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Painthing : Where Are You Now...?

Poland's Painthing offer a debut with some good ideas spread thinly throughout a poor execution.

I had never heard of Poland's Painthing prior to receiving this debut album to review. Honestly, I was not expecting much because the band's name is confusing but seems like it could be derived from our old friend, teen angst. Furthermore, the album title makes it seem like finding some depressive (not in the good sense) lyrics was somewhat inevitable. Those were my initial thoughts, anyway.

Having now listened to the album, I feel like my pre-listening concerns were perfectly justified. Most debuts tend to require a number of improvements to be made and 'Where Are You Now…?' is not an exception. This release comes across musically as if it were supposed to be an aggressive Death/Doom composition with keyboards added for drama. The intensity is quite poor though, which could be because of the below average harsh vocals, the below par production, or what sounds like a borrowed child's keyboard. At no stage during this album did I feel like the band had me captivated, sadly.

I actually thought that Painthing had some good ideas when it comes to song structures though. For example, I liked the riffs on 'Widow And The King' and thought they could have really built on that. Unfortunately, the Poles were lacking that something extra to complete the songs in a proper fashion. This particular track's fire was rather expertly doused by some very painful male clean vocals. I may not be a huge fan of the band's harsh vocals on this album but they're a lot better than their clean vocals. I also enjoyed the piano introduction to 'The Shell I Live In' as it paved the way for a spellbinding track to be unleashed but, as with most (if not all) tracks on this album, it was destroyed by an unnecessary element. In this instance, that was the painfully rushed male clean vocals and child's keyboard interludes.

For me, this is yet another example of a band that should stick to writing songs in its native language. In the English language, their lyrics look awkward and childish whereas the musical elements in the album suggests that raw passion and emotion was the name of the game. I can't help feeling that there'd have been more of a connection with the song if the lyrics had been in Polish. I mean, during the slower sections where the male clean vocals were present, I genuinely cringed at times because it sounded weak and awkward. In no way can I imagine such elements being well-received by the Doom masses because it's poor, to be blunt. The female clean vocals, however, are done well in conjunction with the style of the album, which makes me wonder why they're not more frequently utilised.

Ultimately, my findings on 'Where Are You Now…?' are that the band has some potential but needs to make some serious changes in order to achieve it. The transitions between different speeds were more awkward and jerky than smooth and measured. The vocals were generally either average or poor. The song structures were rather interesting in spells but were generally interrupted by unnecessarily intrusive/destructive elements. The keyboards sounded very poor. The band was too rash in certain moments on the album, particularly on 'Buzz And Madness', which was composed as if nobody in the band had any clue about song structures to begin with. Unfortunately, there are just too many poor elements on this release for my liking even though I think the band has got some good ideas to try to work on in the future.

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Reviewer's rating: 4.5/10


Tracklist :
1. Between
2. Widow And The King
3. Buzz And Madness
4. The Shell I Live In
5. Psychosis 4:48
6. Only Death Will Divide Us
7. To Live Is To Fight
8. So Be It

Duration : Approx. 57 minutes

Visit the Painthing bandpage.

Reviewed on 2019-04-29 by Ian Morrissey
Aesthetic Death
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