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

THE PERFECT ELEMENT PART 1

Pain Of Salvation

 

Progressive Metal

4.25 | 926 ratings

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hdfisch
Prog Reviewer
4 stars This was the first CD from them I've purchased a couple of years ago and in some way it highly triggered my interest for this great band. Maybe this was the case because musically spoken the compositions on here are more easily accessible, almost to be called catchy compared to their firstt two albums. And honestly after listening to "The Perfect Element Pt.1" very carefully (through a set of headphones) several times and analysing the songs rather critically (just music- and not lyrics-wise) I came to the conclusion that actually it should be considered inferior to their other excellent albums. But on the other hand this work can't be fully appreciated without taking a closer look at the lyrics written mostly by Daniel Gildenlöw as usual. The concept of this album is similar as for their masterpiece "BE" a highly ambitious and elaborate one, thought as a two-part one whose second part's still awaited and dealing about human maturing from childhood to adolescence. Though I'm usually not that much focusing on lyrics and mainly concentrating on the musical composition I've to admit Daniel's poetry is all the time highly inspiring and touching albeit at times as well slightly irritating and difficult to follow. The album is conceptionally structured into three chapters, each one consisting of four tracks. In the following I'd like to go a bit more into detail focusing exclusively on the music presented here.

Ch. I

The opener "Used" starts as a quite heavy song with a strong FNM-reminiscence, which isn't bad necessarily. Though I usually dislike rap, Daniel's doing it here very well and overall the song is a pleasant listen, very catchy but on the other hand composition-wise nothing extraordinary either. It's becoming considerably better in its second half and best features of this track are definitely the vocals, drums and the lead guitar work. "In The Flesh" reveals like the previous one as well a highly memorable chorus line and main melody and like that one it's improving during its run with nice acoustic sections on guitar and piano later on. Though lacking a bit of variation in its first half it's revealing great guitar/bass play and strong lyrics. Daniel's presenting one of his best high-pitched yellings here."Ashes" is again a very catchy, but a rather ordinary and uninspired song with partly modified vocals which makes it even worse. Although being a nice one it could have been done by any other band and leaves an advanced listener with higher demands rather unsatisfied behind. "Morning On Earth" is closing the first chapter and the one which can fascinate me the least I've got to say, not necessarily because it's a very ballad-esque one but due to its almost musical-like, radio-friendly and rather cheesy sound. Certainly it's highly appealing to everyone having rather problems to enjoy their more heavy stuff which I'm admittedly preferring in general.

Ch. II

Although "Idioglossia" reminds initially quite a lot to DT (a band that I'm not favouring in fact) with a rather bombastic keyboard sound the band manages here very well to combine the best features of symphonic prog metal and more alt rock-type of bands like FNM or Tool. Despite the DT-reminiscence (actually only in the keyboard sound) this track is a highly enjoyable one for me and a good showcase, how an extraordinary lead vocalist can influence the general impression of a band. "Her Voices" is another great track though being like "Morning On Earth" as well quite ballad-esque in its first half but developing into a more heavy and highly versatile song later on. Once again Daniel's proving here how variable his vocals are and there are great solo sections by drums and guitar as well as nice string arrangements. "Dedication" is by far not as strong as the previous one and in fact, apart from the vocals a rather mediocre one. Being again more like a ballad it's offering some sections with a nice dark atmosphere though. But overall this one ain't very much convincing. "King Of Loss" is one of the better tracks here, but not quite on par with "Idioglossia" and "Her Voices". Starting in a more atmospheric vein with guitar, piano and vocals it reveals a highly enthralling and climactic structure with a quite late first breakout after 3 ½ minutes before it continues more in a straight forward way. Finally it's getting into a more symphonic lush vein and closing with a fine guitar solo and dissonant shouting of all band members. This is at the same time the closure of chapter II which is musically the strongest one, at least in my view.

Ch. III

"Reconciliation" sounds more or less quite straight forward, altogether a nice one with a highly memorable melody but without offering anything exciting, at least for me. "Song For The Innocent" is a very derivative Floydian type of song, another one which is "just" a nice one being in some parts more quiet and mellow or lush and bombastic in others. "Falling" is a very short instrumental one with Gilmour-esque guitar and spheric keyboard tunes and this one's leading over into the final title track which offers once again an incredibly wide spectrum of lead vocals by Daniel which is the main attraction of this +10 minute song though.

As a summary I'd like to emphasize that though I'm preferring their two former albums as well as "Remedy Lane" and "Be" I still consider this album a very strong one by PoS, especially if taking into account its elaborate lyrical and conceptional work behind. Since it's musically more easily accessible than their other works I'd recommend it as some perfect introduction to those who are still not familiar with this amazing band.

hdfisch | 4/5 |

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