Shreds of Dignity (Spitfire)
by Scott Hefflon
Pro-Pain has been slogging along for over a decade, sometimes brushing greatness, but more often than not, not even in the same area code. Bassist/roarer Gary Meskil used to be in the Crumbsuckers, so that’s why a lot of us gave him the benefit of the doubt when the clunky Foul Taste of Freedom and monster-produced The Truth Hurts came out with the autopsy cover that created such a stink. Gross and juvenile, sure – the type of people who get their panties in a bunch over such things did, and Pro-Pain basked in the momentary glow, happy to get recognition, even if it was simply for printing a kinda gross-yet-sexy cover (it’s on Amazon.com, surprisingly enough) and not for their music. Each album since (on various labels like Energy and Mayhem, both long gone, and then Nuclear Blast and Spitfire) has increasingly been an exercise in monotone roar. While some might say that every occasion of “that roaring voice that only sings one note” is annoying, even metalheads find these guys flat and lifeless, manic drumming and solos or not. As clueless as the Judas Priest cover band that Judas Priest has become and (until recently) the cruise-controlled driving of Iron Maiden, Pro-Pain just keep hammering away at the one decent idea they had ten years ago, and now they produce their own songs and do their own artwork, so even that sucks.