Pain Nothing Remains the Same

More polished and commercially appealing, Nothing Remains the Same takes Pain one-step further from Peter Tägtgren’s metal roots than either the self-titled debut or Rebirth. Tägtgren explores his vocal abilities, singing more "cleanly” than ever before while keeping a hard edge to his voice through most of the album. His experiments with electronica cover a broader range of computerised sounds, which hint of techno, synth pop and more traditional industrial. The heavy guitars are still there but they blend in with the keyboards rather than dominating the mix. Combine that with the more alternative rock feel of songs like "Just Hate Me” and Pain has gone from sounding somewhat like Rammstein to fitting in better with Stabbing Westward. For some organic content, Tägtgren uses a real string orchestra on his cover of the Beatles’ "Eleanor Rigby.” The alien theme of the CD-Rom video for the first single "Shut Your Mouth” seems to have little to do with the lyrics, but it’s fun to watch and one other reason this album is worth picking up. (Stockholm)