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Pain Of Salvation - Entropia CD (album) cover


Pain Of Salvation


Progressive Metal

4.10 | 530 ratings

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Cygnus X-2
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Something about this band really struck a chord with me. The debut album of this incredibly sophisticated metal group hailing from Sweden is not only one of my favorite albums of the genre, but it may even be the group's best album (tied with The Perfect Element, which is a masterpiece to me as well). Anyway, Daniel Gildenlow and company start off swinging with a homerun of an album in Entropia. The first of Pain of Salvation's conceptual legacies, Entropia takes a more storybook feel to it with the presence of chapters throughout the album (it's about 3 tracks per chapter), and musically, one couldn't ask for more. Stylistically, this album goes through many different moods, tempos, and even genres for brief moments in songs, but it's the instrumental and vocal complexity coupled with the intelligent and emotional lyrics that really give this album an edge over many other albums in the progressive metal genre.

From the crushing riffing of ! (Foreward) to the melancholy acoustics of Leaving Entropia, the listener is taken on a journey that is surely one to remember. ! begins the album with a bang of menacing riffing and diverse vocals from Gildenlow (giving everything from grunts to falsettos). This track alone sets the tone for what lays ahead. Welcome to Entropia has a very modern edge to it with a looped drum pattern being the entire track. It segues directly into Winning a War, which is one of the best tracks on the album. Gildenlow's passionate vocal performances and the varying moods that are within the song really give it a unique flow. People Passing By is the longest, and most dynamic piece on the album if you ask me. Beginning with slap bass and a funky rhythm section, it soon becomes a haven for riffs and odd rhythmic complexities. Drummer Johan Langell performs wonderfully on this track (as he does on essentially every track he's featured on) keeping precision patterns even during the most complex of situations (especially during a grueling 5/8 section towards the middle).

Oblivion Ocean is a vocal/bass/guitar (or modulated guitar piece) featuring just sprawling guitar arpeggios wtih Gildenlow singing his heart out on top of it. It's an interesting piece with a unique sound unlike anything else on the album. Stress is percussively my favorite track on the album, with out of this world drumming from Langell as well as a funky vibe line on top of the powerful guitar riffing (especially towards the beginning). Revival combines heavy riffing with dynamic and multi-faceted soloing from both Daniel Gildenlow and Daniel Magdic. Void of Her is essentially a 1:46 guitar solo that creates an interlude feel rather than set up for the next song. To the End is probably the most abrasive song musically on the album, mainly because of the grungy and very heavy guitar/drum patterns in the beginning. It rounds out to be another magnificent song as well. Circles is a short interlude piece beginning with fast bass guitar arpeggios before converting to a melodic guitar line with a short vocal performance from Gildenlow.

Nightmist is probably my favorite piece on this album. The opening guitar riffing gives way to a stellar drum performance from Langell as well as some incredibly intricate guitar playing from Gildenlow and Magdic. The funk section in the middle is also a nice change of pace (it's got a big RHCP vibe at that point but then reverts to the main motif). It's nothing short of amazing. Plains of Dawn features a stellar chorus that takes a really epic feel (maybe it's the chord progression that gives it that feeling). It's amazing how well crafted and produced the vocals are on this album, as well as the music, as everyone who provides vocals on this album really helps create an atmosphere that is damn near unmatched harmonically. Leaving Entropia is the conclusion to the album. A short acoustic piece where Gildenlow relinquishes his final sentiments to the listener before the album closes officially.

Overall, if you want complex/clever/intelligent/quirky and terribly original progressive metal, Pain of Salvation may be the group to look into. They have a style that really is unmatched and this album is probably their most creative effort in terms of the music alone. I can't really put to words how I feel about this album, but one this is certain in my mind, no fan of progressive metal should not have this album. It gets my highest recommendations and full marks, as I cannot fault this album with anything. Essential for progressive metal fans. 5/5.

Cygnus X-2 | 5/5 |


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