Review: “Death Of Divinity” by Foreign Pain

As everyone knows, they say that good things come to those who wait and for Los Angeles Californian Metallic Hardcore quintet Foreign Pain, a band who have spend five years writing their debut album since forming in 2016, the question is, has it been worth it? As a record, it is said to explore themes of anger, isolation and frustration and ultimately comment on the shared human experience with a collection of deeply personal songs that are as vulnerable as they are p****ed off. Citing influences in the likes of Botch, Converge and Eighteen Visions, the band, who comprise Andrew Doyle (vocals), Aaron Brooks (guitar and vocals, formerly of The Ghost Inside), Darel McFadyen (guitar), Shawn Skadburg (bass), and Sina Xiansheng (drums) worked with engineer Roger Camero (No Motiv, The Warriors) at Bright Lights, Bright Mountain Studios giving mixing and  mastering to Beau Burchell (Saosin).

There can be no doubt in the pedigree of Foreign Pain on paper, the quality of bands signed to the Good Fight Music roster or the calibre of the guests they have asked to join them for this debut release so this one is very much a mouth watering prospect going into this review, especially as pre-release single and opening cut “…On Failure” is an absolute ripper straight out of the gate. All of that prior experience and those influences have created sonic ecstasy for Metallic Hardcore fans as abrasive guitars bring down the breakdowns with the kind of urgency that fills Mosh pits and gets heads banging real quick. The baton is passed to “Kill To Rise” which keeps up that high energy incendiary riffage before slowing down for a clanky bass part in the final third for Andrew Neufeld of Comeback Kid to roar over and by the time it’s over, you just know this is the record you’ve been waiting or hear for a very long time, a half way house between The Ghost Inside and Kublai Khan of pure sonic destruction. “Torchlight” adds in arty speech samples that throwback to 90’s Hardcore before “Holy Order” reigns fire with breakdowns galore and Nate Rebolledo of Xibalba going toe to toe with Andrew Doyle is slick style. The mix has been nailed by Burchell and there a little things going on in the background that you don’t necessarily hear on the first few spins. Cannons go off from the kit during “Blood Oath” with Xiansheng bringing the thunder while a melodic mid cut instrumental part lifts from the violence for a well placed moment of clarity, the calm before the ongoing storm.

The presence of Aaron Brooks was always going to lead to at least one cut that sounded broadly like The Ghost Inside (as you can take a musician from a band but you can’t change his roots) and both “Knell” and “I Thought It Was Me” which has distinctive “Returners” era vibes about them as well as being a killer cuts in their own own right. The latter is a far more arty,  almost Post-Hardcore cut with an aching melody, but it’s the pop-punk bridge that is very much Brooks, who is known to be a fan of the genre. There can be absolutely no doubt that Foreign Pain can stand shoulder to shoulder with the best that Metallic Hardcore has to offer on this evidence and should you see their name on a tour line up supporting Knocked Loose then know that you’re going to be in for a treat as they will give them a run for their money [8.5/10]

Track listing

  1.  …On Failure
  2. Kill To Rise (ft. Andrew Neufeld of Comeback Kid)
  3. Torchlight
  4. Holy Order (ft. Nate Rebolledo of Xibalba)
  5. Blood Oath
  6. Knell
  7. I Thought It Was Me (ft. gang vocals contributed by The Warriors)
  8. And The World Remained Silent
  9. We Are What We Fear
  10. South of Life

Death Of Divinity” by Foreign Pain is out 3rd September 2021 via Good Fight

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