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Review: Straight to Pain – Earthless

Straight to Pain is an Italian metal band that formed in 2009. Earthless is their second EP and released in June of 2015. This little ditty offers a lot to the listener in an accessible way. Pick up or listen to Earthless on Spotify, iTunes, and Amazon.

One notable thing about Earthless is how raw it is. There isn’t a polished sound, yet each instrument and vocals are distinguishable. The vocalist enunciates words well enough for you to hear lyrics and the song titles. The vocalist for Straight to Pain reminds me of True Lie’s vocalist, if you listened to them. “Everything Dies” opens in such a fast-paced and tremolo-picked manner on top of the raw sound that it almost sounded like a black metal record. Of course “Everything Dies” is not black metal, but it does have death metal and hardcore elements injected. When you listen to the song, the hardcore and death metal influences are clear. I guess just by the way the drums play with tearing main riff is what makes it hardcore, or by the chugging towards the middle. You can determine that for yourself.

The second track “Roots of Desperation” is where you can hear a difference in style. “Everything Dies” had its death-y/hardcore sound going, then “Roots of Desperation” lasso in a somewhat melodic metalcore sound. There is still the hardcore vibe lingering around, but it is more subtle and metalcore seems to be more prominent. I said “Roots of Desperation” is somewhat melodic because it has a different riffing style than the other songs, includes (what sounds like) a tapped riff on guitar, and tremolo-picked riffs on a few strings. Just by the way each of those things is incorporated is why I said the song is somewhat melodic. The song is pretty easy to listen to without boring you.

Changing how Earthless sounds yet again is “No One Left to Save.” I get a Slipknot vibe from this song by the main guitar riff and low, rumbling bass underneath of it. The intro is responsible for really setting the Slipknot mood, then that riff and bass keep it going. Only until the addition of some higher notes does that sound break off, but not in a bad sense. The song goes in a direction that seems native to Straight to Pain because I don’t know of a band that I can really refer to for the rest of the song.

“Whisper of War” and “Let it Burn” are songs that are similar, but different. They are calmer songs than the previous two and they (obviously) sound different. I only say “Whisper of War” is calmer because the song doesn’t contain the same energy or rawness that the others do, at least to me. The rhythm and bass line give a melancholy sound towards the end, as if it is sad the song is over. It is an appropriate end to welcome in “Let it Burn” because of the soothing and somber introduction. The somberness transforms into a contrasting metal song that is a bit melodic, a bit heavy, and a bit catchy at the same time. The guitar riffs and bass line change as the song progresses, but it doesn’t stray from the heavy/melodic/catchy sound that I just mentioned.

Overall I found Earthless to be interesting and true to heart with its raw and full sound. What I liked was that the bass was audible in each song, the bass was interesting, the production, and the layout of the songs. Like I had already said, there are several things going on during the EP and that makes it intriguing and unique. Each song sounds different, but you can tell its the same band. Earthless is worth a gander. I wasn’t a huge fan of the vocals, but that is purely personal preference and not an insult to the vocalist’s ability. I also found “Whisper of War” was kind of tasteless to me, but I appreciate the contrast to the EP and how the band tried a different kind of sound with that song, so I can’t hate it. While I liked “Let it Burn”, it was a bit lengthy for me for what was going on. I’m just not into slow introductions and endings, even if it is appropriate. Don’t let me scare you away from listening to the songs anyway because Earthless is still a good listen!

Rate: 7.2/10

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