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Pain Of Salvation - Entropia CD (album) cover

ENTROPIA

Pain Of Salvation

 

Progressive Metal

4.09 | 408 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

J-Man
Prog Reviewer
4 stars An excellent debut from Pain of Salvation!

Pain of Salvation is one of my favorite modern progressive metal bands. Their album "The Perfect Element, Part One" is one of my favorite albums ever released from any genre. So where did this excellent Swedish band start out? Not too far from perfection, to be honest. Their debut album, "Entropia", shows their immense amount of skill, excellent arrangements, beautiful melodies, and overall excellence as a band.

One of the things that this album has that actually isn't present on the band's future albums is the overall funky vibe of this album. This is primarily because there is a lot more slap-bass present on this album, though there is something about the songwriting here that is different than it would be on their following releases. This has many sections with jazzier drumming, excellent electric piano, and more jazz-rock sounding guitars. This "funky" sound on this album is actually one Pain of Salvation does well while maintaining their progressive metal style. I actually wish they would have done something like this on more of their albums.

Other than the more funky feel on "Entropia", this is your typical Pain of Salvation album. It has the dynamics between heavy and soft, very melodic vocal lines, and pure beauty through each song. Pain of Salvation is actually one of the only bands I know that can play with so much emotion in their music. Part of this is because of the excellent melodies that Daniel Gildenlöw is capable of writing, and part of it is because of his excellence as a vocalist. Whatever the reason be, that is one of the main reasons why Pain of Salvation is one of my favorite prog metal bands (and trust me, I've heard more than my fair share of prog metal bands).

THE MUSIC

"! (Forward)"- The opening track opens with a metal riff that is followed by a short string interlude before the vocals. Once the come in, a light guitar riff enters and it goes back into a heavier section. This part is actually pretty dark, but the assault of different sections and time signature changes work very well. An excellent way to open up a great album!

"Welcome to Entropia"- The sound of the ocean on the shore opens up the first song in Chapter One, and then a light electronic drum beat enters. Some synth chords are used as well.

"Winning A War"- This starts with an upbeat guitar chord progression. After the heavy drums let down a little bit, a light guitar riff comes in. It builds back into the main riff, and it has a nice chorus as well. I really like the keyboards in the latter part of the song, and they are present throughout most of the album. A really good song for sure.

"People Passing By"- My favorite track on the album opens up with a funky bass riff. Soon the whole band comes in with the glorious odd time signatures. It has nice use of keyboards and guitars in the brief, but effective, opening. It soon turns into a different section with a more metal-oriented tone. It later has some really nice choruses and vocal harmonies that make Pain of Salvation famous. A truly excellent song.

"Oblivion Ocean"- After the awesome previous song, Part One of Entropia closes with this song. It is a low guitar melody with some beautiful vocals. It has an electric piano during the choruses, and it is pretty effective. The whole band never enters in this song, but it is very effective how it is. It builds well, mostly due to the excellent vocals.

"Stress"- A rhythmic percussion section opens up the first song of Part Two. This song is very tough to take in, and it is very complex. The keyboard melodies are very good, and one could argue that this is a very disjointed song. The ending is very good, though.

"Revival"- An uplifting guitar riff starts this excellent song. When the vocals come in it has some nice melodies and some great progressions from each section. The last two minutes really are great.

"Void of Her"- This is an excellent bridge between the two songs, and it is entirely instrumental. The guitar is indeed impressive.

"To The End"- The Second Chapter closes with the album's heaviest song. It starts with a pure thrash riff, and it's one of the few moments on the album that's actually fairly heavy. I really like some of the bridges, and the guitar solo is very effective.

"Circles"- This song opens up with a bass riff. That fades out into guitar chords and spacey vocals.

"Nightmist"- It opens with some very Latin sounding riff, and soon the entire band enters. The vocals soon enter into a great chorus that will be used throughout the song. The section in the middle has that funky vibe again that makes this album stand out. The opening riff soon returns, and the beautiful main chorus comes with it to close the track. Outstanding song!

"Plains of Dawn"- Tied for first as my favorite from this album, this beautiful song opens with a light electric piano melody. This features some excellent vocal harmonies, and I love the acoustic guitar solo near the melody. The chorus can literally get stuck in my head for days. After the beautiful main section, it suddenly (and ominously) turns darker, and a metal riff enters. It builds excellently to the song's climax at the very end with heavy keyboards. A true masterpiece.

"Leaving Entropia (Epilogue)"- After the heavy end of the previous song, this light acoustic epilogue begins. It is just a few majestic-sounding acoustic chords, and Daniel singing. While it doesn't sound like much by itself, in the context of the album, it's a very effective ending.

Conclusion:

All in all, Entropia is an excellent album deserving of a 4.5 star rating. This is surely one heck of a debut, and is essential for anyone looking to get into Pain of Salvation. While it is not as good as The Perfect Element, Pt. 1 (hardly anything is, to be honest); it still is an album worth getting for sure. It's almost worthy of my highest recommendations, but I still don't quite consider it to be one of Pain of Salvation's masterpieces. All of the ratings aside, I highly recommend this to any prog metal fan!

4 stars.

J-Man | 4/5 |

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