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Pain Of Salvation - The Perfect Element Part 1 CD (album) cover

THE PERFECT ELEMENT PART 1

Pain Of Salvation

 

Progressive Metal

4.25 | 911 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

1800iareyay
Prog Reviewer
4 stars I heard about Pain of Salvation shortly before joining ProgArchives last month. I acqired The Perfect Element Part 1 becasue that was the most recommended on metal sites that I frequent. By that point, I was immersing myself in prog metal, rejoicing that my two favorite genres collided in one amazing whole. Dream Theater, Tool, Symphony X, Fates Warning, Voivod, and Opeth blared on my iPod alongside Crimson and Metallica. Nothing could have prepared me for what I was about to hear.

Pain of Salvation combines phenomenally technical drumming, subtle yet skilled fretless bass, heavy SX/DT keyboards, and Opeth-like harsh yet atmospheric guitars. Then, there was Daniel Gildenlow. If ever someone could strip Geoff Tate of his crown as king of metal singers, it's this guy. He is a wondeful hybrid of the purity of Geoff Tate, the falsetto of Jeff Buckley, the screams of Ian Gillan, and the versatility of Mike Patton. Those four vocalists happen to be in my top 15, so I was stunned that they came in one package. The musicianship alone should confirm PoS as metal elite, but the music takes you to another world.

Every PoS album is a concept piece, and Perfect Element is no exception. Prog metal is no stranger to bleak ablums. After all, it's finest album, Operation Mindcrime, deals with a dystopian future where a naive addict is used for terrorism. PoS takes the hopelessness of Queensryche's masterpiece and synthesizes with the bleakness of Opeth. The concept, like all PoS releases, is nigh impenetrable without looking carefully at liner notes and websites for aid. The concept here is the development of the individual. Since this is part 1, it goes from birth to adolescence. The bleakness comes from the tales of child molestation, shame, pain, etc.

As with other PoS releases, it's difficult to pick highlights. Though the individual songs are strong, particularly "King of Loss" and "In the Flesh", when you first listen, listen to the whole album. The album alternates between soft beauty and sludge rock heaviness. Gildenlow goes from a growl to a scream of agony without breaking a sweat. Some people are put off by his Patton-esque rapping of some songs, but like Mike Patton, he does it in a way that is still tuneful and superb. The guitars are crushing with a borderline nu-metal sound; thankfully, they stop just short of entering that unforgivable territory. The drums and bass offer a subtley overpowering rythmn section. Drummer Johan Langell reminds me of Mark Zonder of Fates Warning. Overall, this album isn't as strong as its follow-up, the stunningly brilliant Remed Lane, but it's still a worthy listen. Highly Recommended.

Grade: B+

1800iareyay | 4/5 |

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