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Pain Of Salvation - Falling Home CD (album) cover

FALLING HOME

Pain Of Salvation

 

Progressive Metal

3.23 | 123 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Rune2000
Special Collaborator
Prog Metal Team
3 stars A good but not completely satisfying acoustic experience!

It's been a while since I've really enjoyed a Pain Of Salvation release. I feel like the band reached their peak in 2004 when they released their concept album Be and the acoustic live masterpiece 12:5. Since then the band have undergone quite a change of direction which also resulted in a few lineup changes. I found Scarsick to be a disappointment, live album Ending Themes and Linoleum were good but lacked the creativity of their previous efforts and the Road Salt duology was a complete departure in style.

Having said that, I still actively follow the band on the social media and keep a lookout for their live shows. I happened to see the new lineup featuring the very talented guitarist and vocalist Ragnar Zolberg, return of Gustaf Hielm on bass and Daniel Karlsson on keyboards and backing vocals. The show I saw in March 2012 was easily the best Pain Of Salvation live performance out of the many that I've seen with the band over the years. The vocal harmonies were perfect, the instrumental skill was very prominent and the fun factor was definitely in place.

This live experience made me very excited for the new possibilities that the new lineup entailed. I was interested in seeing what Ragnar Zolberg and Daniel Karlsson would achieve in the song writing department, considering that Zolberg seems to be a huge fan of the band's first four records and excels in his performances of classics like Used and Chain Sling. Daniel Karlsson has a distinct keyboard sound that makes his contributions even more prominent than those of Fredrik Hermansson.

You could probably imagine my excitement when I heard that Pain Of Salvation were going to release a new album in 2014. I was slightly less excited when more information had been unveiled about Falling Home and it turned out to be an acoustic re-imagining of the band's material mainly from the last couple of years. But I kept my hopes up and patiently awaited the release date of November 10th.

My first listening session made me experience quite a few mixed emotions. Even though the performances were spot on and the new re-imagining of the compositions were for most part quite exquisite, I still couldn't shake off the thought that this was an inferior follow-up to 12:5. First off, this record was not recorded in front of a live audience thus making this recording feel like a much safer choice than 12:5. Second off, most of the material from Road Salt duology is acoustic to begin with which doesn't make the new versions sound too different from the original counterparts. Finally I have an issue with the cover version of Holy Diver. I'm a big fan of the original recording by Dio and hearing this version made me really offended since Pain Of Salvation turns it into an acoustic reggae track!

Falling Home is a good but not completely satisfying acoustic experience since we all know that Pain Of Salvation can create majestic vocal harmonies in a low key setting. The problem is the choice of material, the decision of recording the record in a studio instead of doing it live and the horrible cover of Holy Diver doesn't exactly make things better, even though the cover of Perfect Day is actually a whole lot better. I'm still waiting for that new record from the band's current lineup that would live up to the legacy of Pain Of Salvation.

***** star songs: Chain Sling (4:08)

**** star songs: Stress (5:32) Linoleum (4:57) To The Shoreline (3:06) 1979 (2:50) Perfect Day (4:51) Flame To The Moth (4:31) Falling Home (3:06)

*** star songs: Mrs. Modern Mother Mary (4:23) Spitfall (6:42)

** star songs: Holy Diver (4:34)

Rune2000 | 3/5 |

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