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Pain Of Salvation

Progressive Metal

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Pain Of Salvation Linoleum album cover
3.21 | 124 ratings | 12 reviews | 16% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, released in 2009

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Linoleum (4:54)
2. Mortar Grind (5:52)
3. If You Wait (2:50)
4. Gone (7:55)
5. Bonus Track B (2:28)
6. Yellow Raven (5:38)

Total Time: 29:38

Line-up / Musicians

- Daniel Gildenl?w / vocals, guitar, bass (?)
- Johan Hallgren / guitars, backing vocals
- Fredrik Hermansson / keyboards, backing vocals
- L?o Margarit / drums, backing vocals

Releases information

Recorded @ Road Salt Studios by Daniel Gildenl?w and Pain of Salvation.
Mixed and pre-mastered @ Dani's Den by Daniel Gildenl?w.
Mastered @ FineTune by Peter van't Riet.

Release date: November 16

Thanks to progshine for the addition
and to Rune2000 for the last updates
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Buy PAIN OF SALVATION Linoleum Music

PAIN OF SALVATION Linoleum ratings distribution

(124 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(16%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(39%)
Good, but non-essential (31%)
Collectors/fans only (12%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

PAIN OF SALVATION Linoleum reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by sleeper
4 stars With the collapse of distribution giant SPV and the subsiquent financial problems with InsideOut (that resulted in Pain of Salvation having to cancel 4 tours with no finance to underwrite them) and the buyout from Century Media, Pain of Salvation found that the new album they had recorded was going to have its release put back by about 6 months. So, to ease the fans wait for the new album, Road Salt, Pain of Salvation went back into the studio to record Linoleum, a 5 song EP of unique tracks meant to give us a taster of what's to come. Now, I dont normally buy EP's as they are just too short for me to waste my hard earned money on, but this is Pain of Salvation, so I wasnt about to pass up the oportunity to get new music from them, and now that I have I'm rather glad that I did.

I remember reading towards the end of 2008 Gildenlow describing his new material as "1976 on steroids" and its a phrase thats very much applicable to this EP to. The opening two tracks, Linoleum and Mortar Grind, have a very strong feeling that the band has been channeling Black Sabbaths early muse with dirty, grungy riffs powering the songs along but with the dynamic shifts and flurishes that are part and parcel of Pain of Salvation. This is a feeling that continous with the EP's 4th track, the 8 minute epic Gone, which for my money is possibly the best track the band has recorded since Beyond the Pale off of Remedy Lane some 5 years ago. This 1970's hard rock/metal feeling is helped by the inspired production on the album which gives a very "gritty" feel to the sound, remeniscent of the 70's production sound, but with excellent definition to each instrument used throughout the album, no problems with a bass or hammond organ/keyboards too low in the mix here. The EP is rounded out with a cover of the Scorpions Yellow Raven, an interesting choice of song but played in a way that keeps it very muh in line with the rest of the EP's material.

Though I'm probably one of the biggest fans of Pain of Salvation currently on ProgArchives, even I have to admit that previous album Scarsick was a disappointment on all levels but the techincal proficiancy of the musicians. However I was certain, without hearing a note of new material beforehand, that Scarsick would very much be a one off and that Gildenlow hadnt lost his touch at musical composition, and Linoleum has very much proved me right. Scarsicks biggest failings were two fold IMO, musical structures that were too simple to hold the listeners attention for any length of time and lyrics that were overt and crass, though I felt both were called for by the concept of the album. Musically Linoleum is well ahead of Scarsick with complexity and catchyness being mixed togethor creatively resulting in 4 very strong songs, though non of them really try too hard to reach the levels of intricacy that was last heard on BE. 3rd track If You Wait stands out in this regard as being a bit different, more of a gentle, mellencholic ambient piece than a full on rocker as the other 4 songs are and proving to be an interesting break in the structure of the EP, adding variety to avoid any chance of the sound getting stale, even if Linoleum is only 28 minutes. Lyrically this EP stays in the regions of heartfelt melencholly that that band tends to do best and so the poor socio-political comentaries of Scarsick are consigned to history, though I'll confess that nothing here touches me in the way that songs like Iter Impius (BE), A Trace of Blood (Remedy Lane) and Reconciliation (The Perfect Element Pt1) have done.

