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Pain Of Salvation - Be CD (album) cover


Pain Of Salvation


Progressive Metal

4.11 | 830 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator
5 stars It's a TRUE PROGRESSIVE ACT .!

It takes me months to finally feel that I dare to put some words about this conceptual opus. What has made it so difficult? Well, I have to admit one thing: my ability to put the right (read: "appropriate") words about the listening experience that I have had with this album. Unlike most people and my prog mates that have claimed insofar that "BE" is very difficult to digest and understand as the music is a bit heavy, I personally could accept and enjoy the music at the very first time of the CD spin. In fact, it blew my mind in the context that "this is the kind of weird and strange music that I never heard it before" and NOT in the context that "I like it!" or "I don't like it". I dunno why, the first time I spun the CD at my stereo set there was nothing like whether or not I like the album. The context was purely more on "Yeah . this is something different!". And I have engrained myself with a philosophy that writing a musical review is not a matter of liking or not liking it, rather it must deal with how to craft and assemble appropriate words on the way I feel about the total concept of the music itself and of course the story behind the album, if it's possible. The chief objective is clear: to provide an objective and fair image of the album to the readers of this beloved website as to help them on purchase decision.

Looking back on the albums the band has ever produced, there has been a fundamental change in the forms and styles of this album with its preceding albums. Pain of Salvation has traditionally been pigeon-holed as progressive metal band. But with "Be" the band has made the categorizers get confused with their task on putting the right basket of this album. I am not saying that there is no prog metal elements at all but it's not the main thing anymore. This album revolves around crafting a music (be it rock, pop, prog, metal or whatever) that represents the exploration of humanistic values and the definition of and the search for God. Well, for me personally I can give you a straight forward advice: just read and understand the Koran; you will then find your search clearly! But of course, I fully aware that you may not accept this straight away as people have differing views. Definitely, this album has successfully fulfilled its role brilliantly to represent that humanistic issues. The result is an album with multi- dimensional music that blends many elements of styles and influences into one cohesive whole that has made Pain of Salvation as one of the most progressive bands in approaching their creation. This is truly a progressive act!

Animae Partus ("I am") (1:48)

This short track remarks the opening of the opus with an ambient dialogue about definition and corresponding aspirations of "self". Who "I am"? The sound produced here represents the appropriate context intended for the song itself. The actors clearly try to figure out "Who I Am".

Deus Nova (Fabricatio) (3:18)

This second track flows seamlessly from the opening track with another ambient sound of piano work backed up with great cello and violin sounds, accentuated with light orchestra and clavinet sound. The music suddenly turns into heavy riffs produced through the combination of guitar, bass and improvised keyboard solo sound. One thing unique about this passage is its weird time signatures whereby the drum beats do not seem fall in the right time. Magically, this unsynchronized thing produces excellent harmony.

Imago (Homines Partus) (5:11)

This track starts off with a musical loop followed with a stunning banjo-like guitar work that produces a complex yet nice music. The percussion sound enters the music and provides a middle-east musical nuance. The vocal line of Daniel Gildenlow is a masterpiece as he can present himself as he is really part of the story of the song. The form of this song reminds me to Arjen Lucassen's "The Looser" of Human Equation album. The composition is dominated by the percussion work and energetic singing style. In some segments of the music, the orchestration inserts its work featuring oboe and other woodwind instruments. It's a great song.

Pluvius Aestivus (Of Summer Rain [Homines Fabula Initium]) (5:00)

It begins with a rainy sound loop continued with a classical-influence piano solo that brings this solo relatively long and provides an ambient nuance. The orchestration at the back has enriched the musical textures of this song. I have never imagined before that Pain of Salvation would ever create this magnificent instrumental track in the vein that is totally different with what the band got used to do with its music.

Lilium Cruentus (Deus Nova) (On the Loss of Innocence) (5:28)

This is probably the track with some prog met influence. It opens wonderfully with a light orchestra featuring oboe and distant voice followed with energetic musical riffs and vocal line. It abruptly stops in a quiet passage to feature melodic lyrical part accompanied with nice orchestra. It again moves to an energetic part in an upbeat prog met tempo. The singing technique that Daniel demonstrates here is truly top notch! It's an excellent composition.

Nauticus (drifting) (4:58)

It explores the use of stunning acoustic guitar to feature the low register notes' voice line. The combination of chanting male voices and acoustic guitar in mellow style has made this track is enjoyable. The ending part is filled with narratives with some distant voice at the back that provides an excellent bridge to the next track. It's a drum-less composition.

