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Although Peter Tägtgren is best known from his death metal band Hypocrisy, I've always enjoyed more of his solo project Pain... I consider it laudable, as Tägtgren himself handles everything except mastering on Pain albums. Dancing with the Dead is the fourth Pain album and shows that Tägtgren is still continuing his solo project (for a while it seemed that he's only contributing to Hypocrisy).
In case you haven't heard of Pain before, the music is industrial metal (stress on the word 'metal'). The blasting guitar riffs, catchy synth melodies and Tägtgren's powerful vocals are the key elements of Pain's music. On earlier albums Tägtgren clearly performed his own music, but on this new album he seems to have taken influences from other artists as well (for example, the fifth track 'Not Afraid to Die' reminds me of Mortiis quite a bit).
Some songs on Dancing with the Dead have exceptionally strong emotional charge. Actually few songs on this album were inspired by Peter Tägtgren's heart attack (this occurred a while back). As the result, people started telling Tägtgren to calm down. However, Tägtgren's way of doing things is the opposite. For example, the opening track 'Don't Count Me Out' sounds really aggressive, and it actually proves that Tägtgren is still going strong. Especially the title track 'Dancing with the Dead' is influenced by Peter Tägtgren's temporary "death". There are actually quite interesting stories behind each of the songs...
Production on Dancing with the Dead is rather good... The sounds are fitting, and the overall sound is quite airy. Unfortunately, some background distortion/clipping occur (however, it isn't that audible when listening on systems other than headphones). Especially the single tracks ('Same Old Song' and 'Bye/Die') have that background distortion (there probably isn't enough headroom).
Overall Dancing with the Dead is what one can expect from Pain... It contains good and catchy industrial metal songs, but nothing more. The quality of material varies a bit, but on average it's quite steady. If you listen to industrial metal, Pain's Dancing with the Dead is a good buy.
Release dates: 26.01.2005 (Scandinavia) and 21.03.2005 (Rest of the World)
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- MAGE (28.01.2005)
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