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On disc: Pain Of Salvation



The Perfect Element Part I - Amir Djawadi - 6 stars
Remedy Lane - Claudia Ehrhardt - 9 stars
Be - Philip Thelen - 10 stars
Scarsick - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars
Road Salt One - Philip Thelen - 9 stars
Road Salt Two - Philip Thelen - 9 stars


www.painofsalvation.com







Road Salt Two

Road Salt Two
(InsideOut Music - 2011)


Road Salt Two is the second part of the concept double album Road Salt One. Musically it is in the same way, though a bit darker. I think that is because the songs of both albums were written and recorded in one period. Personally I like the distorted snare drum sound on several tracks which fits perfect with the harsh guitar tunes. And again the sounds of the song vary a bit, as on the previous one. Again I think 70 art rock is the main style, mixed with everything fine from several styles. Example? Healing Now parts away with acoustic guitars and percussion. The sound of the album is very dry, not over produced. On Eleven you can hear the crazy snare sound. Listen to it more times and you will get every single detail.

Songs I recommend: Softly She Cries, Healing Now, Eleven, 1979, Mortar Grind


9 stars

Philip Thelen
 

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Road Salt One

Road Salt One
(InsideOut Music - 2010)


Swedish guys Pain Of Salvation are highly criticized due to changes of style during the last years. It is official that previous releases (for example Remedy Lane, Scarsick or the masterpiece Be) earned a lot of respect in the whole prog world. Every single album follows a concept and it is not easy to get behind it while listening only one time to the album. Road Salt One is very into 70s art rock, I think. Composer and mastermind Daniel Gildenl÷w offers a very spectacular view on his own emotions and experiences of life. Road Salt One is part of an double release which is released separately due to financial problems of the label. While listening you will get a brilliant view on Daniel's voice facets, for example. Sometimes it is very groovy, sometimes only sounds are in the middle. I think it is very difficult to describe the music of Pain Of Salvation coz of the difference to other prog bands and the creativity which is on a very high level. Their music is very unique. Give it a try and listen to it. After listening to it several times, you will find out more single details and the whole album come out with a red line. Songs I recommend are: No Way, She Likes To Hide, Sisters, Sleeping Under The Stars, Linoleum & Road Salt.


9 stars

Philip Thelen
 

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Scarsick

Scarsick
(InsideOut Music - 2007)


The albums of Pain Of Salvation are usually highly acclaimed by critics and definitely no mainstream. Their last studio album Be got diverse reactions - some loved it, some hated it. But Daniel Gildenl÷w never chose the easy way and always seemed to be unimpressed by criticism. As delusions of grandeur some titled Be, other thought it was to pretentious. As the Swedish always surprised the fans, their fans will at least check out their latest work - Scarsick. Bassist Kristoffer Gildenl÷w left the band last year and so his brother Daniel took over the four-strings for the recordings. Conceptual albums are a passion of Mr. Gildenl÷w and even if this album has no visible concept, the songs are all linked. You can take out a song - the songs can stand on their own -, but the wholeness of the album makes it more impressing. In the past Gildenl÷w wove into the lyrics socio-political criticism. And he picks up themes he already wrote about and tries to present them from a different point of view.
The album opens up with Scarsick - which is the first surprise. Very heavy, very modern with a touch of Faith No More / Rage Against The Machine they surprise the listener. Especially the vocals are giving this impression. The guitar riffing is more Rammstein-like... But they combine this with oriental sounds and soundscapes known from 70's art rock. But who can really describe the music of Mr. Gildenl÷w? You have to listen to it, it's the only way to get an idea about Pain Of Salvation and Scarsick. On the following Spitfall he even pushes the limits farther - at some parts he almost sounds like Eminem! Different voices representing different characters it seems... As I have no lyrics for Scarsick, this is a guess.
Cribcaged starts slowly, mellow... A baby laughing... giggling. A melancholy ballad - in the beginning -, but then speeds up to mid-tempo. Gildenl÷w shows he dislike to many different things by 'fuck the...'. A happy pop rock tune - mixed with alternative sounds - is America which has reminiscences to the same titled song off West Side Story, but in contrast to the happy music master Gildenl÷w put bitter, mean words. Here a bit Gary Charone shines through. The biggest surprise is probably Disco Queen which musically is going back to disco music, but in a heavy and rocking style. Lyrically back to the topic of prostitution and abuse which he dealt with at The Perfect Element Pt. 1, but this time it's not about physical abuse or prostitution! This time it's about the corruption of mind and soul. The prostitution of principles and the abuse of the soul - as the master states. Kingdom Of Loss starts with what sounds like the speech of some US president. And the Floyd-ish sounding song criticizes modern society, especially the US-American society. A beautiful song which mean words. The song reminds me a bit of Chroma Key... A bit oriental sounds Flame To The Moth, but very heavy and intense, too. After awhile anger breaks free and it has some unexpected aggressiveness. Gildenl÷w almost growling angrily, just to switch back to mellowness. A musical roller coaster ride. One of my personal highlights on Scarsick. Last, but not least Enter Rain. Dark and melancholy it begins, but as someone fighting back melancholy it gets more powerful in the fight - just to fall back into depression. Dark and threatening... like there is no hope. Rising from darkness to fall even deeper. And when it fades out you hear the siren of an ambulance or police car. Well, nothing to cheer you up here.
In their diversity all songs been on a very high level, even if a song like Idiocracy should have been shortened to be more focussed. Mrs. Modern Mother Mary is also a nice tune, but can't keep up with the previous tracks. For other bands then Pain Of Salvation this tunes would be masterpieces, but this is Pain Of Salvation and the expectations are high.


