If you frequently deal with extreme music, every once in a while you might stumble upon works that don’t really transmit much, as it has (fortunately) become easier to play and record music even without the help of a label. With the increase of available material, naturally it also becomes easier to listen to unnecessary stuff. Well, this is definitely not the case of Pain, the first full-length by the one-man band Immolated moTh.
Thom Bleasdale’s story surely is peculiar: after having played in several bands of the British underground, the musician’s life took quite a harsh turn. The enemy against which he fights daily, after years of mistreatments that have even put his very life at risk, is fibromyalgia. Forced to abandon live performances and experiencing many difficulties in finding other musicians with whom to create a band, Bleasdale decided to do it on his own and face this cathartic journey, screaming hatred towards his sickness, and not only that.
In fact, Pain is the perfect example of what this kind of death metal represents. Pain for the human condition, social critique towards a system that treats people (especially those who suffer from some sickness) like pieces of a machine, technical prowess, have we already said pain? Let’s start by saying that there has been quite a big leap in terms of quality since the EP released in 2016; in addition, Bleasdale took advantage of the longer time for enlarging the scope of his accusation to other themes as well (as in “Ecocide” or “Extinction”). You will find a lot of growl and rage in the nine songs that make up the album, with a big role given to guitars. If I had to point out a flaw, I would probably say that some songs are a tad too long (most of them go beyond the six-minute mark) and, consequently, the album might result a bit tough to handle or, at times, redundant.
This being said, Pain is an extremely genuine death metal record, created with visceral passion and notable musical skills. Following the genre’s tradition, Bleasdale knows his foes all too well and he can use the right weapons to fight them. Recommended to whoever is looking for something relevant and real in an environment which often makes it difficult to discover something like this.
[The cover photo portrays the wrestler Nick Mondo during one of his many violent death matches in CZW. The picture was chosen by Bleasdale as a visual representation of his daily battle against fibromyalgia.]