Lowell based noise badass Pain Chain recently released Soul Impression, an exploration of the soul through noise. Pain Chain describes the impetus for the album as the “idea that our non-physical being can be represented through sound and colors pressed into a page.” Your psyche will be pummeled by chaotic sampling, granular delay spasms and that harsh noise wall we all crave. The album somehow delivers on a promise to express color from sound in a way that you didn’t know harsh noise could. Open up your mind and let the sound flow through you.
Soul Impression expertly infuses a sense of longing, confusion and an oblique exploration of who we are and why we think about our self-hood in the way we do. Cascading primal pleas close out the first track and echo through the album; giving it depth and conveying a true sense of inner pain. You will find a sense of crushing sorrow here, but Pain Chain has managed to put that against a backdrop of color not usually found in the genre. One might expect your typical digital chaos and pitchy feedback that’s so common in New England noise, but they manage to breath new life and expression into the album which truly conveys a sense of color and brutality into a journey of musical growth.
Pain Chain has been honing their craft at a breakneck speed to define and expand on who they are becoming, as we all should strive to do. Soul Impression further pushes their reach and gives the listener a backdrop to contemplate their own sense of self and identity. It’s a psychological exercise that beckons the listener to think deeper than the bland manufactured ambient slosh that seems to be flooding the zeitgeist. Pain Chain is doing something different and you better be there for it.