8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt
 








Be

Be
(InsideOut Music - 2004)


Be is one of Pain Of Salvation's masterpieces. The album deals with the philosophy of being. It offers many different styles from very progressive songs due to oriental parts. Musically it is featured by the Orchestra of Eternity. Like a circle the album ends were it starts but in a different way. For Vocari Dei the band hosted an phone voice box were everyone could call them and tell own feelings, experiences. They called it God's Phone Box. The track offers a very emotional yet thoughtful context. In my ears, this album is more fantastic than milestones of progressive or melodic rock, it is like an own way a musical bible.

I can not recommend a single song cause for me the whole album is one song, split into 15 tracks. But try this ones: Deus Nova, Imago, Pluvius Aestivus, Nauticus, Vocari Dei, Omni, Martius / Nauticus II


10 stars

Philip Thelen
 






Remedy Lane

Remedy Lane
(InsideOut Music - 2002)


Remedy Lane is the most personal and emotional album of Pain Of Salvation so far. This is definitely an album you have to listen to several times to get into it! But it's worth spending time. An amazing album!
But still Pain Of Salvation is making music for the listeners of prog metal / rock, even if this album might also get them some attention of fans which are not from this genre.... Anyway, this album is very personal and singer / guitarist Daniel Gildenlöw let the listener get a glimpse of his personal life... His experi­ences... And many had the same experiences and so it can become very personal for everybody... Are you ready for Remedy Lane?


9 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt
 






The Perfect Element Part I

The Perfect Element Part I
(InsideOut Music - 2000)


A good mixture of heaviness, melody and progressiveness. Who can that be?!? It's the Swedish Pain Of Salvation. The latest release is now in the stores, The Perfect Element has a dozen great tracks.
Singer and guitarist Daniel Gildenlöw guide his colleagues through the new materials and creates different atmosphere with his vocals. His brother Kristoffer plays the bass and got joined by Johan Hallgren on guitar while Johan Langell is on drums and keyboarder Fredrik Hermansson completed the line-up. 1997 they released their debut Entropia and they got a lot appreciation for this album. The popularity of the band increased due to the new medium internet outside Sweden and so the band soon released the follow-up One Hour By The Concrete Lake. Line-up chances delayed this a little, but were released in 1998 and after the release they toured with Threshold and Eldritch (1999). At that time they sounded a little harder and darker, so they are now more focused on melodies and catchiness, but donĺt lack a certain heaviness and aggression.
These days the Scandinavian five-piece released a conceptual album under the name The Perfect Element Part I which tells the story of two protagonists and deals with brutality and abuse. They didn't forget the social criticism, even if they are focused on their music. Especially for their European fans they recorded a video for Ashes which is as a bonus track on the limited edition of the European version. You see, the Swedish stick to their guns, but also develop. Go on!


6 stars

Amir Djawadi
(translation: Claudia Ehrhardt)
 

           ©2008-2014 by Claudia Ehrhardt • E-Mail: contact@ice-vajal.com


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