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Pain Of Salvation - Remedy Lane CD (album) cover

REMEDY LANE

Pain Of Salvation

 

Progressive Metal

4.21 | 848 ratings

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LiquidEternity
Prog Reviewer
5 stars This is the final album in Pain of Salvation's discography that is, well, typical Pain of Salvation. Following Remedy Lane, the abnormal becomes the normal. But here, they're still playing prog metal with a strong poetic drive to the lyrics and songwriting. And it is with Remedy Lane that they surpass The Perfect Element, Part I.

The album opens rather unexpectedly, with the strange construction and the uncomfortable subject matter. If discussions of sexuality (done from a fairly healthy standpoint, at least) bother you, this album is likely not one you should jump into. Of Two Beginnings segues to Ending Theme (marking the strangest labels of two initial tracks on any album I've found yet), a short and straightforward track highlighted by some Gildenlow poetry reading and a nicely zesty guitar solo outro. Fandango enters next, and boy is this one a doozy. A sliding, stuttering bass line, plinking pianos on top, polyrhythmic choruses, dual tone rapping, very high-pitched singing... if you ever want to show a friend what kind of strange things progressive metal has created, this song is the poster child. A Trace of Blood follows, with some upbeat piano in the intro misleading you into thinking this is not a song about his stillborn child. It includes a very touching chorus with great harmonies.

This Heart of Mine is one of my personal favorites. Essentially a love song in two parts, the first is a gentle acoustic piece. The second features Daniel singing very passionately and very impressively (if you're one of those people who just loves bombastic and crazy vocals, this might just do it for you). Next, Undertow is a fan favorite, starting slow and building towards a powerful vocal climax. The lyrics are a bit... angsty, though. Rope Ends is quite possibly the weakest song on the album, despite perhaps having the best chorus on the whole CD. In the center of this song, the band randomly degrades from heartbreakingly singing about his ex-wife's attempted suicide to a poorly segued typical prog metal jamfest, complete with shredding and all the typical trappings of the genre that can divide fans so easily. Thankfully, the next track, Chainsling, is much more cohesive and singular. Almost reminiscent of an acoustic Ayreon, it ties together several themes of the album. Dryad of the Woods is a brilliant acoustic instrumental, and it definitely deserves one of the top spots in the Pain of Salvation hierarchy of songs. Very well constructed, very beautiful, not cheesy at all. The title track is just an electronic interlude rehashing some earlier themes.

Waking Every God is an enjoyable little rocker, and is perhaps the very last time that Kristoffer Gildenlow slapped the heck out of his bass for a Pain of Salvation song. The intro is just covered with delicious (though undermixed) funky basswork. The rest of the song is solid, too. Second Love is something like This Heart of Mine: a gentle acoustic love song. This time, instead of Daniel singing his heart out, we have two and three part harmonies forming the dark romantic choruses. And that brings us to the final track, Beyond the Pale, a stunning way to end the album. It builds on a bizarre minimalism for the first few minutes, featuring slowly building music and some tortured vocals. The song overall is filled with powerful, soaring, grumpy, and all other sorts of singing, and perhaps is one of Daniel's best moments in front of a microphone--especially the last three words he sings. And this closes the album, save for a slow fadeout and rhythmic poetic whisperings.

In short, if you heard The Perfect Element and thought it was great, I hope you try this one out, as it is much stronger and has much less prog metal noodle abuse. This is the band's most consistent release, not as progressively brilliant as their followup, BE, but definitely the best full-band sound they ever achieved. If you're into metal and into prog but are tired of your usual prog metal options, perhaps this is a good place to look.

LiquidEternity | 5/5 |

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