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Torman Maxt - The Problem Of Pain: Part 1 CD (album) cover

THE PROBLEM OF PAIN: PART 1

Torman Maxt

 

Progressive Metal

1.58 | 38 ratings

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russellk
Prog Reviewer
2 stars As a former trainee pastor and worship leader I have listened to a great deal of Christian music in my time. The very best of it (I think of Rich Mullins, Bruce Cockburn, Neal Morse and Ark Angel) is comparable to secular music in its ideas and virtuosity, but is generally conservative in its composition. What risks can one take with vocal delivery, lyrics and song structure when writing for such an audience? As this offering demonstrates, not many.

The major problem here is not the rudimentary drumming, the poor sound quality or the annoyingly adenoidal vocals. It is the chance missed to actually explore the topic. Much is made in the accompanying booklet of the issue at hand. If God is good and all powerful, why does He allow pain? It is a crucial question which has exercised the minds of philosophers for centuries. I have C.S. Lewis' book 'The Problem of Pain' and regard it as a 20th Century classic. However, apart from the general choice of subject matter, I see no link drawn in these lyrics between the story of Job and the legitimate question Lewis raises (and answers). The story is told very much 'by the book' with little interpretation by the lyricist. In fact, some of the more salacious aspects of Job's suffering are elided, as though the Bible itself is too tough for modern Christians. Some shocking things happen to Job in the story, and the story loses its impact if these are glossed over. Now I understand that this is Part 1, but we're already some distance through this sanitised version of the story. Where's Lewis' philosophy? Where's the reflection?

I find the relentlessly upbeat nature of the music very inappropriate. Angels singing repetitively 'You are worthy, Lord' while at the same time God is destroying Job and his family to win a bet with Satan works on me like sandpaper on the skin. Even Job doesn't sound all that bothered, as though his personal faith is more important than the lives lost in the attempt to prove it. The subject matter demands something much more visceral than this. Though the band have obviously used RUSH as an inspiration, they have not captured the depth of emotion GEDDY LEE and his mates inject into their music.

Good on them for having a crack, but this does not work for me on any of the required levels. I have respectfully and thoughtfully explained why, have suited the rating to my comments, and wish the band success in tackling future projects.

russellk | 2/5 |

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