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Pain Of Salvation - Be CD (album) cover

BE

Pain Of Salvation

 

Progressive Metal

4.09 | 931 ratings

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Dapper~Blueberries
4 stars After a little break, I am back on my reviewing tendencies. So within my musical ventures I have found myself getting quite involved with the Progressive Metal scene, especially with newer bands out there, but never fully, head to toes, diving into more "classic" bands. Well I have decided to express my joys and wonder to such classic Prog Metal bands, like Voivod, Opeth, and maybe even a little bit of Symphony X. I think, though, there is no other band from the starting periods of Prog Metal like Pain Of Salvation. This Swedish band of merry misfits took me a while to get into, but after I did I have been really loving their very varied sound with albums like The Perfect Element Part 1 and In The Passing Light Of Day. But, while each album they try something new, on their 2004 release of Be, the band would get a lot more verbose in their ways and create an album filled with songs ranging from folk, jazz, musicals, and gospel.

I find myself seeing this as the band's turning point away from their harder structures as they venture to new, unseen territories here, and with it comes a mixed grab bag of some really solid material. What I most enjoy about this album is the huge cinematic focus the music brings. This album most particularly reminds me of Frances The Mute or The Clockwork Fable with each song having tiny moments in between giving leadway into this grand narrative. This album, in fact, feels like a big movie in some way, with the whole reality bending concept, and with it comes a new enjoyment for me as a whole. Each song feels like a new scene in this cinematic journey through god complexes, greed, religion, sex, and loss, resulting in a work that can be seen as a modern day Greek tragedy.

Musically, this is a very wide ranged sounding album, to both its benefits and its troubles. For its pleasures, I think the lack of any cohesive sound really makes this release way more interesting, and fun. You do not know what you might get on this record, and each song has something new to give and bring. I found myself loving the more musical ebb and flows like on Dea Pecuniae and Martius/Nauticus II. It really gives this a rewarding and expertly crafted experience for me since each song really does give you way more than you would expect.

However, to the album's detriment, with such a big narrative and a big idea, there are moments here that feel very fillery, and even some songs on here never quite hit the same mark as others. I find the more gospel and folk songs, while good in their own right, never get the same oomph for me as say Deus Nova or Nihil Morari. I can absolutely appreciate a very complex and varied album, but I think what makes Pain Of Salvation's sound so good is their energy and expression. That rough, dirty, and almost poisonous sound has always been a Pain Of Salvation staple, so with some tracks loosening the grip on that ideology, it makes this album feel very disjointed in presentation.

I think the best way to try and counteract this is probably to listen to the songs in the perspectives of the characters singing them, whether it is the lustful Mr Money, or the godly Animae. With the varying perspectives, it could help the odd effect this album brings.

I think though, this album is stronger than not. It reminds me of equally strong but wild rock operas, but there are so many out there that it's a little hard to say. I guess you gotta pick and choose then.

While not my favorite release these guys made, it does contain some of my favorite songs the band has released. It is big, grand, really different from anything they've released, and an album that, while in some cases disjointed, still feels really tightly knit in its presentation. Highly recommend giving this a listen, but only if you are into the more prestigious pose of more wild rock operas like The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway or Frances The Mute. A solid effort from a great Prog Metal band.

Dapper~Blueberries | 4/5 |

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