Long time drummer Johan Langal retired from music at the end of 2007 and has been replaced by Frenchman Leo Margarit while a permanent bassist continues to allude the band as well, with Gildenlow once again playing bass as well as his normal vocal and guitar duties. The results are excellent, Margarit is clearly an excellent drummer and on the strength of this recording will prove to be a match for Langal's legacy. The rest of the band are playing at their best as well with them all proving their virtuosity whilst holding a very tight performance that is centred on the composition. The only track on here that I havnt mentioned yet is the 5th one, Bonus Track B, which isnt a song but a rather funny discussion by the band at what they will do for a bonus "track" that I probably shouldnt laugh at, but still do anyway. Overall this is an excellent EP that puts to rest the memory of Scarsick and leaves me hungary for the new album, whenever that comes out. Personal favourits on here is the dynamic Mortar Grind and the powerful epic Gone, both of which have risen my personal favourites list within Pain of Salvations discography, and there is no low points to speak of. This EP doesnt reach the emotional highs that the bands first 4 albums brought me too, but it lacks the vehicle of a concept that Gildenlow has always used to give greater meaning to the bands work but as a taster of things to come, Linoleum fills its requirments excellently, a strong 4 stars.

Review by J-Man
3 stars I'm Really Excited for Road Salt!

I consider myself a huge fan of Pain of Salvation. They might actually be my all-time favorite band, only rivaled by Genesis, Neal Morse and Dream Theater. They've released some of the highest quality music I've ever heard in my entire life, and their first 5 albums are pure genius.

When Scarsick was released, words can not describe how disappointed I was. While the album's not a complete failure, I couldn't believe that my beloved Pain of Salvation could release an album that's anything less than incredible. For that very reason, I was nervous to hear how their upcoming album, Road Salt, would sound. I was still really looking forward to the album and I really hoped the band could create another masterpiece despite my doubts.

Recently the album had to be postponed for 6 months due to financial problems with InsideOut and the buyout of Century Media. Needless to say, I was really disappointed. I was really anxious to hear the new album, but when I heard I had to wait another 6 months, I was very disappointed. To satisfy their fans, such as myself, the band released an EP, Linoleum, containing 4 songs from the upcoming album, as well as a bonus track and a cover song.

Of course, being the fanboy that I am, I bought the EP the day it came out and listened to it frequently for the next few days. I was immediately pleased that the band didn't continue the style introduced on Scarsick and I enjoyed the 70's hard rock feel to the EP. My only real complaint is that the music isn't as challenging or emotional as the band's first 5 albums. Regardless, I have high expectations for Road Salt after this enjoyable EP.


"Linoleum"- The first song on the EP opens up with a hard rock sounding riff. The use of organ in addition to the guitar riff gives the opening a 70's hard rock sounding. It goes into a funky verse that progresses into a powerful chorus. Daniel Gildenl÷w delivers a powerful vocal performance, and the musicianship is generally of high quality. Near the middle a light keyboard section enters, and it builds back into the main section. I really love this part, and I think it makes this song really worthwhile. The progression into the chorus is excellent. This is a pretty standard verse-chorus-verse song, but it is a great opening track.

"Mortar Grind"- A drum beat opens up this song, and a distorted guitar and organ riff soon enters. It reminds me a lot of bluesy hard rock of the 70's. This riff is really great and memorable, and most of the song builds off of the riff. The chorus is particularly good, and Daniel Gildenl÷w does an excellent job vocally. This is possibly my favorite from the EP, and this is a great piece of music.

