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Pain Of Salvation - The Perfect Element - Part 1 CD (album) cover


Pain Of Salvation


Progressive Metal

4.23 | 1153 ratings

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5 stars An absolute masterpiece.

Pain of Salvation has been the most intriguing Prog-Metal band I've discovered since joining Prog Archives over a year ago. I admit that I was completely turned off to them after hearing the sample of "Beyond the Pale," and in retrospect I can find a rational explanation for this ridiculous bygone opinion: the music was just radically different from anything I was looking for at the time. When I came across Prog Archives in the summer of 2005, my experience in Prog-Metal was limited to Dream Theater and.well, Dream Theater. Browsing the bands in this genre, I would listen to samples of bands whom I hoped would be similar in composition to Dream Theater. I've yet to find a technical Prog-Metal band that pleases me as much as them, but I have found a band that meets and surpasses them in emotion, impact of composition, and coherence of concept. This band is Pain of Salvation, one of the most unique and difficult-to-classify bands in the realm of Progressive music.

The Perfect Element Part 1 was my proper introduction to Pain of Salvation, and it promptly obliterated my notions of an inferior band to my beloved Dream Theater, and it converted me into a devote follower. I'd like to say it's beyond words, that I can't do justice to the music with any sort of review, and while that's probably true, I want to try and get my point across. The main obstacle one of a less Prog-Metal-oriented background might encounter in this particular album is that the atmosphere, more so than most other Pain of Salvation albums save One Hour by the Concrete Lake, is relentlessly dark and possibly depressing. While this may turn some people off, the album would work in no other format. The convoluted but obviously meaningful concept of The Perfect Element Part 1 is a personal journey that comes right from the darkest corners of the human heart. Life can be very dark, at times, and I can think of no other album that exemplifies this truth more than The Perfect Element Part 1.

Let me make this clear: I love every single song on this album intensely. This is one of those albums that you wouldn't really want to alter in any way. It works as a straight beginning-to-end listen, but the tracks hold up to individual listen as well. Daniel Gildenlow proves to the world that he is one of the most versatile and unique singers in music altogether. He's got such a beautiful voice that works just as well in the format of a late night, tortured soliloquy as an emotionally cathartic wail. In my opinion, he's the best vocalist I've experienced in Prog-Metal, but the absolute truth is that he is the one and only fit for Pain of Salvation. The band would simply not work without him as a vocalist, not to mention that he contributes guitar parts and a constant stream of excellent concepts.

If I had to choose songs that appeal to me above all the rest on The Perfect Element Part 1--something I'd rather not do, as it seems to detract from the songs not mentioned--these would be "Idioglossia," "Her Voices," "Reconciliation," and "The Perfect Element," but every other track is just as good. I hope I don't come across as a fanboy here, but there is no other way to express my true feelings. I honestly do enjoy just about every second of The Perfect Element Part 1, and I am waiting with eager anticipation for The Perfect Element Part 2. This is an album for those looking for an alternative to the overtly technical aspects of bands such as Dream Theater, but for those who are looking for substance and meaning in their music. As an introduction to Pain of Salvation as a band, The Perfect Element Part 1 is an excellent choice, but is one of the darker albums by the band. Despite this, or perhaps due to this in part, it is probably the band's best album. I'd suggest either this album or Remedy Lane for the beginning Pain of Salvation listener.

stonebeard | 5/5 |


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