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Pain Of Salvation

Progressive Metal

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Pain Of Salvation Road Salt Two album cover
3.49 | 450 ratings | 20 reviews | 17% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 2011

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Road Salt Theme (0:45)
2. Softly She Cries (4:15)
3. Conditioned (4:15)
4. Healing Now (4:29)
5. To The Shoreline (3:03)
6. Eleven (6:55)
7. 1979 (2:53)
8. The Deeper Cut (6:10)
9. Mortar Grind (5:46)
10. Through The Distance (2:56)
11. The Physics Of Gridlock (8:43)
12. End Credits (3:25)

Total Time: 53:35

Line-up / Musicians

- Daniel Gildenl÷w / lead & backing vocals, guitars, bass, lute & mandolin (4), piano (10,12), keyboards, drums (5), percussion (6,8,10), tambourine (3,6,8), producer
- Johan Hallgren / guitars, lead (2) & backing (3) vocals
- Fredrik Hermansson / electric piano, organ, synth (2), keyboards
- LÚo Margarit / drums, backing vocals (3)

- Linus Carlsson / bass (3)
- Gustaf Hielm / bass (8)
- Per Schelander / bass (9)
- Nils-Ake Pettersson / clarinet (11,12)
- Anette Kumlin / English horn (5,11,12), oboe (5,11,12)
- Asa Karlberg / flute (5,11,12)
- Kristina Ekman / viola (1,2,11,12)
- Camilla Arvidsson / violin (1,2,11,12)
- Mihai Cucu / violin (1,2,11,12)

Releases information

Artwork: Daniel Gildenl÷w

CD Inside Out Music ‎- IOMCD 349 (2011, Germany)

Thanks to peccatum for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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PAIN OF SALVATION Road Salt Two ratings distribution

(450 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(17%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (30%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)

PAIN OF SALVATION Road Salt Two reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by J-Man
4 stars Although Pain of Salvation has never been a band to play it safe, Road Salt One's dramatic deviation from their distinct style left their fanbase a bit puzzled. The seventies' heavy rock vibe was a shocking change in direction from this established progressive metal act, and a large chunk of their dedicated following considered it inferior to any of their previous creations. Road Salt One may not be my favorite Pain of Salvation album either - far from it, actually - but it is a record that I enjoy, and I did eagerly wait for Road Salt Two to see if these Swedish masterminds could do an even better job at this decidedly-retro sound. After thoroughly enjoying both parts of the Road Salt saga, I can confidently conclude that Road Salt Two is the superior observation and an all-around excellent album from Pain of Salvation. The songwriting is more impressive this time around, there are more progressive rock and metal tendencies, and there's a strong conceptual feeling that was lacking a bit on Road Salt One. Road Salt Two isn't without its flaws, but it's still a highly impressive effort that open-minded fans of the band will hopefully enjoy. Pain of Salvation may never return to making masterpieces like The Perfect Element, Remedy Lane, and Be, but that doesn't take away from the fact that Road Salt Two is one hell of an album. Fans of 70's heavy prog with unique Gildenl÷w flavoring should be sure to check this one out - just don't expect anything even remotely close to "vanilla prog metal"!

There are a few noticeable differences that I will point out shortly, but Road Salt Two is by-and-large a very similar album to Road Salt One. The music is still played in a very raw and unpolished seventies' hard rock style, and the retro keyboard palette, intelligent songwriting, and commanding vocals from Daniel Gildenl÷w keep the album from ever descending into mediocrity. Road Salt Two's main unique feature is that it seems to have much more of a "prog-touch" than their previous effort, and that's a certainly a good thing in my opinion. When I say that this album is more "progressive", don't think that it ever implies vanilla progressive metal - the music here just tends to feature deeper, more complex, and more emotionally charged songwriting than it's predecessor. And, honestly, I think that's what gives Road Salt Two a slight edge. There are a few uninspired blues riffs that I could've done without, but it is obviously an integral part of the retro atmosphere that Pain of Salvation are aiming to create with the Road Salt saga.

