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Pain Of Salvation - Linoleum CD (album) cover

LINOLEUM

Pain Of Salvation

 

Progressive Metal

3.30 | 95 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

J-Man
Prog Reviewer
3 stars I'm Really Excited for Road Salt!

I consider myself a huge fan of Pain of Salvation. They might actually be my all-time favorite band, only rivaled by Genesis, Neal Morse and Dream Theater. They've released some of the highest quality music I've ever heard in my entire life, and their first 5 albums are pure genius.

When Scarsick was released, words can not describe how disappointed I was. While the album's not a complete failure, I couldn't believe that my beloved Pain of Salvation could release an album that's anything less than incredible. For that very reason, I was nervous to hear how their upcoming album, Road Salt, would sound. I was still really looking forward to the album and I really hoped the band could create another masterpiece despite my doubts.

Recently the album had to be postponed for 6 months due to financial problems with InsideOut and the buyout of Century Media. Needless to say, I was really disappointed. I was really anxious to hear the new album, but when I heard I had to wait another 6 months, I was very disappointed. To satisfy their fans, such as myself, the band released an EP, Linoleum, containing 4 songs from the upcoming album, as well as a bonus track and a cover song.

Of course, being the fanboy that I am, I bought the EP the day it came out and listened to it frequently for the next few days. I was immediately pleased that the band didn't continue the style introduced on Scarsick and I enjoyed the 70's hard rock feel to the EP. My only real complaint is that the music isn't as challenging or emotional as the band's first 5 albums. Regardless, I have high expectations for Road Salt after this enjoyable EP.

THE MUSIC:

"Linoleum"- The first song on the EP opens up with a hard rock sounding riff. The use of organ in addition to the guitar riff gives the opening a 70's hard rock sounding. It goes into a funky verse that progresses into a powerful chorus. Daniel Gildenlöw delivers a powerful vocal performance, and the musicianship is generally of high quality. Near the middle a light keyboard section enters, and it builds back into the main section. I really love this part, and I think it makes this song really worthwhile. The progression into the chorus is excellent. This is a pretty standard verse-chorus-verse song, but it is a great opening track.

"Mortar Grind"- A drum beat opens up this song, and a distorted guitar and organ riff soon enters. It reminds me a lot of bluesy hard rock of the 70's. This riff is really great and memorable, and most of the song builds off of the riff. The chorus is particularly good, and Daniel Gildenlöw does an excellent job vocally. This is possibly my favorite from the EP, and this is a great piece of music.

"If You Wait"- After the two, heavier-edged hard rock songs, this is more of atmospheric ballad. Most of the song builds off of the same guitar melodies and Daniel Gildenlöw's vocals. All in all, a good song, if not particularly memorable or challenging.

"Gone"- This is my favorite song from the EP, and it is also the longest. This song opens up with a dark pop-rock sounding guitar and piano riff. I like the Porcupine Tree-influenced sound of this song, and it has clear atmospheric alt. rock influence. A beautiful section enters with solid vocals. A heavier riff enters with clever melodies. The progressions in this song are genius, and everything works perfectly. This is a really great song.

"Bonus Track B"- This bonus track is not really a "song" at all, but just a conversation between the band. It is really hilarious, clearly showing the distinct sense of humor present in the band.

"Yellow Raven"- This is a cover of the song by Scorpions, and Pain of Salvation does a really great job. I haven't heard the original, so I can't compare the two, but I must say I really enjoy this one. The overall feel to the song is great, and Johan Hallgren does an excellent job on guitar. Overall, this is a good addition to the EP and it's a solid closer.

Conclusion:

Linoleum is a really good EP from Pain of Salvation. This is such an improvement over the disappointing Scarsick, and I am very pleased with the EP. The songwriting is solid, the musicianship is excellent, and the arrangements are great. I love the 70's hard rock direction taken on this EP, and the band does a great job. This doesn't come close to masterpieces such as The Perfect Element, Pt. I, Remedy Lane, or BE, but it definitely holds it's own. I will give this solid EP a 3 star rating. This is really good, but non-essential. If you don't have the three albums I just mentioned, Entropia and One Hour By The Concrete Lake, get those first. This is still a great and highly recommended EP for any Pain of Salvation fan.

3 stars.

J-Man | 3/5 |

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