Raymond Watts is an English musician, the founding and sole member of the post-industrial music project PIG, sometimes written as <PIG>. Watts was an early member and periodic collaborator of KMFDM and has been a visible part of the industrial music scene since the early 1980s. He has also scored music for Alexander McQueen shows, as well as installations and exhibitions. His new album “Pain Is God” is released this month.
Title track `Pain Is God` immediately reminded me of Nine Inch Nails “Head Like A Hole` which isn`t a bad thing. The composition is a wonderfully heavy mix of industrial metal with the repetition of “my pain is good; my pain is god” A thumping number to lead us in. There are many religious connotations, subtexts, and references throughout the quite funky slow burn `Cursed` The last couple of minutes seemed to deviate to something like a television theme before reverting back to the singer`s uncompromising lyrics.
`Rock n Roll Refugee` is brilliantly glam metal with a helicopter introducing the number. It`s an interesting grinding, thumping anthem that could have been a mix of Gary Glitter meets Marylin Manson`s `Beautiful People.` There`s a marvellous guitar solo from Steve White and additional vocals at the chorus and throughout by Michelle Martinez. A plane flying overhead and some crashing synths lead us into `Mobocracy (Militant Mix) a thumping almost apocalyptic piece that enjoys some charming, almost orchestrated strings and piano snatches throughout, indeed it did sound like a domination of the masses as mobocracy dictates.
`Badland` has some sweet horns throughout that along with a relentless bass line and driving drum give this track a disreputable texture akin to something the KLF or Alabama 3 would be proud to call their own. A song named after a line in the new testament is unleashed with `The Wages Of Sin` a sleazy and sinister offering, with thumping bass, crashing synths and growling vocals shared in an almost Germanic style like enticing children into a van with sweeties. Brilliantly malevolent.
`Seed Of Evil (PIG Mix) ` has a hypnotic beat through the entire composition with lyrics that have an almost coercive effect. A number that is ripe for indoctrination, control, and conversion of the masses. There`s a sense of liberation with `Deliverance` a sort of dark ballad which repeats the phrase “bring out your dead” throughout. A song of redemption maybe. This number does go to prove the variety of the singer`s vocal range as he pours an almost tangible angst and pain into its delivery.
`Hell To Pay In The USA (Piss & Vinegar Mix) ` is a real rock out with a true swagger and a chorus that will have the faithful chanting along. The tension seems to build as `Drugged Dangerous & Damned` proceeds. It has that unsettling, underlying sense of menace bubbling just under the surface. Quite a mesmerising offering with an unnerving line “can`t tear myself away, as I tear myself apart.”
`Kickin Ass` bleeps as it rolls along, a tune with a heavy bass line that seemed like Faith No More`s `We Care A Lot` getting merged with Cameo`s `Word Up` at times with a vocal that was somewhat disquieting especially on the line “I`m a man who’s sick, but I’ve got class. coz you only gain respect, when your kickin` ass.” En Esch adds a guitar solo and vocals and Sasha Grey also adds her tones. We have a subtle Middle Eastern feel with `Confession (Sacrificial Mix) which also blends some orchestral strings and has a crunching chorus. A pretty anthemic number.
`Sex & Death (Evil Edit) is another enjoyably disconcerting, intimidating and compellingly noisy fast paced sensual assault. The album closes out with `Suffer No More` a bit of a curve ball, quite electronic at times with some engaging harmonies with Michelle Martinez. Steve White supplying the guitar riffs again.
After a cursory listen I thought this wasn`t for me but i`m so grateful I gave it another chance.
I found “Pain Is God” completely engrossing. absorbing and all but took over my life for a couple of days. The lyrics can be questioning but also a little obscure but augments the music so well, which at times is bombastic, unsettling but wholly captivating.
I don`t want to sound like a masochist but I’d have to agree with the title of this release “Pain Is God”
Rating 9 /10