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Pain Of Salvation - Scarsick CD (album) cover

SCARSICK

Pain Of Salvation

 

Progressive Metal

3.17 | 465 ratings

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AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars Mixing up musical genres capturing a mixed up world.

Pain of Salvation's "Scarsick" showed a much more political side of the band that attacked the worldview and is a cynical look at the damage of consumerism, industrialisation, privatisation, McDonaldisation, and every other 'isation' you can think of. The lyrics attack and scratch out the eyes of the system that is suffocating and destroying the freedom. Every song takes a stab at various freedom destroyers from the money hungry manufacturing industry to the music industry itself. Daniel Gildenlow dominates the album on vocals and bass, and the guitar work on this is exceptional from Johan Halgreen along with Fredrik Hermansson's stirring keyboards and dramatic percussion by Johan Langell.

It begins with the indulgent title track stating that they are sick of everything. This is the most metal song on the album with a cool distorted riff and some heavy drumming. It features a rap style and Rammstein style interventions of riffs breaking it up. The lyrics are about surviving against the system that swallows up the underprivileged; "you're not alone, and every time that you hurt, every cut every scar and every time you just hate everything that you are, it is simply the instinct to flee to escape from this mess, this continuous rape of what's true and what's real, so you gnaw at your paw to get out of the trap of the cage of our time, all that rage is your struggle to survive, they think you wanna die when in truth you just strive, biting every hand just to stay alive." This is definitely the best song on the album and starts off the DVD live concert well also, the mix of rap and metal and a melodic chorus, mixing musical genres, works to capture the feeling of a mixed up world.

After this rocker, 'Spitfall' follows that is jammed full of fast paced rap and some weird signatures. I liked the way the keyboards work against the fast rap vocals such as "you're just another Parental Advisory bore, there's nothing like a broken childhood, there's nothing like a broken home, there's nothing like a tale from your hood, there's nothing like a record of restriction orders outspoken borderline disorders a violent long way to the top, the longer that you fought yourself up the longer the spitfall". There are heaps of lyrics on this due to the speed rap, but it is well executed and perhaps better than the average rap song, and has a lot of expletives thrown in too. Then 'Cribcaged' is next with too many F bombs for comfort and this is one I will always skip, as it has nothing to offer apart from just rage and spite and boring music.

They are sick of America and have no problems writing a scathing hate song to it called 'America'. I first heard this on the live DVD and I remember not being impressed with it then and this version is actually worse. It does have some nasty digs at the land of the free though such as, "if I say I love you dare you love me too". I am not sure how this song is taken in America itself but it is not one to play at the white house.

'Disco Queen' is a quirky piece of fun, with some digs at the music industry and homage to the vinyl years "Undressed in front of me, all glistening ebony, You're still so young, but I will show you vintage 33, I lay you on your back inviting curves of black, Making little noises as my needle finds your track". The disco music is humorous and a real diversion on the album, but it works as a result, standing out as unforgettable and maddeningly infectious. It effectively makes fun of the current music scene that is likened to prostitution.

'Kingdom of Loss' is a powerful track based on the abuse of fast food and increasing obesity. It has narratives sounding like a TV station selling the package and the lyrics attack the fast food market as a sold out Earth "Someone sells us god in 2-for-1 with shame, Someone sells us war and the marketing, looks just the same, Someone sells us fear on TV each day, A shape for every taste if the flavours right, we gladly pay, All on sale, all on sale, We're all on sale, all on sale"; a great thought provoking track.

'Mrs Modern Mother Mary' has a scratchy guitar rhythm and some odd time sigs that never quite go in sync with the singing. It is interesting but not one of my favourites. 'Idiocracy' has a crunching rhythm and grinds along with some high register vocals. The lyrics are anti political; "so close your eyes, just take another deep breath now, and fantasize, pretend the world we're forming is a paradise, why can't I close my eyes, why can't I just be hypnotized, industrialized and privatized, all mesmerized, 'cause I can see and what I see around me makes me paralyzed, yes I can see and what I see is not worthy a democracy."

'Flame to the Moth' is a heavier track, and yet another potshot at the industrial age, and this one has some screamo vocals along with Gildenlow's cleaner voice. The lyrics spell it out blatantly; "where did we go wrong? I once had blue eyes, hungry and wise, now they are black from this dark age of lies, we're all privatized, industrialized, we capitalize on the beams in our eyes, it's all in the eyes." The tempo is upbeat and really dominated by the incessant vocals.

'Enter Rain' is a longer song at just over 10 minutes, and has three parts that change in tempo and style. It begins with reflective lyrics and a low key approach. Then it builds gradually but remains steady and quite gentle in comparison to other tracks.

Overall, this is another diverse album from PoS with a variety of styles and some of their most attacking and vitriol lyrical content. The target is basically the world system and commercialism or consumer traps. This makes for an uneasy listen at times, not to the standard of previous material, but nonethess it is a captivating album. There is not a lot of heavy metal music on offer rather it is heavy by nature of the content and the brooding atmospheres. Not as good as "The Perfect Element" or "Remedy Lane" but a decent album worth a listen.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 3/5 |

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