Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Pain Of Salvation - The Perfect Element - Part 1 CD (album) cover


Pain Of Salvation


Progressive Metal

4.23 | 1151 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars The Perfect Element, Part 1 is a concept album that addresses the issues surrounding the development of people from childhood to maturity. The story intertwines the experiences of "He" and "She" and how their worlds collide and develop.

Used - 05:23

This track opens with thundering drums and grungy-distorted guitar riff. Lyrics are spoken/rapped in what can be a troubling issue for some trying to get into this band. Generally a heavy/dark/fast-paced song Gildenlow transposes his uttered rap with delightful vastly-ranged vocals and the song breaks into a trickling guitar solo at around the 2:40 mark. A growled (not in the death metal sense) ending, with a slow-down of all instruments to a halt.

Favourite Lyric: "I am crying unwept tears through this violence, I'll die trying to break this thick crust of silence"

Although an obvious choice, I cannot help but love the wording in this two-liner chorus of sorts.

Favourite Section: 2:40-3:15.

Yes, the guitar solo. Simply a magnificent, sultry and fitting piece of musicianship.

This songs gives us the background of "He" and in doing so provides us with the dark, disturbed and underground mood of the 'hero' of the story.

In The Flesh - 08:36

In The Flesh takes us in quite a different direction musically. A much cleaner guitar melody opens the song with a brooding bass beneath until the drums halt this little loop and bring in an almost heart-beat and Gildenlow commands the music with his calmer voice. The song is fairly controlled in the sense that it is leading to a climax and at 2:45 this breaks out for about 15 seconds before it is reined back in. Delightfully ordered chaos consumes all. At about 3:40 it kicks in again with Gildenlow coming back and keys and guitars complement each other beautifully with the clean riffing and light keys from Fredrik Hermansson. At 5:40 the song ultimately assumes a darker tone as desperation sinks into the character of "She" as the turmoil of her past unravels. The drumming of Johan Langell complements the entire ensemble immensely and provides the tough and heavy backbone of the band. The music continues to build to the apex of the song that culminates in the release of all tension at 6:51 and closes with beautiful vocals and piano accompanied by acoustic guitar with drums joining in to delicately finish this fairly lengthy track. That is until moody drumming and eerie guitar comes from nowhere to ease us into the next....

Favourite Lyric: "Sometimes the hands that feed, Must feed a mind with a sick need"

Nice little bit of imagery and poetry.

Favourite Section: 6:50-7:25.

As the wailing, held guitar note soars alongside Gildenlow's magnificent high-pitched singing, you can't help but shiver.

Ashes - 04:28

Compared to the dizzying heights reached by Gildenlow in the last track, Ashes presents us with the deeper tone of his voice. This song has a much slower pace than the previous two and at times sounds slightly industrial. This song is slightly eerie to me, with the guitars reminscing the music from a childs toy above their crib, only slightly off, slower and darker. This song brings together "He" and "She". A frantic solo ends the song, although the drums maintain the slow march that makes it although more haunting. The last 30 seconds are given to a mini-solo of spooky climbing notes that ride over spoken vocals.

Favourite Lyric: "I taste your sorrow and you taste my pain, Drawn to each other for every stain, Licking the layers of soot from your skin, Your tears work my crust to let yourself in"

Lyrics that divulge the sorrow and and darkness that draws these two together, creating a beautifully disfigured couple.

Favourite Section: 0:00-0:15.

The start until the introduction of vocals, set the scene for this slow, dirty march through their story.

Morning On Earth - 04:34

This song contains some of the elements that makes Ashes so creepy, haunting keys that here belie a sense of being alone. This is a song controlled by the vocals that puts forward the harmonies of this band, the song in itself is very calm and melodic, accompanied by some string instruments. At 3:40 onward Gildenlow displays again his magnificent powerful voice and the song ends on the same evoking keys it began on.

Favourite Lyric: "For as long as I can remember I have wanted to, Silence every beating heart; every sound of breathing, Now there is something inside of me that aches as I hear you, Breathing here when you sleep between these morning sheets"

The opening verse in this song tells us how this internal hatred of our hero has turned to a calming love via the connection with "She".

