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Pain Of Salvation - 12:5 CD (album) cover


Pain Of Salvation


Progressive Metal

4.41 | 325 ratings

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Equality 7-2521
4 stars On the heels of the release of Remedy Lane, Pain Of Salvation decide to play a unique acoustic concert to a crowd of 80 special guest. That performance is captured here on this release. Not wanting to perform a stereotypical "Unplugged" version of their material, Pain Of Salvation have drastically reworked their songs to fit the acoustic setting. For some tracks such as "Undertow" and "Drydad Of The Woods" the transition is relatively minor as one might expect. However, songs such as "Ashes" and "Winning A War" barely resemble their original version. The transformation of such oddities as these makes for an unpredictable experience. 12:5 should really be regarded as it's own work instead of a live recording for this reason, as the reworked version of the songs are often entirely new songs in themselves.

Daniel's soaring vocals compliments the acoustic atmosphere perfectly. Any doubts of his voice sounding as good live as in the studio are smashed with his performance here. Much more so than on studio releases, he uses his voice as an instrument here adding a melody all its own to songs. He adds rather improvised sound, almost Robert Plant esque, oohs and ahhs to the music and at times even contributes an almost full blown chant to add to the depth of the music.

Daniel and Johan's ability as guitar players is really accentuated in their manipulation of the acoustic instruments. I'd never heard such wonderful things done with an acoustic guitar done before or after this release. I'd heard a similar style of playing an acoustic by John Petrucci, but nowhere near did he use it to the beauty that is done here.

The most drastic and impressive change on the album comes in the song "Ashes". The version on the perfect element is a rather sickening tale of depravity in an almost Amorphis like style of melodic, gloomy metal. On 12:5 this piece transforms into a beautiful love song in the vein of "This Heart Of Mine (I Pledge)" from Remedy Lane. This is not to say that all the previous metal songs become sappy ballads. "Winning A War" and "Chainsling" to name but two tracks, keep their metal edge despite being done completely on acoustic guitar.

A few minor imperfections do tarnish this release though. For one, the harpsichord seems to be out of tune in a few songs namely "Drydad of the Woods". Also, some songs in the acoustic atmosphere lose the level of intensity and emotion that their electric versions have. For example, "Undertow" fails to recapture the magic it had on Remedy Lane. The acoustic atmosphere is unable to communicate the rage necessary for the song's success.

Overall, the concert is an overwhelming success. It features a beautiful set list spanning the band's entire career, and all the performances are spot on. A few minor imperfection but this is a must for any Pain Of Salvation fan as the songs here are very much unique in their own right. An excellent addition for any prog fan.

Equality 7-2521 | 4/5 |


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