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

THE PERFECT ELEMENT PART 1

Pain Of Salvation

 

Progressive Metal

4.25 | 934 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

ProgsCerebrum
5 stars Where do I even begin...

This album..no, this living, breathing, entity is one of the few things in this world that I hold dear to me. Well, I do love my family and my friends of course. But in terms of music , this masterpiece will always be here for me. Its just that special...like a dear, misunderstood friend. I wanted to make my frist review meaningful, and there is no other album that means this much to me...

My foray into progressive rock began with Tool when I was 13, after having purchased the (still) amazing Lateralus. I was impressed by their intelligent lyrics, dark and mysterious atomospheres, and their confidence as a band. After having gone to two of their concerts, I was amazed by their larger-that-life stage productions (if anyone has been to a Tool concert, you know what I'm talking about.) For both concerts, a bizzare man named Mike Patton, with his bands Fantomas and Tomahawk, screamed and crooned into microphones and synthizizers as he held a gas mask over his face. His antics and intriguiing music led me to become a Faith No More and Mr. Bungle fan (as well as Fantomas and Tomahawk.) I can confidently say that Mike Patton was THE cataylst for how I now view music and its boundries (or lack thereof.)

The same year, I got into Dream Theater. I always saw their name when reading about Tool, but had never heard them. I decided to check them out and was instantly hooked on their catchy approach to epic, classical-influenced metal. I want to stop and make a point that while I do play guitar, I'm not a classically trained musician like many who listen to progressive rock. I didn't really understand all the different scales they were playing or time signatures. I just liked the way it sounded. I hadn't heard it before, and I had a deep interest in the unknown. one day I was browsing Amazon.com, and I looked under "related artists" to Dream Theater. For some reason I'm still unsure of, I clicked on Pain of Salvation (I had already heard Symphony X, Porcupine Tree, etc.) and read some reviews of The Perfect Element Pt. 1. I wasn't quite sure what to expect (there were no audio links) but I decided there would be no harm in downloading some of their songs off Kaaza.

Then I heard IT..

What is this?? It's a misfit, a mut...like something beautiful trapped in a tar pit, trying to escape. Reaching out for a hand, but it to no avail, all the beauty I heard eventually was smothered by sorrow and ugliness. This my first experience. This was Used. This song evoked an emotion, or a feeling, that ran through my body that I can still barely explain. The opening is agressive, and confusing. Wails and high pitched screams soar through a nu-metal influenced atmosphere, followed by a dark, spoken-word, Patton-esque rap. When Daniel exclaims "God, I'm not yours as much as you are mine!" you realize you've stumbled upon a dark..no, VERY dark world. Then suddenly, like a beaming ray of light, an angelic vocal harmony makes a grand entrance that must be heard to be understood. "I am crying..." This juxtapositon of moods completely takes hold of you. You don't what to think, but after listening to it, you begin to wonder why it works so well. But it doesnt really matter.

This is what The Perfect Element Pt. 1 is all about. Mixing gorgeous, layred, theatrical melodies with harsh, ugly walls of sound. What you have is, well, a perfect element that in reality, isn't perfect at all. The production is slightly muddy; the synths are cheesy and the piano is fragile; the guitars are covered in alt-rock distortion; Daniels voice cracks when melodies reach their emotional peak. The concept itself is slightly unclear, but you get the general idea and the lyrics fit with the music. Everything just seems to fall into place, even though by all means, it shouldn't. It isn't what a prog-rock album should be, but it is the pinaccle of my prog-rock experience.

I wanted to lead up to this with my previous experiences with progressive rock just to develop some sort of context. This album taught me that virtuousity didn't have to be flaunted in order to be understood. While I'm still into progressive rock, my interest has dwindled after discovering all the Pain of Salvation albums because I have yet to find a band that has moved me as much. In my eyes, Pain of Salvation are miles ahead of bands like Dream Theater and Spock's Beard. They are progressive in every sense of the word. I don't know if this is what prog-rock should be, or if it's the future of the genre, but Pain of Salvation stands alone and I am in their debt.

Thank you for reading all this. I think I got accross what I needed to (although not enough could be said about this masterpiece.) I hope your experience with The Perfect Element Pt.1 will be just as special as mine.

-David

ProgsCerebrum | 5/5 |

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