Pain, Billion Dollar Babies, Dynazty, The Vision Bleak @ The Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton (UK) – 25 October 2016

Pain’s extensive Coming Home Tour was supported by Billion Dollar Babies and Dynazty, both from Sweden and The Vision Bleak from Germany. I caught them at their Wolverhampton stop. Varied line-up as far as genres concerned. However, it worked for our favour, too. Glam rock and melodic rock are the two things that come to my mind when it comes to the two opening acts. Billion Dollar Babies were promoting their latest release, Chemical God.

Dynazty continued where their Swedish comrades left. There were clearly a few fans in the crowd who were singing along with ’Raise Your Hands’ but hardly anyone stood still during ’The Human Paradox’. With the last two albums (Titanic Mass and Renatus) their sound went from average party rock to promising power metal. Vocalist Nils Molin did an amazing job live. His vocals are powerful and flawless and it’s especially significant for this genre because you either hit that note or not.

The Vision Bleak brought in a different atmosphere. Gloomy, gothic tales of horror and occult story telling. The change was so palpable that it took some time to adjust ourselves to the doom and gloom. Fortunately, the crowd was catching up quickly and gave in to the hypnotic grim riffs. They opened with the very powerful ’From Wolf to Peacock’. ’The Kindred of the Sunset’ and ’Into the Unknown’ from their latest The Unknown were also part of their set. Fist-pumping and chanting together during ’Kutulu!’ and ’Wolfmoon’ was a great end to their performance.

The Vision Bleak live in Wolverhampton, October 2016

The Vision Bleak. Photo by Vivien Varga.

By the time Pain took to the stage things were running behind. Thankfully, when they set off with ‘Designed to Piss You Off’, they managed to drag us back to life, so to say. There was no beating around the bush. Peter Tägtgren wearing a straitjacket was pretty appropriate as he took us for a crazy ride tonight. Peter’s son, Sebastian was behind the drums as Pain’s drummer David Wallin couldn’t take part in this tour due to family issues.

Most of the set was built around the new album, Coming Home but they also had some crowd-pleasers under their sleeves. ‘Zombie Slam’, ‘The Great Pretender’ and ‘Suicide Machine’ as well as “one for the ladies” with ‘Dirty Woman’. Then there was the self-inflicted interruption during ‘Call Me’ where the band seemingly spontaneously stopped playing and Sabaton‘s Joakim Brodén made an appearance. Only as a puppet, though, just how we saw him with Peter in the song’s video and his vocals joined in soon on a backing track. We were already way after the 11pm curfew but we got our money’s worth. ‘Same Old Song’ and ‘Shut Your Mouth’ closed the set and despite the late finish quite a lot of us stayed till the last notes were played.

It was an excellent line-up with bands from different scenes of the music industry, which did not allow us to get bored.

Pain Wolverhampton October 2016

Peter Tägtgren of PAIN. Photo by Vivien Varga.

All live photography by Vivien Varga.

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