Review: Pain Of Truth - Not Through Blood

Album Title
Not Through Blood
Released On

I ignored PAIN OF TRUTH for as long as they allowed me to. I looked at the band name, the artwork from their debut EP No Blame…Just Facts, and I kept scrolling. Then, I incorrectly filed them as beatdown in my hardcore filing cabinet. That was my mistake, and I’ll own it when the auditors of mosh come to check my cred. Chalk it up to being out of touch.

Over the last few years, I have watched Pain Of Truth climb up to co-headlining slots across the US on various tours and festivals. Aside from the emo-rock crisis circa 2010, I tend to trust trends in hardcore. The cream really does rise to the top in most instances. 

Not Through Blood is the debut full-length from the Long Island crew, and they are going all-in. It must be mentioned upfront much like their EP, this album includes guest vocals on every track with lyrics (“Same Old Story” is an instrumental). There’s no way any listener wouldn’t realize the variety of the voices through the record's eleven tracks. That’s important as Pain Of Truth’s own Michael Smith does not have an incredibly distinctive voice. However, he is a capable, charismatic front person for a hardcore band. So, the decision to commit to the whole album of features will undoubtedly dominate the conversation on the LP.

Some of the most well-known voices in hardcore, like Freddy Cricien of Madball, Justice Tripp of Trapped Under Ice, Scott Vogel of Terror, and Jay Peta of Mindforce, jump out of the speakers on their respective tracks. All participants trade lines backed by weighty riffs from guitarist Nik Hansen and Ridge Rhine. The latter has been writing and playing particularly interesting hardcore as a member of Life’s Question but takes a more direct and bludgeoning approach in Pain Of Truth. There’s a bounce to the songs on Not Through Blood that brings to mind their peers in Incendiary (Brendan Garrone features on the title track alongside Corin of Last Wishes) provided by the rhythm section of bassist Zach Stache and Nick Baker on drums.

There is no mistaking the New York hardcore influences the band wears on their sleeves. The album was recorded and mixed by Andy Nelson at Bricktop Studio in Chicago, IL, but it sounds like it could have been done by Dean Baltulonis right on Long Island. Pain Of Truth is a well-studied quintet on the sound and style of hardcore music. Not Through Blood is evidence of their dedication to the scene and the community they’ve found within it. It totally kicks ass too.

Dan Craley
Gotten Out By
Dan Craley

Dan started Getting It Out back in 2018 as a stand alone podcast. He’s been writing for music websites for over a decade and finally decided to start his own. Now living in Lancaster, Pennsylvania with his wife and kids, he briefly sang for Baltimore’s Pleasant Living.

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