Dream Theater have been at the top of the game for such a long time …
Let’s be clear: these past months I genuinely cannot wait to stop imagining my brains getting smashed by an errant foot in the pit and experience it for real.
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But not just for any band; no it has to be worthy of potential lingering damage to my nervous system. With Pain Is Power, Justice for the Damned’s second record might just have earned the right to soundtrack the hospitalisation.
The intro track Guidance From The Pain should be warning enough that they’ve polished their sledgehammers to crack skulls. This record gives more time to breathe than their first record, Dragged Through The Dirt did, which is welcome given that some parts of Pain Is Power are occasionally (somehow) heavier than its predecessor. God I’m already so terrified about the pit for the end of No Peace At The Feet Of Your Master that my nose has started pre-emptively bleeding.
Time to train pit warriors, because you don’t want to set a foot wrong when Justice come to town.
Ditto the firecracker that is The House You Built Is Burning. “Everyone is leaving you, and I will do the same” is one of the best lines on the record and the band let the track fade away to emphasise its potency. The back half of the record features the aforementioned ‘breathing room’ in Sinking Into The Floor with a grim bass tone heralding an impassioned performance from vocalist Bobak Rafiee. Oh, and because we don’t want to get too ahead of ourselves in thinking it’s over, the ending slams harder than a door in a hurricane. Justice for the Damned are still one of Australia’s best heavy bands, period. Time to train pit warriors, because you don’t want to set a foot wrong when Justice come to town.
STANDOUT TRACKS: Guidance From The Pain, No Peace At The Feet Of Your Master, The House You Built Is Burning
STICK THIS NEXT TO: Kublai Khan, Knocked Loose, Thy Art Is Murder