The album opens up with the short orchestral piece entitled "Road Salt Theme", and even though no parts of this song were heard on Road Salt One, they are all heard again before Road Salt Two ends. "Softly She Cries" is a heavier track that's filled with doomy metal riffs and a haunting synthesizer melody - an excellent way to open up this chapter for sure. "Conditioned" is the leading single from Road Salt Two and (unsurprisingly), it's the weakest track here by a substantial margin. It's not a bad song by any stretch, but the repetitive blues riff lacks the depth and emotion to really grab me until the climatic ending section. "Healing Now" is a folky acoustic song, and an absolutely beautiful composition - one of the highlights for sure. "To The Shoreline" is one of the most progressive tracks here, and the jazzy drumming parred with the captivitating synthesizers and moving choruses make this a contender for the best track on the album. After a filthy hard rock riff, "Eleven" moves into more grunge-y territory that's completed by Gildenl÷w's gruff vocal performance and the pulsating bassline. Don't expect this track to ever become repetitive, though, as the instrumental middle-section is one of the most interesting moments on Road Salt Two. The first truly beautiful piece of music on the album come in the form of "1979" - a rather short ballad with serene lyrics and heartwarming melodies, as well as a terrific arrangement that reminds me of something I would've heard on Be. "The Deeper Cut" opens up with a complex and progressive riff that sounds more like traditional progressive metal than anything else you're bound to hear on this album. The emotionally challenging second half of the song features one of the most impressive builds I've ever heard, and Daniel Gildenl÷w's vocal performance is nothing short of stunning.

"Mortar Grind" was also featured on the Linoleum EP from 2009, and I still enjoy the song just as much as I did back then. It's not the best track on Road Salt Two, but its haunting melodies are definitely more effective within the concept of a full-length album. "Through the Distance" is the second ballad on the album, and is every bit as beautiful as "1979". The melancholic lyrics matched by the lush arrangements make this another one of my favorites. The "epic" of the album is in the form of "The Physics of Gridlock", a near-9 minute epic that sums up the album pretty well. I wish that the spoken word section in French were omitted as it really takes away from the power of the track, but the rest of the composition is top-notch for sure. "End Credits" closes up Road Salt Two almost exactly how it started, and this is another (slightly longer) orchestral piece that features a few more themes from the album. I think this is the perfect way to end the album.

As we're used to from Pain of Salvation, the musicianship is excellent across the board. Daniel Gildenl÷w's expressive vocals are at the forefront of the music, but his work on the guitar and bass shouldn't go unnoticed either. Johan Hallgren's guitar playing is equally impressive, and Leo Margarit's drumming is not only technically demanding, but also emotionally impressive. Frederik Hermansson's eclectic choices of keyboard tones always suit the music perfectly, and even though he may not be the most prominent figure in the band's sound, no song would be complete without his tasteful additions. Unfortunately, the production is a bit of an issue for me here - just like on Road Salt One, the production intentionally sounds muddy and "vintage". I tend to think that it just sounds really low-quality most of the time, and I really miss the polished production of Pain of Salvation's earlier works - Road Salt Two would've benefited greatly from a more impressive sound quality.

Pain of Salvation may have lost a little bit of their "bite" and inspiration over the last few years, but I refuse to think that they've become any less of a creative force in the progressive rock community. Road Salt Two is not a flawless masterpiece like The Perfect Element, Part 1, yet the creativity of Daniel Gildenl÷w and company shines as brightly as ever. A band that can constantly shift styles and manage to pull it all off with precision and success is worthy of my praise, and Pain of Salvation have demonstrated here that this retro progressive rock sound can work very well for them. Whether or not the famed Swedes decide to stick with this sound or move on will only be told in the coming years, but this album has restored my faith in Pain of Salvation as one of music's most genuinely impressive forces. I'd say a big 4 stars are very well-deserved here. Road Salt Two is not the place to begin your Pain of Salvation journey, but any established fan should be sure to check it out.

