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Pain Of Salvation - Road Salt Two CD (album) cover

ROAD SALT TWO

Pain Of Salvation

 

Progressive Metal

3.56 | 298 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

memowakeman
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Oh, what a surprise!

And it is because my only true experience with Pain of Salvation was with their "Entropia" album, though I've heard tracks from other releases, I only knew one full-length album. So taking "Entropia" as my only memory, as a comparison point, now I have to say that "Road Salt Two" has truly surprised me. Obviously I am not a follower of the band, and am not aware of their line-up changes and different musical directions, and I feel guilty I have not listened to "Road Salt One", but I must admit that I am satisfied with this new release.

The reason is because I found an unpredictable album, with a diversity of sounds and styles, music which is not pigeonholed, music for me and you, though I am not sure if the die-hard fans agree with me, but well. "Road Salt Two" contains twelve compositions that make a total time of 53 minutes. So please feel comfortable, do not prejudge and try to enjoy what you listen, taking the album as a unit, and without comparing it with the previous works.

"Road Salt Theme" is a one-minute instrumental introductory track that leads to "Softly she Cries" which gave me the first surprise due to its, let's say, rockish sound that reminds me to some American bands. I love the vocals and the easiness to reach high tones and make great changes; the music is great, sometimes with a mellotron that produces a kind of eastern flavor, and in moments with that heavy sound that supposedly belongs to Pain of Salvation.

"Conditioned" continues with that stoner, rock oriented sound reminiscent of some 70s bands. It is nice and strange at the same time, to see how a band morphs and how the conception you had can go down with one or two songs, but that is the beauty of music, it never ceases to surprise us. "Healing now" is a wonderful track full of acoustic strings that give a folkish tone to the music, Gildenl÷w vocals easily adapt to any of the styles they offer, so that is a positive point. In this song I love everything, from the voice and strings, to the drums and the rhythm. If I listen to it anywhere, I would never think Pain of Salvation is the performer.

"To the Shoreline" is a nice track with a cool beginning, I like the keyboard sound and how the music reminds me to an old film. Though seems to be a repetitive track, of course it isn't, and I like how they put different moods, changes in time and a diversity of elements. "Eleven" has once again that (seems to be now inherent) rockish and seventies sound, evidenced by guitars. The song is little by little progressing and showing different faces through the minutes, so it is cool to listen to its entirety, instead of skipping it after one or two minutes. You will find a wonderful piece, actually.

"1979" is a short track, with piano and vocals t the beginning, then keyboards and drums enter in a soft way and complement this mellow and emotional track. "The Deeper Cut" so far has to be without a doubt the best (or my favorite, better said) song. Here I love the atmosphere, the keyboards produce a kind of chaotic and dark ambience which is perfectly complemented by the superb vocals, the strings and drums. I love several things here, the intensity, the progression, the well-crafted composition, everything. It is impossible not to repeat this particular track.

"Mortar Grind" is another fantastic song; the guitars take me back in time once again, and later the voice and the keyboard noises begin to create the mood. Once again, the intensity increases while the seconds pass, and once again, the vocals are a highlight, though I must say that the instrumental parts are also first-class. "Through the Distance" is another short piece and it is the softest of them all, in spite of its sudden explosions. This is not a bad track at all, but it did not click with me as I would have liked.

On the other hand, the longest track comes with "The Physics of Gridlock" and since the very first seconds it totally caught my attention, due to that sensation of tension created by guitars and bass. The music gathers colors, nuances and textures, and varies in intensity, mood and emotions, this is wonderful example of a progressive rock track (not sure if prog metal). This is another superb track that fulfilled my expectations and left me with a big satisfaction, another highlight without a doubt. And finally "End Credits" is the song that says goodbye. This is an instrumental track that really takes me to the end of a film; this song is like a flashback through "Road Salt Two" tracks, we can listen to them all in this single song. A good way to finish this wonderful album!

And what a positive surprise, I am truly impressed and happy with this album, and surely will listen to it frequently. Pain of Salvation fans, please give it a chance, I am sure you will find good elements here. My final grade will be four easily-earned stars.

Enjoy it!

memowakeman | 4/5 |

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