"If You Wait"- After the two, heavier-edged hard rock songs, this is more of atmospheric ballad. Most of the song builds off of the same guitar melodies and Daniel Gildenl÷w's vocals. All in all, a good song, if not particularly memorable or challenging.

"Gone"- This is my favorite song from the EP, and it is also the longest. This song opens up with a dark pop-rock sounding guitar and piano riff. I like the Porcupine Tree-influenced sound of this song, and it has clear atmospheric alt. rock influence. A beautiful section enters with solid vocals. A heavier riff enters with clever melodies. The progressions in this song are genius, and everything works perfectly. This is a really great song.

"Bonus Track B"- This bonus track is not really a "song" at all, but just a conversation between the band. It is really hilarious, clearly showing the distinct sense of humor present in the band.

"Yellow Raven"- This is a cover of the song by Scorpions, and Pain of Salvation does a really great job. I haven't heard the original, so I can't compare the two, but I must say I really enjoy this one. The overall feel to the song is great, and Johan Hallgren does an excellent job on guitar. Overall, this is a good addition to the EP and it's a solid closer.


Linoleum is a really good EP from Pain of Salvation. This is such an improvement over the disappointing Scarsick, and I am very pleased with the EP. The songwriting is solid, the musicianship is excellent, and the arrangements are great. I love the 70's hard rock direction taken on this EP, and the band does a great job. This doesn't come close to masterpieces such as The Perfect Element, Pt. I, Remedy Lane, or BE, but it definitely holds it's own. I will give this solid EP a 3 star rating. This is really good, but non-essential. If you don't have the three albums I just mentioned, Entropia and One Hour By The Concrete Lake, get those first. This is still a great and highly recommended EP for any Pain of Salvation fan.

3 stars.

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars When Pain Of Salvation does something new you can be sure that they will put their own original spin on it! First we had the live album, then a DVD release and now it's time for the first EP!

Linoleum starts off with the loud metal title track and pretty soon I recognized an apparent pattern here which reminded me of the title track from Scar Sick. This previous studio album was a continuation of the concept album The Perfect Element Part 1. Does that mean that this is Scar Sick Part 2 hence The Perfect Element Part 3? Probably not, but at least it was a thought.

Mortar Grind is probably the most straight-forward metal composition that the band has ever recorded which might mean that the shift on Scar Sick wasn't a one time deal. The tune's chorus section is catchy but I got tired of it after a few spins and now usually skip the song every time I see it coming up on the play-list.

Things do get a whole lot better with the short but sweet If You Wait and the eight minute long Gone. These two track redeem the EP for me and hopefully there is more where this material came from once the full length studio album hits the market. Pain Of Salvation balances the fine line between metal and ballad-like sections on these tracks and put their original spin on the compositions, something that I definitely lacked on the first two tracks that sounded more like typical output from Roadrunner Records, but with slightly better production.

Track five is a bonus track which I would have considered unnecessary on a full length album but the joke within works fairly well in the context of the EP and so I'll leave it at that. The closing composition is a cover of an early Scorpions track which actually once again strengthen my point when I mentioned that Second Love on Remedy Lane sounded a lot like a Scorpions tribute. Still I should probably give Pain Of Salvation credit for not hiding their sources of inspiration. Especially since they do a great cover of this lesser known classic.

So what do I think about Linoleum as an EP? It definitely does the job it was suppose to do, nothing more and nothing less. Although the EP showed us the metal side of the band I personally lacked those mellow subtle moments that Pain Of Salvation has perfected on their previous releases.

At least, here in Sweden, we've got a good taste of that during the performance of Road Salt which the band played live at the Melodifestivalen 2010 and was broadcast on national television. That song is so far my favorite of the material from the upcoming album so maybe it's a sign of the things to come once the actual album is released. Therefore I shall restrain myself from any type of prediction of how that record will turn out to be but you can be sure that's I'll be following the progress.

