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


Pain Of Salvation


Progressive Metal

4.23 | 1159 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Review Nš 72

Pain Of Salvation is really a great progressive band in the true meaning of the word. Their sound is characterized by powerful guitar work, great lyrics with strong vocals and their music changes very often between abrupt musical passages, calm and heavy parts. Other main feature of the band is the intense musical experimentation from album to album. Another trademark of the group is that each album is a concept album. The themes addressed in the band's musical works change from album to album and ranging from sex, war, family, religion and environment.

This is my third review of a Pain Of Salvation's album. My two previous reviews were about their debut live album '12:05' released in 2004 and their fourth studio album 'Remedy Lane' released in 2002. The line up of the band on 'The Perfect Element Part 1' is the same of the other two previous albums. So, the line up on it is, Daniel Gildenl'w (lead vocals and guitar), Johan Hallgreen (backing vocals and guitar), Fredrik Hermansson (keyboards, Steinway piano and samples), Kristoffer Gildenl'w (backing vocals and bass) and Johan Langell (backing vocals and drums).

'The Perfect Element Part 1' is the third studio album of the band and was released in 2000. As I wrote before and as usual on the band, this is another concept album of the group, this time focused on the forming of the individual personality, particularly on the events that marked our childhood and adolescence and that will shape our personality forever, making us what we are today. The subject is a bit more focused on the social and educational aspects of the forming of the individual person from the adolescence to the adulthood.

'The Perfect Element Part 1' explores many themes within its context. It includes some and very different aspects such as child abuse (sexual and physical), sexuality, tragedy, drug abuse, love, pain, anger, loss (of live and innocence, among other things), shame, regret, despair and inner struggles. All these themes are dealt as a story that explores the live of two fictional persons, one male and one female (known in the lyrics as He and She), which are two broken and dysfunctional persons.

As Daniel Gildenlow explains, 'The Perfect Element Part 1' shouldn't be seen as an autobiography or a true story of the band's elements, despite some parts of the concept and its emotions are clearly influenced by own their lives, but some others parts are there, because they only want to emphasize them. 'The Perfect Element Part 1' is the first part of two planned musical conceptual pieces of music around the childhood and adolescence. Their second part was released in 2007, as their sixth studio album, not under the name of 'The Perfect Element Part 2', but under the title 'Scarsick', which will be the object of my next review of this band, here on Progarchives.

'The Perfect Element Part 1' has twelve tracks and they are all divided into three chapters. The first, the second, the third and the fourth tracks 'Used', 'In The Flesh', 'Ashes' and 'Morning On Earth' respectively, make part of Chapter I: 'As These Two Desolate Worlds Collide'. The fifth, the sixth, the seventh and the eighth tracks 'Idioglossia', 'Her Voices', 'Dedication' and 'King Of Loss' respectively, make part of Chapter II: 'It All Catches Up On You When You Slow Down'. The ninth, the tenth, the eleventh and the twelfth tracks 'Reconciliation', 'Song For The Innocent', 'Falling' and 'The Perfect Element' respectively, make part of Chapter III: 'Far Beyond The Point Of No Return'.

The artwork, concept, lyrics, music and arrangements of the album were made by Daniel Gildenlow except the first half of 'Her Voices' which was made by Daniel Gildenlow and Hermansson, and the 'Once' part, in the middle of the last track 'The Perfect Element', which was made by Daniel Gildenlow and Langell. The string arrangements were made by Daniel Gildenlow and Hermansson.

Conclusion: 'The Perfect Element Part 1' is a superior Pain Of Salvation's studio album, as is usual with all Pain Of Salvation's albums, and it brought originality and diversity to this musical genre, by one of the greatest and most important progressive metal bands from the second generation of this sub-genre. All the songs are absolutely incredible, and even thought that this is a concept album, you can listen to any song as you want and still get the same effect on you, without having to listen to it in its strictly order. As with all Pain Of Salvation albums, I recommend reading the lyrics while you listening to it. It makes your musical experience much deeper. This is really a perfect album. 'The Perfect Element Part 1' is, in my humble opinion, an album at the same quality level of their next studio album 'Remedy Lane'. For me, the only difference between these two albums is strictly a question of personal taste. In my case, it makes that my personal preference goes to 'Remedy Lane'. But as I said before, it's only a matter of taste.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 5/5 |


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