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Pain Of Salvation - Be CD (album) cover

BE

Pain Of Salvation

 

Progressive Metal

4.12 | 697 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

terryl
5 stars After years of following progarchives, I feel the need to write my own review. The first one has to be really something special. I spent a couple of minutes staring at my cd stacks, and this album sort of looked back at me.

I remember how I first came to hear ! and Ashes samples from this site, and was mightily impressed with the band's intelligence and the hard metal edge, brilliant vocal and nice guitar work. These are the 'perfect elements' that attracted me to bands like Queensryche and Savatage.

Soon, this led me to my ebay hunt for this album (sorry guys. I am not that rich.) When this CD was delivered to my office, I was expecting some magic, and did not pop it into the computer CD-ROM like other cds before it. I know it's an important piece and it will need to be treated with care. Now, as I am writing this, I am giving it another spin so the details will come fresh.

Like other reviews say, this is a great work of art, albeit a tad tough to swallow. The concept is not what you might expect, but thank God Daniel spells (almost) the whole thing out in the booklet. Animae Partus opens the CD with somewhat intriguing monologue, and introducing the concept in a mysterious way. This whole thing is about a being who "will call myself GOD" and will "spend the rest of forever trying to figure out who I am". Not too much music, let alone prog metal.

Deus Nova is a prog metal piece as we know it. The lyric is very, very simple, citing statistics of the world's population. Tension increases as the population grows, superb build-up.

Imago has a folkish feel. It is still about this curious 'GOD' creating seasons and forests and beings. This track shows me one thing I love about this album, which is the role of the 9-piece 'orchestra'. Unlike some other prog-metal so-called symphonic attempt, the orchestra plays a big role here, not playing some plain chords in the background. Some of the key passages here would reprise again in later tracks. This track builds on to Pluvis Aestivus, which is one of the most beautiful piece of music led by Mr Fredrik Hermansson. With no words, I can feel the rain and virtually see the leaves and flowers growing from the tree. (Perhaps it's the picture on the booklet and the live DVD that induces these images.) Is that what you're trying to say Mr Hermansson?

Next come Lilium Cruentus. I love the woodwind instrument (not sure what it is) in the intro and the first verse. The more aggressive side of PoS explodes in second verse (A Scene in White and Grey). This track explores quite a lot of PoS potential actually, the soft, the aggressive prog metal and metal rap. Wonderful mix and great ending.

Now, if there's any weak track, it's Nauticus. Well, it's good, soft, basically an acoustic guitar, church-praying music with vocal overdubs. I just don't like about the low voice in the mix here. The lyric is a somewhat straightforward and less sublime. Luckily it's not too long.

Dea Pecunia starts with humorous dialogue between Mr Money and his chick (Cindy?/Sandra?). This is a mini 10minute epic with three parts about this character who I think representing the modern capitalism in this BE world which has grown up and its human inhabitant has reached our present level of civilisation. The story is a sub-theme that intertwine with that one about god. Read the booklet, it's there. Mr Gildenlow showing his theatrical singing prowess here, portraying a disgusting, greedy chauvinist millionaire (Here's to me... there will be nothing left for you). Guest vocalist Cecilia Ringkvist, who sings Dea Pecuniae, a female side of Mr Money, is worth mentioning here. After its bursting climax, Vocari Dei calms the pace down a bit. Interesting participative approach to songwriting here, and this provides for a very emotional track, even to a non-believer like me.

Diffidentia brings us the prog metal side of Gildenlow and co again. I just love this track as it's got everything I love in prog metal. Mr Hermansson's "paino riff" is pretty simple but effectively cool. Gildenlow once again shows he's a good rapper. Our anti-hero Mr Money decides to buy himself immortality. The track ends calmly and it could have segued right into Nihil Morari, which starts calm and build up to a pleasant reprise and the whole band and the orchestra perform darn well here with bursting energy, until it dies down and Latericius Valete transports the audience to 2060 AD, where the world of BE has failed, and its human or Imago has created Nauticus, which is a space probe in search of a way to save the earth.

Iter Impius returns us to the Mr Money character, who wakes up to find himself a sole survival of the devastated earth. This track is perfectly executed. Sorry I don't know how to describe such perfection in words.

Martius/Nauticus II describes how the man-made Nauticus gains a life of its own and becomes the new God. Then Imago reprises here again and closes the circle, which starts from God creating man in his/her image, then men creating God to save them from the final destruction brought upon by themselves. Nauticus II wraps up with interesting drum jam that sounds rather primitive, possibly symbolizing a new word beginning, and new mankind is made once again.

Most of the credit, including graphics, will go to Daniel Gildenlow for making this happen. Although this level of genius naturally calls for a superlative amount of ego, it seems like this whole BE disc is music-led, and no one instrument is overly dominant. It would be interesting if he decides to produce a solo album how it will sound like.

All in all, sorry for the very long review, but this album is an essential disc to my prog cd collection. Five stars is all I can give.

terryl | 5/5 |

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