Review by Rivertree
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Band Submissions
4 stars Can't really imagine that any unbiased prog fan will demonise 'Road Salt Two'. Okay - here we have an exemplar with less metallic essence once more, yes, you'll also stumble across some Red Hot Chili Peppers references, superficially seen this album sounds close to prog related grunge bands like Soundgarden (Superunknown) for example. This is something which probably causes desperation, will split their fans again. But it's that simple - Daniel Gildenl÷w and his band mates do their own thing, don't want to be pigeonholed, so what ... I first had to notice that when listening to the splendid 'Scarsick' while anticipating a metal drenched album.

In any case I find it a great achievement to provide every song with catchy moments without exception. The last two minutes of Conditioned for example are so intriguing. And I'm reminded on Chris Cornell when listening to Softly She Cries - not meant with despair to make it clear. Eleven eventually shows the strongest prog essence - Leo Margarit's drum playing is irresisitible, refrains are inviting to sing along - and I love the accentuated electric piano. And POS come into the wild with the The Deeper Cut - my favourite sample - you can't make it better, a masterpiece. Melodies, dynamics, a catchy refrain with shouting qualities plus a short jamming interlude - this sounds perfectly rounded all together.

A (nearly) perfect (prog) rock album to my mind, yeah! I haven't heard the first copy from this series yet, however 'Road Salt Two' is a wonderful experience definitely, featuring fantastic rock music compositions which are showing so much sense of melody and dynamics. The prog base is less obvious here, more subtle. Besides the compositional attempt Gildenl÷w's multi-varied vocals are THE greatest attraction to me. Like it is with Karnivool's 'Sound Awake' I won't give a [&*!#] if someone claims 'wait, is this pure prog really?' The second PAIN OF SALVATION album I'm absolutely delighted with, this qualifies for a fan status now, whaddaya say? 4.5 stars.

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Oh, what a surprise!

And it is because my only true experience with Pain of Salvation was with their "Entropia" album, though I've heard tracks from other releases, I only knew one full-length album. So taking "Entropia" as my only memory, as a comparison point, now I have to say that "Road Salt Two" has truly surprised me. Obviously I am not a follower of the band, and am not aware of their line-up changes and different musical directions, and I feel guilty I have not listened to "Road Salt One", but I must admit that I am satisfied with this new release.

The reason is because I found an unpredictable album, with a diversity of sounds and styles, music which is not pigeonholed, music for me and you, though I am not sure if the die-hard fans agree with me, but well. "Road Salt Two" contains twelve compositions that make a total time of 53 minutes. So please feel comfortable, do not prejudge and try to enjoy what you listen, taking the album as a unit, and without comparing it with the previous works.

"Road Salt Theme" is a one-minute instrumental introductory track that leads to "Softly she Cries" which gave me the first surprise due to its, let's say, rockish sound that reminds me to some American bands. I love the vocals and the easiness to reach high tones and make great changes; the music is great, sometimes with a mellotron that produces a kind of eastern flavor, and in moments with that heavy sound that supposedly belongs to Pain of Salvation.

"Conditioned" continues with that stoner, rock oriented sound reminiscent of some 70s bands. It is nice and strange at the same time, to see how a band morphs and how the conception you had can go down with one or two songs, but that is the beauty of music, it never ceases to surprise us. "Healing now" is a wonderful track full of acoustic strings that give a folkish tone to the music, Gildenl÷w vocals easily adapt to any of the styles they offer, so that is a positive point. In this song I love everything, from the voice and strings, to the drums and the rhythm. If I listen to it anywhere, I would never think Pain of Salvation is the performer.

"To the Shoreline" is a nice track with a cool beginning, I like the keyboard sound and how the music reminds me to an old film. Though seems to be a repetitive track, of course it isn't, and I like how they put different moods, changes in time and a diversity of elements. "Eleven" has once again that (seems to be now inherent) rockish and seventies sound, evidenced by guitars. The song is little by little progressing and showing different faces through the minutes, so it is cool to listen to its entirety, instead of skipping it after one or two minutes. You will find a wonderful piece, actually.

