Pain, Neosis and Maleficent @ The Underworld, London

13th February 2013
Review by Victoria Fenbane

Swedish electro-industrial metallers PAIN are back in London, just three months after wowing crowds around the UK as warm up act for Nightwish at the end of 2012.

Tonight’s gig at the Borderline is the first in PAIN’s debut headline UK tour…From overheard chatter in the queue, it is evident many attending purchased tickets for this tour due to the aforementioned Nightwish support slot, along with a fair proportion of longer term fans too.

Late doors caused me to worry the gig would be rushed, due to three bands and a 10:30pm curfew, but it turned out to be an immaculately run gig. Shortly after doors finally open the venue is already half full, providing local support act Maleficent the audience their show deserves.

They open proceedings with a bang, all immaculately turned out each band member possessing their own image, yet the whole of Maleficent is a visually cohesive unit. As a consequence, front-woman Miss Martini does not draw the attention of the spectators’ eye for the set’s entirety, despite being flamboyantly turned out and throwing ballet shapes on in all too small stage. She shares vocal duties with equally with Mortimer Cain and overall they make very explosive impact for a support act.

The sound of the second support act for the night is a substantial change in direction. Swiss industrial Metallers NEOSIS (New Evolution Of Society Influenced by Scientism), swing the sounds and images from gothic prettiness to grinding nastiness. Meshuggah and Fear Factory being the obviously and already much quoted comparisons.

The crowd lapped them up, while this weak eared reviewer retreated to the back until the main act. If you like your industrial nu metal loud and laden with dirty bass riffs, check these lot out PAIN is essentially a solo project of Peter Tägtgren; tonight he is once again backed by a full band, however due to the size of venue (275 capacity Borderline) the video projections seen at the recent Nightwish shows are absent.

The intimate atmosphere and anticipation of tonight’s show more than makes up for a lack of visual distractions and makes it seem like an even more intimate and special event. Peter and co. do not let their long waiting fans down in the slightest.

Even for me, who hadn’t had much interest before seeing their Nightwish support slot, it was a perfect set from start to finish. The sound was crisp (Note to self: see more gigs at The Borderline), the setlist one storming varied sing along epic after another, and the crowd were all totally up for it.

The band looked chuffed to bits and to be enjoying themselves too. Even the often crazy looking Tägtgren in his trademark straight jacket cracked a fair few smiles.

They run slightly over curfew but I got the feeling both band and crowd could have gone on much later.
If I wasn’t a fan before, I definitely am now!

Let Me Out
Walking on Glass
I’m Going In
Dirty Woman
Zombie Slam
End of the Line
Suicide Machine
The Great Pretender
It’s Only Them
Monkey Business
Dark Fields of Pain
Nailed to the Ground
On & On

Supersonic Bitch
Same Old Song
Shut Your Mouth