Justice For The Damned – Pain Is Power (Album Review)

Justice For The Damned – Pain is Power
Released: June 12th, 2020

Lineup

Bobak Raffiee // Vocals
Nic Adams // Guitar
Kieran Molloy // Guitar
Ben Mirfin // Bass
Chas Levi // Drums

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Justice For The Damned is becoming a household name in the homes of metal-heads nationwide. The bands’ debut album Dragged Through The Dirt saw them gain international success, leaving fans wanting more, Which brings us to Pain Is Power. Having recorded this album under the watchful gaze of world-renowned metal producer Will Putney, we can watch this act as they soar to new heights with their sophomore album.

The album kicks off with ‘Guidance From The Pain’ as an alluring drum beat gathers momentum. Vocalist Bobak quickly begins with opening lyrics “Guidance from the pain, views of all-terrain, you can’t conceal the shit that spills out of your brain”. This song also includes guest vocalist Matt Honeycutt from Kublai Khan, who manages to add new elements to bring this piece to life. The instrumentals seem to follow Bobak’s lead with a strong guitar presence being a stand out in this piece. The song concludes with a mosh inducing breakdown which doesn’t stray far from the rhythm of the entire song. Title track ‘Pain Is Power’ begins with a thumping bass line, which, along with the previous song, sets the tone for the album. With lyrics such as “Emerge from the fire undevoured, I am the storm from which you cower. Pain is power”, the message behind the song speaks of surviving pain, rather than acting like a victim. Drummer Chas maintains his position at the core of the track, with fast, intricate drumming leading the way for the guitarists to seemingly follow Chas’ direction, without discrediting the guitarists in any way. The song eludes to a hard-hitting breakdown in the outro of the song.

Just when you think it can’t be done, ‘Final Cataclysm’ increases the tempo. This piece has an abundance of blast beats while vocalist Bobak shows off his vocal range as he hits notes higher than we have seen in his already impressive catalogue of songs. He also shares his vocal duties with Joe Badolato from Fit For An Autopsy, who appears in this piece as a guest vocalist. Latest single to be released, ‘No Peace At The Feet Of Your Master’ begins with a concise yet sweet drum solo before the guitarists begin and cement themselves as being a stand out in this piece. I find it to be an exciting time to release this song, with all the controversy surrounding how authorities treat people of colour currently taking place. This situation is strongly reflected in lyrics such as “Smash the masters, become a martyr, tear down the structure”.

Debuted live at Invasion Fest earlier this year “The House You Built Is Burning” was the second single to be released from this full-length LP. This track is short, sharp and to the point, lasting only two minutes. With impressively tight two-step riffs and some of the most metal-esque lyrics I have ever heard such as “Woke up in this hell, tried to turn it into a home. Never been so aware, never been so alone.” and of course “Everyone is leaving you, and I will do the same.” I find the JFTD’s breakdowns aren’t over the top, they keep it simple, and it works for them, with this song being a prime example of that. “Machine Of War” pushes the tempo into top gear. The song begins with blast beats that last impressively long. At first listen I was blown away by the guitar riffs in this song, the technical prowess, backed up by seemingly never-ending blast beats is incredible and makes itself the highlight of this track. The song concludes with what is a JFTD staple, a breakdown which makes you feel the need to punch a wall.

“A Crimson Painting” and begins with the guitarists continuing to show off their outstanding abilities. This piece doesn’t stray far from what we have already seen on the previous songs. However, this track doesn’t feel overly repetitive; the band continues to breathe fresh air into each song. Lyrics such as “you make me feel so alone” lead me to believe that this track is a continuation of the previous songs as it follows through with similar themes. This takes us to  “Sinking Into The Floor” which manages to change things up a little bit. The tempo of this song changes in an undulated fashion, which is ever so refreshing. Concluding the song is the albums heaviest breakdown. This track is a standout, in my opinion.

“Blister Of The Plague” brings us back to classic JFTD; it is gut-wrenchingly, yet not over the top. This track has an abundance of two-step riffs while vocalist Bobak shows us his capabilities, reaching new high pitched screams, as well as his usual low pitched voice. Proving he is no one-trick pony. The track concludes with soft guitar playing, which would be the most simplistic riff you will most likely ever hear from this band. Final track “Die By The Fire” is reasonably simplistic in nature. The repetitive lyrics of “Die by the fire, die by desire” doesn’t add much depth to the song. Every member of Justice For The Damned, most members of Kublai Khan and also Andy Marsh from Thy Art Is Murder can be heard screaming “you did nothing” as the track closes out.

Justice For The Damned is a powerful and influential band in Australia’s heavy music scene right now. As the group continues to conquer overseas markets, it is hard to imagine them failing to win over the hearts of metal-heads around the globe with an album like this.

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Justice For The Damned – Pain is Power tracklisting

  1. Guidance From The Pain
  2. Pain Is Power
  3. Final Cataclysm/
  4. No Peace At The Feet Of Your Master
  5. The House You Built Is Burning
  6. Machine Of War
  7. A Crimson Painting
  8. Sinking Into The Floor
  9. Blister Of The Plague
  10. Die By The Fire

Rating: 9/10
Pain is Power is out Friday via Greyscale Records. Pre-order here
Review by Adam Rice @adamrice1994

Revisit our interview with JFTD frontman Bobak Rafiee chatting all things Pain is Power right here and get keen for Friday!

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About Ricey (23 Articles)
A young music enthusiast who dives into a world created by an artist then returns to reality to express what he experienced in writing.

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