"1979" is a short track, with piano and vocals t the beginning, then keyboards and drums enter in a soft way and complement this mellow and emotional track. "The Deeper Cut" so far has to be without a doubt the best (or my favorite, better said) song. Here I love the atmosphere, the keyboards produce a kind of chaotic and dark ambience which is perfectly complemented by the superb vocals, the strings and drums. I love several things here, the intensity, the progression, the well-crafted composition, everything. It is impossible not to repeat this particular track.

"Mortar Grind" is another fantastic song; the guitars take me back in time once again, and later the voice and the keyboard noises begin to create the mood. Once again, the intensity increases while the seconds pass, and once again, the vocals are a highlight, though I must say that the instrumental parts are also first-class. "Through the Distance" is another short piece and it is the softest of them all, in spite of its sudden explosions. This is not a bad track at all, but it did not click with me as I would have liked.

On the other hand, the longest track comes with "The Physics of Gridlock" and since the very first seconds it totally caught my attention, due to that sensation of tension created by guitars and bass. The music gathers colors, nuances and textures, and varies in intensity, mood and emotions, this is wonderful example of a progressive rock track (not sure if prog metal). This is another superb track that fulfilled my expectations and left me with a big satisfaction, another highlight without a doubt. And finally "End Credits" is the song that says goodbye. This is an instrumental track that really takes me to the end of a film; this song is like a flashback through "Road Salt Two" tracks, we can listen to them all in this single song. A good way to finish this wonderful album!

And what a positive surprise, I am truly impressed and happy with this album, and surely will listen to it frequently. Pain of Salvation fans, please give it a chance, I am sure you will find good elements here. My final grade will be four easily-earned stars.

Enjoy it!

Review by Starhammer
3 stars Just add water...

Road Salt Two is the second in a pair of albums released by Pain of Salvation which mark a (hopefully) temporary move towards a more 'nostalgic' sound. Whereas 'Road Salt One' album took me quite a while to appreciate, this album was more immediately rewarding although that may just be because I knew what to expect.

Like it's predecessor its a bit hit and miss in terms of interesting songs. There are some really great moments like The Physics of Gridlock, Healing Now and Eleven (which features one of my top three guitar solos of 2011!), and I'm also quite partial to the opening and closing instrumentals. But for the most part its a bit beige. Not bad at all, just very plain, and this is a problem which Opeth's 'Heritage' shared.

In order for a 'retro tribute' to succeed then it has to either be incredibly consistent, or that little bit different. For example Steven Wilson's more ambitious effort 'Grace for Drowning', or Dark Sun's 'Orange' which overflows with character and charm in its raw setting.

The Verdict: On par with 'Road Salt One'.

Review by EatThatPhonebook
3 stars 6/10

"Road Salt 2" is a definite improvement over the first chapter.

People change, even metalheads. Will Mikael Akerfeldt do Metal ever again? Will Cynic? Ulver? Pain Of Salvation? Every Progressive Metal related act seems, fortunately, to be more coherent with the term Progressive than Metal, so from album to album these bands tend to change in terms of sound. Pain Of Salvation's case is probably the least successful of all the Prog Metal bands going towards a softer direction. Their change hasn't brought as much enthusiasm among the Metal community as expected, especially with the release of the mediocre "Road Salt 1". A year after, the band releases "Road Salt 2", which is a definite improvement over that first experiment.

Musically "Road Salt 2" isn't a massive change from the first episode: rough produced Blues Rock, with fuzzy guitars and small hints of Progressive and Metal overall. RS2 contains however much more experimentation and variation: there aren't only guitars roaring, but also violins, piano (admittedly that too was included in RS1), horns, keyboards. Daniel Gildenlow proves once more on this album that he is one of the best vocalists of Modern Progressive: his voice is powerful, at times soothing and painful, others full of anger and despair. On this new LP he truly gives terrific performances all over the place, enough times to make him the star of the album.

