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Pain Of Salvation - Scarsick CD (album) cover


Pain Of Salvation


Progressive Metal

3.18 | 571 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Review Nš 73

This is my fourth review of a Pain Of Salvation's album. My three previous reviews were their debut live album '12:05' released in 2004, and their third and fourth studio albums 'The Perfect Element Part 1' and 'Remedy Lane' released in 2000 and 2002, respectively. 'Scarsick' is the sixth studio album of Pain Of Salvation and was released in 2007. The line up on the album is Daniel Gildenlow (lead vocals, guitars, bass guitar, banjos and samplers), Fredrik Hermansson (keyboards and samplers), Johan Halgreen (vocals and guitars) and Johan Langell (backing vocals and drums). It's important to note that the bass guitar is played by Daniel Gildenlow and not by Kristoffer Gildenlow as was usual in the band. The bassist left the band in 2006 because his marriage. Daniel asked his brother total dedication to the group, what it meant to live in Sweden, but his home is in the Netherlands, which interrupted his continuity in the band. This was also the last studio album to feature Langell on drums who decided to quit the band to spend more time with his family. It was a very difficult decision of him who was received with surprise by fans and also by the band's members.

'Scarsick' is the second part of 'Perfect Element Part 1'. It's a conceptual album focused on issues like capitalism, materialism, consumerism, and the entire contemporary society as a whole. It continues the story of the male person (He) from that album. 'Scarsick' deals with many aspects within its context, including topics like frustration, consumer culture, materialism, industrialization, capitalism, commercialization, American Imperialism, conformity, idolization of celebrities, collectivist nature of religion and decline of our Western civilization. Daniel said that the life of (He) is an allegory for all mankind and that in him we can see the problems of our society on a very intimate and personal level. While 'The Perfect Element Part 1' deals with the individual dysfunction in a certain psychological context, 'Scarsick' deals with a sociological sense and explores the relationship between both contexts.

'Scarsick' has ten tracks which are divided in two chapters, side A and side B. However, some tacks are also divided into several parts. The side A: 'His Skin Against This Dirty Floor' has five tracks. The first track 'Scarsick', the second track 'Spitfall' which is divided into five parts: 'Introducing Star', 'Thus Quote The Craving', 'Redefining Vomatorium', 'Man Of The Masses' and 'Yo', the third track 'Cribcaged', the fourth track 'America' and the fifth track 'Disco Queen' which is divided into four parts: 'Tonight I'll Fall', 'A Cheap Sellout Drug', 'A Tighter Groove' and 'My Disco Queen'. The side B: 'Why Can't I Close My Eyes' has also five tracks. The first track 'Kingdom of Loss', the second track 'Mr. Modern Mother Mary', the third track 'Idiocracy', the fourth track 'Flame of the Moth' and the fifth track 'Enter Rain' which is divided into three parts: 'Running', 'Standing' and 'Falling'.

Pain Of Salvation is, in my point of view, a very different and special band. His leader Daniel Gildenlow has a very well concrete plan for the band and he doesn't stray from it, for any reason, even under the pressure of their fans. On the other hand, we can never criticize Pain Of Salvation for not changing their direction, whether we like or not. And, this is what happened with this album, which became one of the most controversial albums, in this site and in the last years.

'Scarsick' became, in my humble opinion, the most misunderstood and underrated album in the recent years. Unfortunately, it joins to 'Tales From Topographic Oceans' of Yes, probably the most underrated masterpiece in the history of the progressive rock music. Sincerely, I can't understand how anyone can give on this site 1 or 2 stars to this album. Personally, this is an album that I can't stop playing, as also happened with our colleague Gatot. 'Scarsick' has probably the best lyrics of all band's albums, and musically, despite being a very progressive and audacious album that explores various musical genres, it keeps its powerful sound with changes by abrupt passages between calm and heavy parts, what always has been one of the traditional images of the group.

Conclusion: Fortunately, in these days, I'm not too much influenced by people's reviews before I listen to an album. 'Scarsick' is, for me, a fantastic album and one of the most mature albums released by the band until today. It's a very complex album, even though it may feel in the beginning that's its simple, shallow and too modern, for no apparent reason. It takes a lot of patience to find everything it has to offer, but sincerely I think that it's worth it. There are a lot of diverse musical influences, unconventional ideas, clever and direct lyrics, and the most important of all, emotion on it. I know that most of you don't like of so diversity on it and that you even can feel in some moments that it just seems not to be the same album. However, I'm still convinced that, all in all, 'Scarsick' is a great album and hopefully, for me, it continues to get better and better with each listen. I would recommend it to everyone who has a truly open mind.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 4/5 |


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