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Pain Of Salvation - Remedy Lane CD (album) cover

REMEDY LANE

Pain Of Salvation

 

Progressive Metal

4.21 | 856 ratings

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TheMasterMofo
5 stars Remedy Lane is one of the most prolific and important albums in modern progressive metal. It combines dizzying arrays of showmanship through complex instrumental passages with beautiful arranging and songwriting. The lyrics are emotionally charged and powerful. The songs are innovating, creative, catchy, and unpredictable. If you're a fan of progressive music of any kind, you ought to be ashamed that you don't already have this album. Get it now!

Of Two Beginnings - 3/5 This is really just an intro track. It's certainly not bad, but it's nothing special. It introduces a few themes that you'll hear later in the album.

Ending Theme - 4/5 It's the Ending Theme, but the second track. Hmm, weird... Anyway, this song is haunting in a way. It builds up for the first 2+ minutes, slow and driving, eventually heading into a spoken word or "Rap" section which continues to build in tension before heading into a heavily layered short instrumental section. This leads back into the chorus, the vocals soaring high, and eventually lead guitar fills come in behind the vocals, shredding away as the song comes to an end.

Fandango - 5/5 Have you ever been mind-f*cked? Here's your chance! The song comes creeping up on you in 5/4, the guitars dancing around spastically as you wonder WTF you're listening to. You're thinking to yourself, "The guitar line sounds amazing! Too bad there's no way the vocals could ever do this..." and then the vocals do precisely that. This song is almost like an extremely demented kids song on acid. Yeah, it's that good. The chorus is off-beat and jerky, but sounds good. Eventually the song goes into an instrumental section that is mostly riff-based. The guitars chug as the piano sneaks in, then the vocals scream into the upper echelons of a male singer's physically possible range. This song isn't aptly describable with words. Your ears are needed.

A Trace of Blood - 5/5 A great 7/4 intro beginning with piano and single guitar chords. The guitars, bass, and drums begin to come in more prominently as the song builds, culminating about 1:05 into the song when everything breaks down into a chugging guitar riff behind an intro guitar solo. The verses are a little gravelly; a stark contrast to the pre-chorus, which features high-pitched singing. The song then returns to the intro riff in 7/4 and heads into the chorus, which is extremely anthem-like and catchy. There's an acoustic guitar part after this, the vocals cautiously skirting around the music before coming through strongly as the electric guitar aggressively attacks. Gildenlow's vocals scream and then his guitar follows. The song wraps up with the chorus.

The Heart of Mine (I Pledge) - 4/5 The peaceful tone set by high-register basslines, clean guitar sounds in major keys, and inviting vocals makes for a very relaxing atmosphere. This song is a nice break after some of the craziness exhibited in earlier tracks, but the band certainly didn't take a break from creating awesome music. While this track is much more tamed and less proggy, it's still a very well-written and meaningful song.

Undertow - 5/5 This song starts out VERY restrained; nothing but soft, low vocals and a light guitar line behind it. A minute and a half in, the piano and drums come in and the volume cranks up a notch. The piano plays the vocal melody beautifully before the vocals take back over. Finally, an electric guitar lead comes in, full of digital effects and adding to the atmosphere of the song. The vocals come back in, seeming to plead with the listener, beseeching to just let Gildenlow friggin' have his way. He's so needy... You have to let him do all of these different things. But really the lyrics are pretty awesome when you take them in all together.

Rope Ends - 5/5 This is a song about someone hanging herself. If that doesn't set the tone, I don't know what will. This song begins with an off-time crushing heavy metal riff and rumbling drums. The vocals whisper harshly "She is still young!" before the first verse begins, a variation of the intro riff playing. This goes into another section of music before hitting an upbeat riff for several bars. The chorus is absolutely fantastic, a 6/8 feel with wailing vocals and wodnerful harmony. The song follows this same pattern through the second chorus. Then the fun begins.

A mysterious middle eastern-sounding guitar permeates your ears, the solo blazing across the soundscape and fitting in perfectly. The instrumental section continues on, in a Dream Theater-like fashion. The song ends with the pre-chorus and chorus... This isn't a song you would expect to find allusions to Winnie the Pooh in, but you will find exactly that.

Chain Sling - 5/5 Phenomenal song. It has an old, middle ages feel to it in the intro, harmonies and all. The chorus is catchy and fun. This song will make you want to grab your lute and dance on the street corner, which really isn't such a bad idea. You ought to try it! The way this song remains upbeat but proggy and catchy at the same time is really impressive. The fact that it's always changing and constantly moving from one section into another makes ADHD prog fans everywhere rejoice. The entire song is focused around someone telling Gildenlow, "If you love me, you must let go" and ends with the simple words: I DO NOT KNOW HOW!

Dryad of the Woods - 4/5 A very melodious classical-style guitar line opens this song, beautiful and pure. The bass complements the guitar perfectly. The two intertwine their notes until a minute and a half into the song, where the drums pick up the beat and the piano joins into the counterpoint. `This continues until about three and a half minutes into the song, when the beat and sound changes into a driving feel that closes out the song.

Remedy Lane - 3/5 This song is heavily digitalized: techno-like effects dominate the song, playing some of the themes from earlier songs. This song is really more of a filler track to me, and doesn't really stand out by itself all that much, though it certainly isn't unpleasant to listen to.

Waking Every God - 4/5 The bass pops powerfully and is the spark that drives the beginning of this song. This is some of my favorite PoS basswork. The vocals are also extremely stand-out in this song, layered over and over again, creating a very interestingly busy atmosphere. I can't really think of any points in which there is only one vocal track going on throughout the song. The guitar solo is really good, blending between shredding and melodious - the perfect balance between two awesome things. Gildenlow then gives a high-pitched "Aaahhh" before heading back into the pre-chorus and chorus.

Second Love - 5/5 A really beautiful and dare-I-say sweet love song. Did I just lose my mancard? I really hope not... The choir-like Gildenlow backing vocals, supporting his harmonized-at-times main vocals blend together for a great experience. The lyrics are easy to identify with, bitterly cursing love. The song builds as it hits the next verse. The guitar solo is very light and melodious, flowing well with the song in a jazz-fusion sort of way. The song dies down and goes softly for a few bars before coming in full-force for the final chorus. This would have been the perfect way to end the album, I think, but there's more to come!

Beyond the Pale - 5/5 This song begins with silence. Gildenlow then softly sings, a single pino note accompanying him. Then, 40 seconds in, a heavy broken guitar riff comes roaring in. The piano adds in playfully as the drums change up slightly. The song then revisits a riff from Chain Sling before booming into a chorus that then dies down into a soft, peaceful section before returning to the Chain Sling riff. It then dies back down into a snare attack and light bass. The vocals pop back in, much like they are in Chain Sling, building in momentum and intensity. Hey, we're half way done with the song!

The vocals then snarl angrily in an almost yelling or screaming sort of way. All of a sudden the guitar is whizzing through your ears, shredding in your face. Wait, no, it's a jazzy solo now, pleasing the souls of all around you. Things die down again and then punch you in the face with that intro riff. This goes on for a while before hitting the chorus again.

Eventually the song ends with spoken word chants from Gildenlow. Solid way to end the album.

This album is a complete masterpiece. It's not often that you find so many high-quality tracks on one album, and there isn't much filler, either. If you don't have it yet, Remedy Lane is worth picking up ASAP.

TheMasterMofo | 5/5 |

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