Maybe its getting use to this sound, but many of the songs here tend to be quite enjoyable, memorable, and also quite deep in some moments, while in RS1 that couldn't be said for many tracks: tracks like "Softly She Cries" and "Mortar Grind", among the more powerful ones, deliver quite a bit of emotion, just as much as the softer moments like "Healing Now", possibly the most beautiful piece of the album, a folky tune that once again contains tons of heart. But then there are moments like "Conditioned", with it's very typical Bluesy riff, that simply feel banal and forgettable.

Overall, RS2 is a definite improvement over RS1, however, there are still a few flaws in the songwriting and, I must say, the production isn't getting any better. However, the musicians are still just as great, especially Gildenlow. RS2 might not appreciated by even the most die hard fans of the band, but overall, it seems to be a pretty enjoyable record

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Back to the 70s... a new direction.

Pain of Salvation have moved into a very new territory with "Road Salt Two", and this is bound to alienate old fans while perhaps gaining new ones. It is not metal that PoS strive for on this release, more like the vintage sound of the 70s classic rock and I have no problem with that but it is nonetheless a surprise when I first encountered this. I have the DVD "Ending Themes" and a swag of albums and have become used to a variation of styles from the prog ambience and intricate metal of "Remedy Lane" to the hardcore themes and heaviness of "Scarsick", however this latest release really threw me for a loop. It has a distinct sound of its won almost like nu metal or grunge in places. There is no 'Disco Queen' on this or 'Hallelujah' but it is still innovative and as fun as previous releases, though perhaps more accessible. The poppier approach will appeal but the metalheads out there are unlikely to be impressed as there is not enough on here, it all sounds like a grunged up hard rock.

The album boasts some excellent material such as powerhouse riffer 'Mortar Grind' and a thundering hook on 'Eleven'. I am also enamoured with '1979', that delightfully sounds like it came from that year, and 'The Physics of Gridlock', with some incredible melodies, and it even features symphonic orchestral sections such as 'Road Salt Theme' and 'End Credits'. It is not the first time PoS have liked their music to a movie soundtrack and again this feels like it purposefully. I am not into the concept of the album if it even exists but overall the album delivers some compelling music.

Daniel Gildenlow dominates the album vocally and often it becomes overbearing, but there is no mistaking his basslines and the guitar work, along with some exceptional drumming of Leo Margarit. The mellotron is always welcome as is all the keyboard finesse of Fredrik Hermansson. Johan Hallgren is terrific on guitars and the band are a very tight unit as usual, never failing to surprise on this album, as one is never sure what style each track will be, such is the diversity of the material.

Overall I don't think the legion of fans will be disappointed though some may take longer to appreciate the new approach than others and that is understandable. I was quite happy with the album but it did throw me as the metal sound was really pushed to the back instead of to the foreground. It will be interesting to see where PoS will go next on subsequent releases as this one was highly experimental and creative, and not at all like previous albums.

Review by VanVanVan
4 stars This album was very much a surprise for me. My enthusiasm for Pain of Salvation had been steadily declining ever since hearing the (in my opinion) excellent Be; I liked Scarsick even if it didn't have the same flow as The Perfect Element or Remedy lane, but Road Salt one seemed so tepid and uninteresting to me that I kind of just checked out on Pain of Salvation. I didn't like the new direction any more than I had Opeth's, and I mentally marked the band down as another casualty of the burnout that seems so prevalent among progressive rockers. As a result, I didn't get this album until it was old news. In fact, if not for a random, impulsive Spotify listen, I probably wouldn't have gotten it at all.

