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Painmuseum – Metal For Life

Label: C.M.M. Entertainment
Format: CD
Released: 2004
Reviewed By: Rich Catino

Metal Mike, most know for being the guitar player for Judas Priest singer Rob Halford’s solo band and current axeman for Testament, releases his first album for his own project Painmuseum.  He is joined by the likes of Steve DiGiorgio (currently with Testament) on bass and Bobby Jarzombeck (from Halford), so you can imagine the level of METAALL achieved by these guys.  Like a barreling roller coaster off its course, each track is fuel injected by Mike’s fierce face pealing riffs, pounding drums, and equally lethal vocals.  I can see the pile of rubble left behind after this coaster crashes into its unfortunate destination. 
 

This outfit rings my ears like some of the lesser known Speed Metal bands who really didn’t make it big but were well recognized, maybe a little Exciter I hear, Razor, early Metal Church, even “Painkiller” Priest. 

Lead off track “The Divine Birth of Tragedy” surely sets the tone for what it must feel like to be in a museum of pain. 

Singer Tim Clairbone uses various facets to his vocals, switching between wicked, Black Metal cries to morbid lows while maintaining a sense of clarity to what he is saying.  The choice of guitar compositions nicely brings out each vocal part like on “Hosanna Hossana” that makes the listener feel as if some demon is barking in your face.   For this type of singing some may find a bit harsh, but with this sort of guitars and killer soloing it just fits like a glove.  “Dogs in a Cage” is vicious and the solo will kill you.  I really hear no other type of voice for Painmuseum.   “American Metalhead” slows down the pace but no less in the heaviness department, what a crunch to that guitar.  

For something a little different, “Burn Flesh Burn” allows singer Tim to offer a cleaner chorus while still injecting an edge at varied times.  Still throughout the voice is venomous as on the namesake track “Painmuseum” and Mike really turns out all the stops on closer “I Am Your Keeper”, sweeps for miles I tell you.  Mike must have gone through hundreds of strings recording this thing and I feel bad for his guitar, HaHa. 

 
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