Favourite Section: 3:40-4:25.

The closing vocals and keys are heartfelt.

Idioglossia - 08:30

This is a monster of a song that begins with a dizzying guitar melody and drums erupting into the fray. The song is a full instrumental tour de force, the guitar riff that follows, accompanied by strings is truely epic. The frivolity displayed on each instrument is a joy to behold, the song jumps from strength to strength and changes tempo all over the place, moving from crushing riffs, to doodling melodies, to voice driven harmonies with extremely strong backing vocals. The song opens up to mainly instrumental ends in the second half, although again Gildenlow's wrenching scream at 7:00 is spooky.

Favourite Lyric: "This blood proves me right, In that the last move is all that, Counts if the beasts must bite, Vow to the floor, Oath to the taste of dust, In my mouth - never!, I bite the words - never again!, Will I let anyone else finish, I'll be the end of every way"

Although the 'rap' moments for this band may not be to everyone's taste, I enjoy them Daniel's play on words and the way they roll off the tongue is quite melodic in themselves.

Favourite Section: 3:46-6:05.

From the slightly mellow solo, through crushing, grungy, emotional vocals (reconnecting with Ashes) until the drums pick up the pace and frantic second solo ensues.

Her Voices - 07:57

As so often happens with these band, they contrast moments of pace and brutality with those of serenity and delicacy. The opening to this song is one of those careful delicate moments. The piano on this song is intricate and played just right as it slips inbetween Gildenlow's words and trickles through the cracks and gaps in this song. Returning to the very clean guitar sound (for the most part) the song is very soothing. Besides the intermittent towering moments of distortion and group harmonies. At 3:50 the songs changes direction as the drums take on a primeval tone. The song mimics its predecessor at times with the frenetic playing of all instruments all at once. All I can say for the song from 6:20 onwards is that it is truely beautiful.

Favourite Lyric: "Their ugly truth, Outnumbered by far her beautiful dream"


Favourite Section: 7:00-7:57.

I love the composition throughout this final section.

Dedication - 04:00

This song is emotional, yet haunting. I think in this case the song speaks for itself better.

Favourite Lyric: All of it.

Not overdone, just right.

Favourite Section: 2:16-2:40.

Wonderfully sung.

King of Loss - 09:47

Unlike Idioglossia and perhaps even Her Voices, this song delicately builds up to the point of explosion, which even still is contained and controlled. This track is much more about the music seeping calm and quiet skill rather than hitting you with the solid right hook.

Favourite Lyric: "Mother, at my first breath, Every paragraph was set, As I inhaled the scent of debt, Mother, that first stolen air, Taken as a legal sign, On papers saying I'm not mine."

The opening verse, a very good attempt at decoding the struggle of the individual in modern society.

Favourite Section: All.

One of my all time favourite songs.

Reconciliation - 4:25

Again with the contrast, Reconciliation picks the pace back up with a fantastic opening guitar melody that is a play on the opening keys to Morning on Earth. This song is one of the best for showcasing Gildenlow's voice, highly recommended. It is also flicks a lot between dark and bright guitar.

Favourite Lyric: "I've washed my hands of your blood, Thought it would leave me clean, But with time on my hands, It turned to mud forming this crust of sin."

Blood, mud and sin- all you need.

Favourite Section: 3:18-3:48.

If ever there was proof needed that Gildenlow can sing with the best, here it is.

Song For The Innocent - 03:03

This is a very short song with not many lyrics. But a beautiful take on the failures of man.

Favourite Lyric: "This world is what we can give, Scarred from the way we lived, All those dreams we shared for you, How I wish they could come true."

Pretty much half the lyrics, but an incredible half.

Favourite Section: 1:30-2:44.

In contrast to the calm first half, powerful, emotional and breathtaking.

Falling - 1:50

Essentially a segue, this song preludes the fantastic title track brilliantly.

The Perfect Element - 10:10

I'm not sure I can really do this song any justice in description, but will just advise you to listen :).

Kilgannon | 4/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this PAIN OF SALVATION review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives