It’s back to the golden age of heavy metal with these mosh pit surviving locals
It is ironic that having “come of age” in the ’80s, I spent most of that decade in love with music from the ’60s and ’70s, yet now as I stare middle age squarely in the bifocals, I can’t help but feel some nostalgia for the era that birthed MTV. On the downside, there was an awful lot of really terrible music then.
Soulless “corporate rock” spread its evil wings over the decade. Glam, which had been so much fun in the ’70s, devolved into hair bands somehow selling the message that a bouffant and your mom’s makeup bag made you “tough” (I guess it had to…) but the early ’80s also saw the advent of new wave, the birth of hip-hop and, from ’77 to ’87, what had to be the golden era of hard rock and heavy metal music. You don’t hear that kind of sound anymore, at least I though you didn’t—until I heard Pains Chapel.
Jeff Campbell, Teddy Owensby, Tim Gray and Ken Williams are the boys who bring the noise with a sound that comes straight from metal renaissance of the early ’80s. From the moment I slipped on the headphones and pressed play, I was transported back to a time of torn denim, heavily adorned with studs, spikes and sharpie marker art (yes, Virginia, I was a little headbanger once upon a time).
The point I’m trying to convey is that this is a genre of music I am intimately familiar with from my youth and from that time to now I can’t think of another band that has captured the sound so perfectly.
The vocals of Ken Williams are simply stunning. Every player in this band is a master of their instrument and the form. I would not diminish the role any of them play in the total sound of the band but this guy’s voice! Rarely have I heard this kind of power, range and control from anyone who wasn’t already a megastar. Dio, Bruce Dickinson and Geoff Tate would all scoot over to give this guy a seat at the bar. Listen to 30 seconds worth of “End of Reign” on Pains Chapel’s Reverbnation page to hear what I’m talking about.
That being said, powerful pipes are the icing on the cake in a metal band. Without a strong foundation, it’s meaningless, which is to say a great band with an average singer is far more memorable than a poor band with a brilliant singer. Luckily, Pains Chapel has the total package.
Jeff Campbell is the six-string slinger in the band, and one suspects that he spent some time eating the hearts of other guitar greats, absorbing their techniques into his own. His rhythm chops sound like two two guitar players at once. His versatility is neatly demonstrated on the dynamically interesting tune, “Alive.”
If Williams’ vocals soar, it is the rock-solid guitar of Campbell and Tim Gray’s monstrous drumming with Owensby’s teeth-rattling bass providing the platform that allows him to do so. Gray beats the skins like they owe him money and Owensby, in the oft-overlooked position of bassman, is the mighty powerful glue that holds it all together.
The guys are currently working on their debut album with Josh Chuma at Breaker 17 studio in Fort Oglethorpe. The release date is till TBA, but in the meantime you can get a taste of what they’re up to at reverbnation.com/painschapel as well as their upcoming gigs at Playerz on April 25 and Ziggy’s on May 9 at 8 p.m, with special guests All or Nothin’ and Never Surrender.
If there was ever any fondness in your heart for the kind of music that may as well be aural amphetamines, you’re going to LOVE these guys—so break out the spikes and come enjoy a stage show every bit as impressive as the tunes they play.
For booking info contact Pains Chapel at firstname.lastname@example.org