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Pain Of Salvation - Be CD (album) cover

BE

Pain Of Salvation

 

Progressive Metal

4.12 | 684 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

topofsm
5 stars Pain of Salvation throws together the mysterious ideas of creation, the haunting prospect of the future of the Earth, and the death of the human race all together and throws it against the listener musically in a dark and solemn way. This is one of the most thoughtfully put together concept albums in all of prog and certainly prog metal. Themes are twisted around and serve to enhance the concept further than most, and the orchestra in the album adds much more emotion. Simple melodies and syncopated guitar chugging contrast in BE and make a beautiful and thought-provoking album.

People will probably be turned off right away from the album because of the large focus on the concept of the album. The first two tracks couldn't really be called songs, since both are largely based on narration, and only the latter ("Deus Nova") has music, which while containing lots of rhythmically complex syncopations is compositionally somewhat simple due to lots of repetition. There are also a lot of softer tracks, a couple of which are instrumental, like "Pluvius Aestivus" and "Omni", which due to their placement in the album could make listeners familiar with songs more traditionally 'musical' (for lack of a better word) find the album boring. Even narrative tracks like "Vocari Dei" featuring people leaving messages for God on his answering machine are musically beautiful but aren't in a standard music format, so people expecting an album containing a standard collection of songs should change their expectations right away.

Of course, there are more standard songs on the album, though they even stand out due to their wide variety of influences. "Imago" for example is mainly comprised of folk-based melodic instruments over tribal drums, with a lone oboe carrying a main theme beautifully in some parts. "Nauticus" is akin to chants sung by negro slaves in pre-civil war Southern US. Then there's the lengthy "Dea Pecuniae", which is a bit like an over-the top broadway track played by Pain of Salvation. The wide variety of influences helps reinforce the concept dealing with humanity as a whole. Of course, there are standard Pain of Salvation songs like "Diffidentia" and "Lilium Cruentus" with slightly heavy melodic metal playing the main role musically.

The concept, as said before, is the main focus of the album, not necessarily the music. This is partially what makes Pain of Salvation's work here so interesting, since rarely is there a band that sacrifices their musical writing for getting the story across. The story, also as said before, is quite ominous. While it begins with a 'god' figure explaining his/her method of creation by making all of humanity as pieces of god. As it goes on, mankind starts becoming less innocent and more malevolent towards god, their planet, and each other. A fictional character that represents humanity as a whole battles with god, and humanity suffers for it. The planet, eventually being narrated from around fifty years in the future becomes a very inauspicous place, and the idea that this is actually where society is headed becomes an important message from the band.

Overall, this work is a masterpiece. Sometimes artists feel they can pull off a concept and tell a story only musically. While Pain of Salvation has been able to use music in the past, their storytelling and criticism of societal flaws using narration as a large instrument in the album is innovative. BE is simply superb, and progressive in all senses of the word.

topofsm | 5/5 |

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