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Painstained

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Album Review

What a long, strange trip it's been for Finland's Entwine, from their mid-‘90s death metal origins, through their early goth metal efforts, leading into what's essentially a modern radio rock album in their sixth full-length, 2009's Painstained. Seriously, wipe off that resilient eyeliner and the studiously morose looks seemingly super-glued onto these guys' faces, and they may as well be Nickelback or Daughtry — with keyboards, brains, and a distinctly European aesthetic. That last bit is crucial: it's precisely why the keening vocals, swirling synths, and Neanderthal riffs of "Dying Moan" suggest a fusion between Entwine's defunct countrymen Sentenced and Floridian corporate rockers Creed. The electronic production on "Greed of Mankind," meanwhile, points directly to Linkin Park, while the slow-marching depression and vocal harmonies of "Lost in My Denial" fall squarely in the post-Alice in Chains universe inhabited by most of these mainstream rock bands. Don't misunderstand, though: far from a condemnation, these references only help to highlight what a more imaginative and versatile band like Entwine can do with this catchy collision between power and hooks — the new millennium equivalent to AOR, if you will. And that essentially boils down to a few irresistible hard rock singles like "Soul Sacrifice," "Strife," and "Dead by Silence" that, to their immense credit, also manage to exude real emotion instead of glassy-eyed misogyny (thank you Mr. Kroeger). The end results are still not for everyone — certainly not the heavy metal set that first supported Entwine — but anyone seeking appealing, accessible hard rock could do a lot worse. Rocking out for the sake of rocking out is not a sin.

Biography

Formed: 1995 in Finland

Genre: Metal

Years Active: '00s

Hailing from Finland are Entwine, a gothic metal quintet specializing in a darkly melodic and richly textured form of heavy pop music. The group began as a three-piece death metal outfit in the spring of 1995; that early lineup, consisting of Aki Hanttu (drums), Tom Mikkola (guitar and vocals), and T. Taipale (bass), gradually began incorporating more melodic and textural dimensions to their music, moving further away from death metal and into more conventional pop territory. After a few lineup changes,...
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Painstained, Entwine
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