Fortunately for me, though, I did. This is, in my opinion, the best Pain of Salvation album since Remedy Lane (and this is even coming from someone who liked Scarsick a whole lot). While it doesn't return to the pure progressive metal of their earlier work and instead stays firmly within the kind of throwback-rock that the band debuted on Road Salt One, the second installment of the series has something that the first did not: better songs. No, there isn't anything that's been drastically changed since part one, but the songwriting is simply much stronger here. Where the rockers on part one just didn't rock that hard, here we have killer tracks like "The Deeper Cut" and "Mortar Grind" that are raw and heavy and let Daniel Gildenl÷w make full use of his considerable vocal talents. As a result, all of the music sounds much more passionate and full, and the songs come off as great songs in their own right instead of just interesting homages.

The softer tracks have improved considerably, as well. Where the ballads in part one seemed to me to be overly melodramatic and even twee (I'm looking at you, "Road Salt") the music here sounds much more genuinely emotional, with tracks like "1979" featuring some of the most passionate singing Mr. Gildenl÷w has ever recorded and some truly beautiful and delicate piano. There's a level of subtlety and sophistication in the songwriting here that seemed absent on part one, and as a result this album doesn't suffer from the lulls that killed its predecessor for me.

The other great strength of the album is the variance in the music. There's certainly a throwback flavor to most of the music here, but there's also a touch of the modern to balance out its vintage sensibilities. You'd never mistake something as darkly gritty as "Mortar Grind" for a genuine release of the period, and the music in general feels much more genuinely original on this album than on part one. The prog factor has been upped as well, with the "Road Salt Theme" and "End Credits" giving the album a cinematic, conceptual sense of circularity. There's even a bona-fide long track, "The Physics of Gridlock," which I think can safely fit in with some of the best material PoS has ever written.

Overall, then, Road Salt Two is a powerful statement that good songwriters will be successful no matter what style they choose to write in. The disappointment I felt at Pain of Salvation's "new style" after Road Salt One has been replaced with the realization that one misstep does not mean a band is suddenly "in decline" or "burned out." To anyone who has stopped following Pain of Salvation or let them fall by the wayside of your musical taste, I would highly recommend you check this album out. It's a very solid piece of work.


Review by The Crow
3 stars Road Salt One was a strange album... Not pleasant for old fans of the band while having also a difficult style to find a new public, very much 70's oriented and with a rather dry production.

This second part is an exploration further in this direction, but luckily it also contains more links to the past in the form of some symphonic elements (Road Salt Theme, End Credits, To the Shoreline), a bit more of prog (The Physics of Gridlock, although I find the end of this song rather boring), an homage to the sound of their album 12:5 (Healing Now) and a better singing from Gildenlow.

Nevertheless, they continued to explore this strange 70's oriented rock (Conditioned, Eleven, Mortar Grind') which makes them sound like some kind of revival band of this decade like Ocean Color Scene or the more modern Greta Van Fleet. Not bad, but just not my cup of tea and definitely not what I expect from a band like Pain of Salvation.

However, like I said this album contains more pleasant moments than the previous one and is also a bit better in terms of songwriting.

Best Tracks: To the Shoreline (beautiful orchestral melodies for the best track of the album), 1979 (beautiful lyrics and good songwriting) and The Deeper Cut (a song which retrieves the old style of the band from the 90's and 00's)

Conclusion: Road Salt Two is better than Road Salt One in general terms and although it does not get back the old prog-metal style of the band, Gildenlow was able to replicate part of the incredible atmosphere of the first (and best) four albums of the band with a pair of really good tracks.

Sadly, despite being the best album of the band since Remedy Lane, this record also felt in no man's land being not adequate for metal fans and not really satisfying for prog-rock lovers, making Pain of Salvation to travel further into oblivion.

