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Pain Of Salvation - The Perfect Element - Part 1 CD (album) cover


Pain Of Salvation


Progressive Metal

4.23 | 1153 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars 10/10

"The Perfect Element" is not only Pain Of Salvation's magnum opus, but also one of the great metal albums of our time.

2001 was probably the best year for progressive in the 00's: Devin Townsend's "Terria", Maudlin Of The Well's "Bath" and "Leaving Your Body Map", Tool's "Lateralus", Green Carnation, "Light Of Day, Day Of Darkness", and Pain Of Salvation's "The Perfect Element", certainly the band's magnum opus.

The album has everything a prog metal should have: fast, heavy and technical moments, light, beautiful ballads, long, complex songs, and great musicianship, especially for singer and guitarist Daniel Gildenlow. Also, "The Perfect Element" has a lot of songs for a prog album, twelve. Some are long (but never more than ten minutes), some are short, so it is balanced well.

The production is good, highlighting the excellent musicianship of all members. What makes the structure of the album so unique is the amazing, amazing flow these songs have of one another; "The Perfect Element" is sure a concept album, about losing innocence, rape, murder, concentrating particularly on childhood and adolescence. But even for this sort of record, the flow is unlike no other album. From "Used" to the title track, the band shows in this particular album how eclectic they are, from a Nu-Metal friendly tune to a progressive one, from an aggressive, but somewhat melancholic metal part, to a haunting and beautiful calm piece. Indeed, the album intends to be listened to all at once, just like a concept album, like one long song. As this is a concept album, many hooks return in different parts of the album, making the album even more solid.

"Used" is the friendliest song here, it almost doesn't sound anything like progressive. But then comes "In The Flesh", eight wonderful minutes, (where Gildenlow's vocals dominate everything else) that build so majestically that only a fool wouldn't call it ambitious as hell. Many of the long songs work that way, like the title track, possibly the band's best song ever, or "King Of Loss", a dreadful and soul crushing experience because of it's utterly haunting moments. Even "Her Voices" works this way, another excellent builder, very climactic. Some other songs though couldn't be more different, like the wild "Idioglossia", or "Reconciliation". And then they are the short, calm ones, like "Song For The Innocent", "Morning On Earth" or "Dedication". An album that creates, unfolds, rebuilds, reduces to smithereens, there and back again.

"The Perfect Element" surely is not only Pain Of Salvation's magnum opus, but also one of the great metal albums of our time that have a strong progressive influence, and automatically are called Progressive Metal. But attributing that label to this record would be a huge injustice to the music that lies within it.

EatThatPhonebook | 5/5 |


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