**** star songs: If You Wait (2:50) Gone (7:55) Yellow Raven (5:39)

*** star songs: Linoleum (4:54) Mortar Grind (5:52) Bonus Track B (2:28)

Review by The Crow
2 stars Prior to the release of Road Salt One and Two, Pain of salvation released this EP called Linoleum as an aperitif!

It contains one song of Road Salt One (the fine Linoleum), one of Road Salt Two (the repetitive and disjointed Mortar Grind) and four tracks which were not included in these discs.

Sadly, If You Wait is a short blues-rock track with no interest. Gone is better but the production is too raw (just like the Road Salt albums) and it is boring and repetitive in the long term.

Bonus Track B is a curiosity just for fans, and finally Yellow Raven is a very dramatic version of an Uli John Roth song which is not enough to make this EP interesting if you are not a die-hard fan of the Road Salt era of this band.

My rating: **

Review by VianaProghead
3 stars Review N║ 269

Usually, Pain Of Salvation is regarded as one of the most respected bands in the progressive rock music today, and I must say that I completely agree with that point of view. Pain Of Salvation is really one of the best progressive rock bands in our days. It's also one of my favourite contemporary bands with Opeth and Porcupine Tree. These are three of the groups that make some of the best progressive rock music in our days. However, of these three bands, Pain Of Salvation is the band that runs more risks, due to the constant changes on their musical direction. And we like it or not, it makes of Pain Of Salvation a very original and unique progressive rock group in our days. This main characteristic makes that Pain Of Salvation be a very different band and one of the most innovative and progressive bands of today.

Usually, I don't buy EP's because they're too much short to waste my money with them. Besides, I have so many other things to buy, that I can't waste my time and my money on such kind of things. By the other hand, usually the songs recorded on those EP's tend to be released on the next album of the group. Anyway, as I'm a big fan of the band and I've noticed that only one song "Linoleum" was released on "Road Salt One", I couldn't resist and I bought this EP.

However, this EP represents another very interesting point to me. It marks the debut performance of the new drummer of Pain Of Salvation, the Frenchman Leo Margarit. As many of we know, their former drummer Johan Langell decided to leave the group for personal reasons. It wasn't for sure easy to replace Langell and his musical legacy. I'm deeply sorry that he has decided to make that decision. He made a terrific work on Pain Of Salvation. Sincerely, I always loved his style. It was with some expectations and curiosity that I want to see if the change of the drummers resulted well, really.

So, the line up on the EP is Daniel Gildenlow (vocals, guitar and bass), Johan Hallgren (backing vocals and guitars), Fredrik Hermansson (backing vocals and keyboards) and Leo Margarit (backing vocals and drums).

"Linoleum" is an EP released in 2009 and has six tracks. The first track is the title track "Linoleum". It opens the EP with a good and interesting song which has a hard rocking sound. It's a more heavily song, and in some moments it sounds as a hard rock song. It's a very progressive rock song with good musicality seconded by powerful chorus. It represents undoubtedly a good opening song to this new mini album. The second track "Mortar Grind" is, without any doubt, a great song that reminds me the good hard rock from the 70's. Once again we have very good powerful chorus and Daniel Gildenlow made a fantastic vocal work that reminds me Robert Plant from Led Zeppelin. The song has a very dark musical atmosphere and I think this is the most powerful song on this EP. The third track "If You Wait" is the smallest song on the album and is a very different music when compared with the others. It's a very melodic and soft ballad and represents a kind of an introduction to the next song "Gone". In my humble opinion and for my personal taste, is the least interesting track on the album. The fourth track "Gone" is the lengthiest song on the EP and is usually the favourite song of the fans because is more in the Pain Of Salvation's vein. It's a song more influenced by rock, a simple and rhythmic musical composition with some heavy riffs and great musical distortions. This is really a very good and interesting piece of music. The fifth track "Bonus Track B" isn't really a song. It's a hilarious conversation between the band's members about a bonus track that the band had to perform. It demonstrates perfectly the fantastic and friendly atmosphere lived inside the group. The sixth track "Yellow Raven", and this is the real bonus track, is a cover of a Scorpions' song. The song was originally released by Scorpions in 1976 on their fourth studio album "Virgin Killer". It's something different and unexpected on a Pain Of Salvation's musical working. Sincerely, I haven't listened to, yet, the original song and therefore I can't compare both. However, the only thing I can say is that I love this version. It's a fantastic song, with an excellent Hallgreen's guitar work. It closes the EP on a beautiful and perfect way, really.

