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Pain Of Salvation - Be CD (album) cover

BE

Pain Of Salvation

 

Progressive Metal

4.09 | 892 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

AtLossForWords
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Very few bands have the ability to record an album that is philosophical and intimate, especially one like this. Pain of Salvation's fifth studio release Be is just that. Be isn't just music, it's a philosophical and espistomological experience. Be attempts to surround the concept who we are, what we are about, and what we will become with music. That being said the music supports the concept. This album isn't about the music, it's about supporting a concept, which for some may be somewhat difficult to grasp.

Be has a small cast of characters, Imago and Mr. Money are the two most prominent. Ms. Mediocrity makes a cameo along with a character who is somewhat unknown who grieves his loss, and god. Imago represents the altruistic spirit of man, or maybe man at the beginning. Imago is on a quest for knowledge and exploration, Imago wants to know more about himself. Mr. Money is as the name suggest all about the money. He steps on anyone and anything to get to the top. Mr. Money is representative of humanity's greed and lack of consideration for the consequences. Mr. Money has an initmate performance in "Iter Impius" is his expression of the consequences for his own actions. His greed and lack of concern cause an enviromental disaster leaving him nothing but the rocks and dust to rule. Mr. Money has it all, but at the end of the album, that isn't much.

Not only is the concept of this album wonderful, but the supporting music is as well. This is not simply a metal album, but a variant musical experience supported by the properly dubbed Orchestra of Eternity who add an essential orchestral element for this album vital to it's success. The Orchestra of Eternity is actually more important to the musical success of this album than the lead band Pain of Salvation. Along with great orchestration Be offers bluesy, metal, and even jazzy elements to this album.

There are some moments where listeners may feel lost in the concept with songs like "Vocari Dei", "Imago", and "Omni". Others may find these musically exceptional and creative. What's most important is their support nd expression of the concept that this album is built on. There is no filler here, it's an imtimate musical experience that is meant to bring the listener consistently closer to the concept of existence and knowledge. Every song has a meaning, and every meaning is subjective.

I've already spoken of how important the Orchestra of Eternity is to this album, so now I will speak of the albums composer and author Daniel Gildenlow. Gildenlow's lyrics and concept for this album are genius. It would have been impossible for him to create a more philosophical and intimate concept. Gildenlow's vocal performance is his best to date. His performance on "Omni" is dramatic and operatic, and his performance on "Iter Impius" is the perfect expression of agony and greed. Gildenlow has an amazing ability to become the characters he performs. Gildenlow doens't do as much guitar playing on this album, but his solo in "Dea Pecuniae" is an excellent bluesy guitar lead as one of the prominent guitar leads on the album.

Fredrick Hermannson ditches his usual rack of keyboards for a piano (including an organ on "Omni" and a harpischord on "Martius"). Hermannson's piano concerto like piece "Pluvius Aestivus" is among one of the best composed original classical pieces in the progressive genre, and features no lead band influence. It's purely orchestral with Hermannson as the lead pianist.

Kristoffer Gildenlow lays down some great rythymnic bass lines. The man has a variety of skills playing finger, pick, slap, and tapping styles. He also uses a variety of basses with six string freted and fretless along with a four string upright bass. Gildenlow's tapping interlude on "Nihil Morari" is an excellent example of the lead skills he rarely uses in Pain of Salvation, Gildenlow is a monster player in a controlled sense.

Johan Hallgren is the primary lead guitarist. He uses both acoustic and electric guitars throughout the album. His solos are quite improvised with the most touching performance on "Iter Impius". he also shows off adept technical skill in "Nihil Morari".

Johan Langell is on drums as usual. His performance would actually be better called that of a percussionist. Langell doesn't simply drum, but uses his entire set to use drums and cymbals the way that an orchestral percussionist would, which obviously fits the focus of this album. Langell's cymbal use is one of the most unique and creative in the genre. His playing isn't potent, but it perfectly supports the songs.

This album is all a listener could ask for. It's intellectually stimulating with a variety of musical styles that ends with an epic finish. This isn't just an album, it's an emotional experience.

AtLossForWords | 5/5 |

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