Some bands come locked and loaded with a cast of individuals that banded together should make for a mighty fine arsenal of musical expertise and thus there should be no doubt that they have what it takes to pull off an album that immediately captivates and holds the audience it was crafted and created for. Just the fan base each of these individuals on their own has accumulated in their career in itself should feed into a massive pool of fans that would insistently grab at this release. “More Pain, More Gain” is the first release for Badass, which are a four piece Heavy metal band based from out of Italy. With the acclaimed musical expertise involved herein, “More Pain, More Gain” needs to impress right out of the gates. There is certainly a confidence and pride attached to such a release, and chests are puffed out, but can the talk meet the walk.
So who are Badass? Well they are as follows: Vocals: Titta Tani , Bass: Alberto Rigoni , Guitars: Alessio “Lex” Tricarico, Drums: Denis “Denzy” Novello, and on their facebook info page they state, “BADASS: Powerful vocal, killer heavy bass, massive rhythm guitar riffs, drums from hell… isn’t that enough to kick your butt??”. These are very confident words, they also state that they play metal like you have never heard it before, again there is a certain swagger and confidence that you pick up from the words, but do those words translate into something that truly effectively have body to them? Let’s find out!
So off the bat you get a sense that they ooze rock star bravado, and that’s before pressing play. The album starts with a dark industrial moody piece entitled, “Intro”; and I do not know if I can say I liked it to be honest as an opener. Fortunately the title track, “More Pain, More Gain” with its unique bass intro pulsates with a driving punch of hope as Bad Ass deliver the hard rock solid and true. Bad Ass is very good with transitions within a song, something that I can really appreciate. Also the rhythm section is extremely tight and on key, and Tani’s vocals are powerful and versatile enough to help knit the song tightly together. There is a sense of confidence in the execution of the song and this brings to light the ‘rock star’ bravado the band seems to ooze out from all sides.
That uniqueness of like a modern rock take on heavy metal sets the tone with “Nightmares of My Youth”, a very melodic rhythm driven song, again the ability to shift between styles at a blink of an eye with smooth delivery is a defining highlight of the band. Some star ward lead guitar work harking back to the good old days of those 80’s metal solos helps complete the song nicely, delivering a tight package of awesomeness.
As we hit play on “Royal Chains” we begin to see a pattern emerging with the bass guitar, there seems to be a focus on it, and it plays a very large and dominant role in Bad Ass songs. The vocals slightly have a Dave Mustainish feel for me to them on this track, again the musical composition and ability to shift styles within a composition with fluidity without disrupting the energy and drive of the song is quiet a highlight for me, and gives the song some solid credentials.
The melodic genius of the band was set on high for this song, “Strong And United” and one gets the sense the focus is on Tani’s vocals to carry the strength and impact of the song. Again this song is a composition that is composed of various techniques and elements of rock again high lighting their skill set and ability. I would not say it’s a song that is a focus of the band’s sound but more like a show case of ability mixed in with the bands bravado attitude. Kind of we know we good, and we going to show you that we know we are good, and we know you going to say we are good, because of it.
“What We Need” oozes attitude from the guitars and sets the platform for an attitude fest of a song. The riff is catchy and addictive. I like the fact that Tani is able to switch from growls to more melodic vocals with such ease of confidence. Every now and then because of his vocals, and some of the music one’s mind hits back of the early years of megadeth, and there are a few moments like that in this release. “One More Night” comes in very melodic intro but fear not that melodic introduction soon bursts into what Bad Ass does best, some Juggernaut pumping riffing that punches with apocalyptic drive. Again the aggression does not become boring as it’s balanced by melodic overtones and interludes.
“Join Me” the high light for me were the solid drumming almost having a prominence in the mix, and almost leading the attack of the song. In fact the whole rhythm section gives a solid performance. The vocals hold melody well and give it a very commercial feel, indicative of a radio friendly jive. The band once again show cases it’s far reaching talent and ability to reach beyond the horizon of a specific genre and mix it up and still return a solid piece of composition. “Redemption” sees us entering the last stretch of the album. There is a certain identification, or finger print to the sound of the band that seems to hang firstly on the driving bass and guitar whether they doing a hard number or a softer number. Again their ability to shift their influences around in a mix even when it seems a tad disjointed is impressive and well worth a compliment. I did find for myself that “Redemption” dragged a bit. As a composition goes I find it one of the more fluid songs for their signature transitions they make in their songs from jugging heaviness to melody driven and back again. They kick back with the hard driving “Don’t Bother Me”, It stands out as one of the heaviest tracks on the release and again showcases the ability of Tani’s vocal reach and ability, and the overall versatility of the band as a whole.
In short, “More Pain, More Gain” is a heavy metal album compromising of talented individuals that showcase an incredible talent to bring together some unique elements that saves it from being another generic metal album. Its overall aggression and drive keep the pace and momentum going even when the album hits slower more melodic patches. There is a certain old school vibe that comes through with the vocals and guitars yet their ability to modernise it all and through some unique elements in the mix hold it together with a fresh sense of perspective on the gene itself. They not just delivering a great performance, but adding in their own unique interpretation to the genre.
There is no doubt that Bad Ass is a group consisting of highly talented individuals that are attempting to defy gravity in their musical vocabulary. You can hear the passion and pride ooze out the entire album as they showcase their wondrous talents to the listener, something of a foundation stone for me for this release. There is an artistic bend to the album as well, as presented predominantly in the intro and outro, and at times I feel that artistic bend as much as I praise it on one side, gives on the other side some songs a bit of disjointedness particularly in the ebb and flow of the compositions. That said there is not enough bad on here to outweigh the good and that means you still get a pretty bad ass release!
Written by Donovan de Necker
2. More Pain, More Gain
3. Nightmares of My Youth
4. Royal Chains
5. Strong and United
6. What We Need
7. One More Night
8. Join Me
10. Don’t Bother Me
Titta Tani – Vocals
Alberto Rigoni – Bass
Alessio Tricarico – Guitar
Denis Novello – Drums
Record Label: Lion Music, April 2017
“Pop In Power Rock” ep (2014) [review]
“More Pain, More Gain” (2017)
Video for: ‘Royal Chains’
Video for ‘More Pain, More Gain’