Dea Pecuniae (10:10)

This track starts off with a dialogue that I mention above continued with a blues influence music with solid bass lines. I never imagine that an originally a progmet band is now playing this blues-based music. The vocal brings the music into a continuous flow with a background of light orchestra that does not seem in-sync with other electric instrument sounds but it produces stunning background music. The lead guitar solo is performed between two lyrical verses. The music turns into quieter passage featuring light orchestra and vocals, accentuated with piano. It's a wonderfully crafted song.

Vocari Dei (Sordes Aetas - Mess Age) (3:50)

Is this song related to Opus Dei like it's mentioned in the Da Vinci Code novel? I don't know and it doesn't matter really. This is truly a phone mail box playback voices, inserted with a beautiful classical influence music with some sounds of oboe and cellos / violin. Acoustic guitar work signifies the musical textures. Out of many narratives produced from the mail box, I enjoy those spoken in Japanese language that end up with a word "sayonara!".

Diffidentia (Breaching the Core) (Exitus - Drifting II) (7:37)

This song flows seamlessly from previous track in a faster tempo using musical riffs as the foundation of the song's rhythm. The simple piano touch has enriched the sound coupled with some higher register notes singing accompanied by piano sound. Again, it sounds simple but this song is rich with textures and unique singing style as well as composition. In some quieter passages, the orchestration palys its role wonderfully by featuring oboe or violin solo shortly.

Nihil Morari (Homines Fabula Finis) (6:22)

This tenth track opens with a very nice acoustic guitar work in an ambient style followed with floating voice line with violin work at the back. It's an interesting opening track. The music flows smoothly with soft drum beats and it moves to soft riffs with firm drum sounds. This time the vocal brings the music into a more complex composition and moves in crescendo into a faster tempo. Again I observe weird time signatures among instruments used especially between those who produce riffs (guitar and bass) with drum that produces beat. Wow! What a great harmony here! The keyboard solo enters in weird style and produces unique sound that does not seem to match with the beats. But . they all produce wonderful music! Oh my God ... What a great composition! It's so inventive and so inspiring that normal human being would never imagine that it can happen like this....

Latericius Valete (2:28)

This sort track begins with an exploration of double acoustic guitar fills producing repeated chords with each guitar is playing different chord. Combined with light orchestra and some solos of violin and oboe this track produces wonderful sound. When the vocal enters it turns into a more upbeat style by still emphasizing piano sounds.

Omni (Permanere?) (2:37)

This one opens with a church organ solo with a background of people's talks. The duo- vocal enters in mellow style and it goes with the same organ's notes. It's a nice exploration of organ sounds.

Iter Impius (Martigena, Son of Mars) (Obitus Diutinus) (6:21)

The soundscape that contains the sound of heavy wind opens this track accompanied with piano and light orchestra. The vocal enters in mellow style with powerful voice accentuation. At the end of each voice accentuation the piano solo inserts its sound beautifully. The music flows continuously with violin at the background augmented with piano work. In the middle of the track the music turns into a sort of classic rock music with stunning guitar solo. The voice line enters back into the music with guitar solo at the back. Beautiful song!

Martius/Nauticus II (6:41)

This track opens with acoustic guitar work continued with full music with drum work is performed in a marching style. The vocal line enters and the music flows flatly in the same rhythm. At the end of first lyrical part the music turns into faster tempo. It its transition, the acoustic guitar solo fills the music wonderfully with a middle-east nuance augmented with orchestration. The orchestra also features oboe and violin solo throughout the song. The composition demonstrates a very strong basis of traditional folk music. At the end of the track there is a segment that explores multi percussions played dynamically and provides a world music nuance. Very nice composition, rich with multiple styles.

Animae Partus II (4:09)

This concluding track tries to convey a message about the definition of one-self "I Am" as it was featured at the opening track. Out of 4 minutes duration most of it (more than 3 minutes) contains silent - basically it starts with a narrative "I Am" and it ends up with children's short narrative.


It's a different kind of music. I would say that this album is considered as prog in a sense that the approach that the band has taken is truly representing a "progressive" act. Of course, the music is complex and heavy which cause some people consider this album as inaccessible. Besides the conceptual story the band tries to convey, I find this album is brilliant. Enjoying this album should be in its entirety as when you listen from beginning to end, you can feel that you are in the journey of rediscovering human values. In addition, there are many prologues of some tracks that start with reverse digital duration; ie. starting with negative numbers prior to the main track. You definitely cannot access these prologues using skip function of your CD player. That's why, I recommend you to play it in its entirety. This album has been months with me and I still regularly play at my CD player because the composition is great. Highly recommended! Keep on proggin' .!!!

Yours progressively,


Gatot | 5/5 |


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