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Pain Of Salvation - Be CD (album) cover

BE

Pain Of Salvation

 

Progressive Metal

4.12 | 693 ratings

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Cygnus X-2
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Of all the conceptual pieces I've heard, I do believe that Be is the most contrived, silly, and most cryptic album I've ever heard conceptually. Pain of Salvation, led by the notorious Daniel Gildenlow, strides more firmly into symphonic territory with this album, as there are little to no metal parts (save for a few moments and pieces) and most of it is dominated by acoustic pieces with the vocals being the most prominent part. Now if you can get past the concept of the piece you'll probably find a lot to like (a lot more than me). I will say, though, that the pieces here are a run of the mill of emotions and different feelings all together, from dramatic piano solos to celtic inspired rhythms it is all here. Now, I'm going to get the overall concept of this piece out of the way so you can judge it from the first paragraph.Essentially, Gildenlow was thinking one day about what if God was just as confused and unsure of his/herself as any human being? So God decided to create man in his/her image in hopes that it would help find out what he/she is meant to be. That's to put it shortly, though.Throughout the album you'll hear essentially be given a brief history of the world and of spirituality.

Alright, time to discuss select pieces and some overall feelings I get from listening to this album. Beginning with the dialogue of Animae Partus and the repetition of the words I Am and essentially a backdrop to the entire foundation to the story as well. From the get go you can feel a different Pain of Salvation at work. Coupled with Deus Nova is begins the long journey that is this album. And although Deus Nova (Fabricatio) brings in a metal theme to the album, it doesn't really last long and the riff (although pretty nice) is pretty repetetive at the same time. In the background the vocals discuss the progression in population of human beings as time continues forward. The next piece, Pulvius Aestivus, also brings in a celtic influence to the piece, but the main problem I have with it is the preposterous lyrics, "take me to the breathe and be"... eh? Then comes in the next piece, Pluvius Aestivus, which is essentially an overly long classically tinged piano piece (all it is is piano and the backing Orchestra of Eternity) that seems more familiar to the them of The X-Files than anything else.

Following those pieces run a gauntlet of various themed songs that help further the ridiculous concept (at least the music is of a vastly higher quality). I like the guitar work in Lilium Cruentus (Deus Nova), which has a nice modulated feel to it and is rather heavy despite having a sharp and clean sound as well as a pretty dynamic bass line from Kristoffer Gildenlow. Nauticus (Drifting) has an interesting acoustic motif and some hymnal chants from Gildenlow, who gives a great vocal performance here (probably my favorite on the album). Dea Pecuniae is the longest piece of the album, clocking in at a bit over 10 minutes. I'm quite fond of the ending section I Raise My Glass because of it's catchy nature and the well performed background music, but the parts leading up to it are very good as well, with fantastic bass work and lead guitar. Vocari Dei is essentially phone messages to God (with an eclectic bunch of people phoning in their questions, prayers, and thoughts), the music in the background is quite stunning as well. Diffidentia (Breaching the Core) begins with a crushing metal riff with a droning piano motif that ranges between about two or three different chords and some questioning vocals from Gildenlow (who begins at this point of the album to really come out of the conceptual shell and reach out to the listener). Probably my favorite piece on the album along with Dea Pecuniae.

Nihil Morari is essentially a slight reprisal of the Lilium Cruentus (although a bit different it has the same mood and sounds very similar) in my opinion. It really seems that the metal that Pain of Salvation play comes in towards the end of the album, and the metal sections are certainly the best of the album. A reprisal of the theme from Deus Nova. Latericius Valete and Omni are two shorter pieces, and mainly act as filler (or interlude pieces, however you look at it) as far as I'm concerned. They aren't really that bad, but they just don't really sit well with me for some reason. Iter Impius has one of Gildenlow's most emotional vocal performances, and the accompanying piano is also quite pretty, playing a nice arpeggio based motif. Martius/Nauticus II follows, but the album isn't done yet. It's a bit of a piece that is all over the place musically, bringing up references to past songs as well as standing as a piece that has an original edge to it. It doesn't really do anything for me at the end of the day. The album ends with Animae Partus II, a reprisal of the first part of the album with the repeating "I Am" lines, it gives the album a continous feel as well as a circular feel as a closer.

In the end, it all comes down to if you can stand bizarre concepts with BE. Although musically it contains many brilliant moments, lyrically this album falls apart quickly (this is simply opinion, though, as I know how much work Gildenlow put into this album). For me, I liked this album, but there were a few definite flaws that keep me from giving this album full marks. Recommended, but with a bit of a warning in the obtuse concept. And if you're looking for metal on this album, you'll find that not a lot of this album is metal at all. 3.5/5.

Cygnus X-2 | 3/5 |

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