My rating: ***

Review by VianaProghead
4 stars Review N║ 271

In 1984, Daniel Gildenlow with only eleven years old founded a band named Reality in Eskilstuna, Sweden. One of the early members of the group was Daniel Magdic, who would remain with the band until after the release of their debut studio album. In 1987, Reality participated in the Swedish Annual Musical Contest, Rock-SM, and they were the youngest competitors ever to enter the competition. Daniel Gildenlow won the category of "Best Vocalist". In 1990, drummer Johan Langell and bassist Gustaf Hielm joined the band. Daniel Gildenlow renamed the band to Pain Of Salvation in 1991. The name Pain Of Salvation was devised by Daniel Gildenlow, who interpreted the name has having the meaning of balance. During the next three years, the band competed in contests and competitions while earning recognition in the process. In 1994, Kristoffer Gildenlow, Daniel's younger brother, replaced Hielm on bass. With this ine up, Gildenlow brothers, Magdic and Langell entered in a local studio and recorded the "Hereafter" demo, which the band actively shopped record labels. Fredrik Hermansson learned of the band through the "Hereafter" demo and successfully auditioned to become the band's keyboardist. So, it was with this line up the band released in 1997 their debut studio album "Entropia". Their second studio album "One Hour By The Concrete Lake" was recorded in 1999 with a slightly different line up. Magdic was replaced by Johan Hallgren, who had previously played with Daniel Gildenlow in a band called Crypt Of Kerberos. With this same line up they recorded three new studio albums "The Perfect Element Part 1" in 2001, "Remedy Lane" in 2002 and "Be" in 2004. In 2007 they recorded their sixth studio album "Scarsick" without the presence of Kristoffer Gildenlow. He left the band due to his relocation to Holland. In 2010 and 2011 they recorded two more studio albums "Road Salt One" and "Road Salt Two". On these albums occurs a new change in the line up of them. Langell due to family commitments was replaced by the French drummer LÚo Margarit.

So, "Road Salt Two" which is the eighth studio album of Pain Of Salvation was released in 2011, one year after their previous studio album "Road Salt One". It follows the same musical patterns on that album. Like "Road Salt One", this is another conceptual album as happened with all previous Pain Of Salvation's studio albums. However and as happened with "Road Salt One" too, the album was no more song oriented and is streamlined in its production values.

You might say that if you've heard "Road Salt One" before, you may already know all you need to know about "Road Salt Two". After all, the title "Road Salt Two" kind of gives it away that it's a linked album that we have on our hands. You might say that, which isn't completely wrong, but that it's not enough. Why? Because that it would be unjust regardless of whether you like the first part or don't. It's not to imply this album is all that different, or that it will blow your mind. No, but it's a fine piece of music, with nuances to be discovered on repeated listens. Besides, if "Road Salt" is an own musical project, you must check both parts to have the complete picture. So, having listened to the album for the first time I wasn't all that impressed because it seemed to me a bit of the same. However, it turned out to be a false sign. "Road Salt Two" seems to be quite a bit more refined than its predecessor. I don't know whether it's because it's a second venture in the bluesy territories or because the band seems to understand more where they are heading with this. Or because things have simply started falling into place better. And those details can make a subtil difference.

"Road Salt Two" has twelve or fourteen tracks, depending on if you have the standard edition or the limited edition dig pack, which is my version. The concept, the music and the lyrics were made by Daniel Gildenlow, as is usual in the band. As I wrote before, "Road Salt One" and "Road Salt Two" are the first two albums from the band to feature LÚo Margarit on drums. So, the line up on the album is Daniel Gildenlow (lead vocals and backing vocals, electric, acoustic and fretless guitars and bass guitars), Johan Hallgren (backing vocals and electric guitars), Fredrik Hermansson (electric and acoustic pianos, organs, mellotron and keyboards) and LÚo Margarit (backing vocals and drums).

