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Pain Of Salvation - Scarsick CD (album) cover

SCARSICK

Pain Of Salvation

 

Progressive Metal

3.18 | 469 ratings

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Cygnus X-2
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Whenever a new Pain of Salvation album is released, there are those who love it and hate it, but rarely are there those in the middle. For Be I was in the middle, I thought musically there was some good stuff here and there but the pretentious concept ruined it for me. The same case is for Scarsick, there's stuff to enjoy here, but there are other elements that only hurt it rather than help it. But the most important thing to understand when you listen to this album after listening to the rest of the group's body of work is that they were trying something a bit different here. Some like this change, some hate it, and for the most part I think it is effective (to a certain extent).

Musically, forget what you heard on the older Pain of Salvation albums, you'll find nothing like that here. Scarsick features no blistering time signatures (besides brief excursions into 7/8), overly intricate melodies, or even songs that show the softer side of the band. They're all hard hitting, right to the point, and they don't feature the same sophistication that previous songs on previous albums did. It's a completely different feeling that this album conveys when you think about it.

What I didn't like about the album was that lack of sophistication that was on all prior albums. The sensitive and emotional lyrics and vocals of Gildenlow are replaced with disdain, frustration, and cynical criticisms, with no poignant or even... dare I say it... beautiful moments to help lift the sullen mood that the album seems to be deadlocked upon. Also, Disco Queen is a completely out of place song that is more the band screwing around than anything else (at least that's what I think it is).

There are some tracks that I really did enjoy, though. First off, I really liked Cribcaged. It's simplistic approach and effective lyrical approach drive the point that Gildenlow wants to convey across quite well. Kingdom of Loss is definitely the best song on the album, in my opinion. From it's powerful guitar solo by Johan Hallgren, to it's undeniably true message, I can't help but like every second of this song.

People need to learn that no group can always release a masterpiece, it just isn't possible (unless you're a complete fanboy and think anything an artist does is God's work), and that is definitely the case with Scarsick. Some of the other reviews (in my opinion) are a bit too critical of the change in Pain of Salvation's sound and aren't paying much attention to what is actually being played. I don't think this is by any means a bad album, it's just something a bit different. And isn't that what artists are supposed to do, try things differently?

Cygnus X-2 | 3/5 |

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