Conclusion: "Linoleum" is really a good EP of Pain Of Salvation. Sincerely, I was with great curiosity about this new work from the group after "Scarsick", and this was the main reason why I bought it. Those who've read my review about "Scarsick" know that I'm one of those who love that album. So, unlike many others, who dislike the album, I wasn't expecting really a new better working. I was curious if there was going a new change in the musical direction of the group and from what I've listened on this EP, it seems to be true. I'm perfectly sure that a ton of fans will be furious, once more, with another change of the musical style of the band. But honestly, I don't care about it? I'm sure that this band will continue their musical journey searching their very own path, whether we like it or not. About the rating, I gave to this EP 3 stars, because it's really good but non-essential. When I wrote this review I hadn't bought already "Road Salt One". So, I was very expectant and curious to listen to the album. In relation to their new drummer, he made an excellent performance on this new Pain Of Salvation's musical work. Margarit proved to be an excellent drummer.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Latest members reviews

2 stars What an egoistical move by Mr. Gildenlow and co. How in the world can this cost nearly as much as a LP when the main track "Linolium" allso is on "Road Salt One" Ok, we have about four other tracks where one is a cover, pretty good. But cmon! The sound and the vocals is sometimes atrocious lik ... (read more)

Report this review (#449361) | Posted by Sonicprogscape | Wednesday, May 18, 2011 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Sad!...sad...sad!!!That's all I can say after a first audition of this really uninspired new POS material!Thank GOD it's only an EP,because a whole long play would definitelly kill POS' new musical direction.The drift continues,after the monstrulusly dissapointing SCARSICK and this proves the ... (read more)

Report this review (#264363) | Posted by Ovidiu | Friday, February 5, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This one's a grower. I have a confession - I've never heard Scarsick, except for a few brief listens to the live tracks from their newest live release. I doubt I'll ever pick it up considering how many albums I have on my "to buy" list. But PoS is definitely one of my favorite progressive me ... (read more)

Report this review (#262436) | Posted by npoczynek | Monday, January 25, 2010 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Given how much Scarsick grew on me, I made sure to give this latest EP from the eclectic Pain of Salvation lots of listening before passing judgment. Now, after at least 6 straight runs through the disc in it's entirety, I would feel better about being able to rate this. Which brings me to the p ... (read more)

Report this review (#258694) | Posted by dtismajesty | Thursday, December 31, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Pain of Salvation is my favorite Progressive Metal band, and I expected very much this EP. After the Scarsick album, I realy would like to know what would lay ahead. This EP is interesting and has good songs, but don't expect so much. "Linoleum" opens this EP with interesting passages, the second ha ... (read more)

Report this review (#255249) | Posted by peccatum | Wednesday, December 9, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars As usual, I've been waiting anxiously for an album from Pain Of Salvation. This EP, hoping it to be a treat to my ears, left me a bit on my appetite. The first two songs sound like good leftovers from ''SCARSICK''. Track #3, IF YOU WAIT, is the 'soft' part of Pain Of Salvation. GONE (the fou ... (read more)

Report this review (#253754) | Posted by skreamer | Monday, November 30, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Well, first i'm glad to submit the first review of this expected ep, but also a bit surprised nobody did it first, as Pain Of Salvation is THE cult prog-metal band of many, myself included. Instead of giving a track by track review, i will try to put general ideas of the ep as a whole, with a f ... (read more)

Report this review (#251455) | Posted by glaurung | Wednesday, November 18, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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