled Lobotomy (STF Records). I don't think that I would agree with their self given moniker, as this record has a far more Progressive Alternative slant than a Metal one. While there are glimpses of a Metallic sheen underneath their heavily synthesized keyboard driven music, P.A.I.N. Management are much more aligned with the likes of NIN or Professional Murder Music than they are with a Killswitch Engage, Slipknot or Megadeth.
Lobotomy is an 11 track CD that reminds me in spots of an eerie sounding Rammstein meets the American band Drown. P.A.I.N. Management have a modern sound to them while incorporating a '90's angst ridden, keyboard fueled, Alt-Metal sound complete with painful sounding vocals that fall between Tom Araya of Slayer and Trent Reznor. Each and every vocal performance on Lobotomy sounds the same and unfortunately that is not a compliment, and when placed over top of forgettable and bland songs, the end result is not very good.
P.A.I.N. Management fall very short with this release that I'm sure was looked at as a different blend of modern metal. Unfortunately it has been done before and done better, in fact. An example is the track "Dark Star", with it's complete rip off of the band Disturbed, complete with the Disturbed patented shouts, "Whhaaa"! I like the band, Drown, back in the mid '90's and it sounds like that is what these guys are going for, that type of sound. The vocals are so much like Drown, that at first I honestly thought the singer in Drown was in P.A.I.N. Management! The difference though is that the singer of P.A.I.N Management, Markus, has to hang on in each song to make sure that his vocals don't go in and out of key. They seem to walk that line on every song and it is quite painful. The song "Open Knife" is by far the one with the worst delivered vocals on this CD and painful to listen to, they are.
The atmospheric keyboards throughout Lobotomy try to add texture to this bland opus, but do not help. I believe that this was meant to be a thought provoking record out to grab the youth into the Modern Metal kids, but instead this is a record that misses the mark and is quite confusing. If you are looking for a modern day Metal CD that you will find yourself listening to over and over, this ain't it! Skip this one.
1. I Disagree
4. Bleed Forgiveness
6. Dark Star
7. Open Knife
9. Holy Vengeance