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Pain Of Salvation - Scarsick CD (album) cover

SCARSICK

Pain Of Salvation

 

Progressive Metal

3.18 | 475 ratings

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LiquidEternity
Prog Reviewer
4 stars This album gets a lot of serious flak from fans and non-fans alike. And I can understand why it might: coming off the terrific trio of The Perfect Element Part I (to which this album is thematically linked), Remedy Lane, and BE, this one does seem like a serious step backwards in terms of complexity, progginess, and all the general sorts of things that prog fans want in an album. But what it really is is a step forward, or at least forward and sideways, into an area that prog bands tend to try to avoid.

Progressive music has always sought to incorporate other musical styles into itself. Jazz, blues, classical, metal, electronica, folk, and so forth have found their way into countless albums. But someone had to try it first, try to include it within the context of the prog they were producing. And that is exactly what Pain of Salvation does here. They take a leap and try some new infusions of ideas. Except, instead of adding complexity in the manner of jazz, Pain of Salvation brings in punk, disco, hip hop, nu metal, and sceamo. Some of it doesn't quite work, I understand that. Some of the music just ends up sounding fairly average. The disco, I feel, works perfectly, creating what might be the most progressive song I've heard in a long time, namely the deep, innuendoed Disco Queen. The screamo is kind of iffy to me, working kind of weakly on Flame to the Moth.

But the point is that Pain of Salvation tried something new. This album, while the overall quality might be better reflected by three stars, is getting an extra one from me for sacrificing prog in the face of progression. Sure, the time signatures might not be that complex. Rap gets a terrible review from most every prog fan, but here, the band has turned what is often an inane genre into something that carries power, meaning, and purpose. Some critics assault the lyrics, especially on the first few songs, labeling them as stupid and immature. And they are. And that's the point. Unfortunately, unlike BE, in this case the concept does drag down the quality of the music, at least in the lyric regard.

All in all, a very intelligent effort from the band, but not necessarily a great one. Fans of Pain of Salvation will find something to like here, for certain, but I'd say it's a terrible place to start. Unless, of course, you are just that big a fan of disco.

LiquidEternity | 4/5 |

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