Conclusion: When I reviewed "Road Salt One" I wrote that it represents the first part of the concept. So, "Road Salt Two" represents its second part. Even that "Road Salt Two" be essentially a repetition of the overall concept, it still manages to be a bit different. Its darker feel gives it a noticeable different tone. It also seems to be a more cohesive and consistent work than its predecessor. Despite the first part may be the stronger release, I probably recommend this second part. However, I still think that "Road Salt One" and "Road Salt Two" must be heard as a single album. When you play both albums together that is when you really understand the total musical power of these two excellent albums and what they are all about. Their achievement in create an interesting piece, more than impresses. I still think these two albums should have been released as a double album. However, Daniel Gildenlow knows why he didn't that.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Latest members reviews

3 stars Pain of Salvation went quite unpredictable with their 3 releases of 2010's abandoning experimentation and creativity of their previous releases and playing it more conventional with retro-sounds. Sounding as bad as it can, a gifted band can make a good release even when leaving their music genre ... (read more)

Report this review (#2309695) | Posted by sgtpepper | Monday, January 27, 2020 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A nice surprise, the second in a set. The R.S.1 I just had to discard, even trying my best to like it, after all POS has done before. Happily, I didn't discard the band as a whole. And of course, I hope they will pick up the climbing line again and keep delivering even better albums, and one d ... (read more)

Report this review (#629960) | Posted by justaguy | Saturday, February 11, 2012 | Review Permanlink

1 stars Though I stopped listening to POS 4 years ago, since releasing "Scarsick" which was the first brick in my pain of salvation wall, I couldn't prevent myself from dropping by and leave my anger here especially after releasing road salt 2 which was really over salty for me.. And with this detour ... (read more)

Report this review (#583912) | Posted by Tarek | Wednesday, December 7, 2011 | Review Permanlink

1 stars 1,5 star. In my opinion this is the worst PoS album. All songs are slaves to Daniel (beautiful) voice, but you know, there is an only instrumental dedicated part (in Eleven, and that part it's quite amusing, but nothing to remember to me). So now tell me where are the elements of variations in the ... (read more)

Report this review (#560808) | Posted by Christabel | Tuesday, November 1, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars 3.5 stars - this is a good album. When Road Salt 1 came out, I did not enjoy the 70s sound turn that Pain of Salvation took. I thought that, after a bad album like Scarsick, they ran out of ideas, and the songs from that album still look not so great to me. So I approached this Road Salt 2 with ... (read more)

Report this review (#555397) | Posted by pepato | Sunday, October 23, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I have heard a lot about this band without hearing a single tone from them. So when a promo album arrived in my inbox, I finally got the chance to check them out. This is part two of a the Road Salt series of albums. Is it a trilogy or how is this ? I do not know. But when I hear the The Beatl ... (read more)

Report this review (#554727) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Saturday, October 22, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Quite an interesting release by Pain of Salvation. It really leaves you wondering where they are going to go with their next album. But for now we have this. It's metal, with a very strong tinge 70s hard rock. For the metalheads out there, perhaps you've heard of "Pantera" vocalist Phil Anselmo' ... (read more)

Report this review (#542106) | Posted by DisgruntledPorcupine | Tuesday, October 4, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Pain of Salvation is one of those bands you don't know what to expect with every new release. Each one of their albums features different styles, but, looking at the big picture, the PoS progressive trademark sound hadn't changed until last year when they took a different edge with Road Salt O ... (read more)

Report this review (#536532) | Posted by daslaf | Wednesday, September 28, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars So, after road salt I here's part II If you like Road salt I you'll probably like this album as well. I started listening to Pain of Salvation at the release of the album Remedy Lane. I think the band has changed a lot. The latest albums sound very different from there earlier albums. I start ... (read more)

Report this review (#535361) | Posted by RGXII | Wednesday, September 28, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars let's take it from the top..POS,DT and SX are my fav prog metal bands..but my POS is my FAV band after of the reasons is that they keep changing their style album after album with such incredible results..don't get me wrong..i don't say that the other bands play the same over and over a ... (read more)

Report this review (#532022) | Posted by ppl | Sunday, September 25, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This is worst cd in there career road salt 1 is better then this,I hear tons of ballads on this its meh Even scarsick is better then this,I thought that was weakest of there catalogue. This review will be short nothing to express bout how crap this is,going on ebay to get 8 bucks off it. At least ... (read more)

Report this review (#531306) | Posted by scepter | Saturday, September 24, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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