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Pain And Passion - 2003 Don't Think Tomorrow

Bjorn Asking - vocals
Roger Ericson - guitars
Hans Johansson - bass
Andre Holmquist - drums
Drums played on the album by: Stefan Eksteen

Another of the new Swedish recruits for UK label Escape Music are Pain And Passion. From the HM capital of the north (ie Gothenburg), these guys have a darker sound to their arsenal, but are still highly melodic, and in places it's plated with a commercial sense of awareness. Their bio mentions namesakes and influences such as Trouble, Nevermore, Black Sabbath and Fates Warning, and they'd be half right, the guitars 'nearly' in doom metal terrritory, but not quite. Overall it has a lazy seventies feel, bordering on that classic rock/retro sound (obviously Sabbath are in that category), and the songs do take a while to capture your senses. They are similar to a band like Lotus (previously featured here at GDAZE), themselves fellow Swedes with an inkling for Zeppelin like music. Coming together in 1998, Pain And Passion first put out a couple of demos, which saw releases in 2000 and 2001. The band had the expertise of Fredrik Nordstrom behind them, though in the case of the material for 'Don't Think Tomorrow', renowned producer Roberto Laghi (Freak Kitchen) did the honors. Vocalist Bjorn Asking provides the soaring vocals, the perfect offset for the deeper sounding guitars and rhythm section. On some parts he's Glenn Hughes, on others the Halford/Dio thing is happening.

The Songs
A couple of standouts: The fast paced rocker 'If I'm Not There Tomorrow' is energetic as it is raucous. The superb retro rocker 'Waiting For The Day' is sublime. Those groovy riffs could smoke out a room of Firemen! It's continued on 'Could I Walk Away', perfect seventies styled riffs that seem to be out of place in the 21st Century! Not for me though.. great stuff. 'Won't Tell You Anyway' has a hard/bluesy tinge, like early Pat Travers stuff, and keeping in the tradition of the American Great South, a track like 'Don't Think Tomorrow' befits the heroes from that region and that era. The band really set the bunsen burner onto 'hot' with the rousing 'Get Ready'. Hell, this could be an outtake from a band like The Boyzz, or any number of those biker bands. Fantastic seventies stuff with an edge and an attitude. Smell the rubber burning! There are two slower tracks: track three 'What Really Matters' and track seven 'Nobody Listens To The Old'. The former is a moody atmospheric power ballad with some doom/gloom bits in the middle, while the latter is reminiscent of Sabbath material, and isn't as immediate as the rest.

In Summary
At the end of the day, the effort these guys have made in putting an album out there is deserving of the years they've spent getting it right. Sure, there are a heap of other albums demanding your 'ear-time', however, those into that retro classic rock that Swedes seems to be good at will get some value at of this. Fans of Sabbath, Zeppelin, and that whole 71-75 era should investigate further.

Track Time: 47.38

Track Listing:
01 I Am, I Do
02 If I'm Not There Tomorrow
03 What Really Matters
04 Waiting For The Day
05 Could I Walk Away
06 Won't Tell You Anyway
07 Nobody Listens To The Old
08 Don't Think Tomorrow
09 Get Ready
10 A War Within

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