I appreciate PRO-PAIN for always delivering what I expect it too: hardcore-based metal that's a swift kick to the teeth. It's a double-edged sword for the band, as folks like myself enjoy the unbridled assault and battery, while others tend to criticize the quartet for keeping it predictable. As much as PRO-PAIN's music hits me where it hurts, I must admit that I'm a little disappointed that on "Prophets of Doom" the band didn't continue what it started with 2004's "Fistful of Hate", an album that offered the listener more colors and accents without alienating long-term fans. On "Prophets of Dooms", it seems as though Gary Meskil and his band mates decided they were done with what amounts to experimentation (for this band anyway) and stuck closer to
the formula this time around.
"Prophets of Doom" is workmanlike PRO-PAIN, nothing more, nothing less. Don't let the acoustic strumming that opens "Hate Marches On" and reappears later in the track fool you, this is PRO-PAIN through and through. "Neocon", "One World Ain't Enough", "Getting Over", "Operation Blood", "Torn", and well, just about every song is a prototypical hardcore groover with vocal patterns and arrangements that you've heard many times before. As is the case with "Fistful of Hate", guitarists Tom Klimchuk and Eric Klinger do spice up the songs here and there, and the lead work has got more fire than is the case on earlier albums. Regardless, "Prophets of Doom" will not surprise anyone that knows anything about PRO-PAIN.
I'm a sucker for this kind of bruising tough guy stuff and probably always will be. It's not a case of me disliking "Prophets of Doom". Come on, it's PRO-PAIN. But I can't hold this album up as some kind of new era for the band, nor can I say that it's one of PRO-PAIN's best. My aforementioned caveat about what one could term "regression" aside, "Prophets of Doom" still basically works for me, even if I'm not bowled over by it. All I'm saying is, let's not delude ourselves here.