Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography

PAIN OF SALVATION

Progressive Metal • Sweden


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Pain Of Salvation picture
Pain Of Salvation biography
Founded in Eskilstuna, Sweden in 1984 (as "Reality") - Changed name in 1991 - Still active as of 2017

Pain of Salvation is widely known as one of the fundamental progressive metal bands from the second generation, which came around the mid 90's, but the fact is that the band is one of the oldest progressive metal bands still active. The band was formed by guitarist, singer and composer Daniel Gildenl÷w and friends in 1984, two years after Fates Warning, Three years after Queensr che and a year before Dream Theater, when Daniel was only 11 years old. At that time, the band was called Reality, but as Daniel got older he realized the band's name needed to changed, despite the band being basically the same. So, in 1991 the band officially changed from Reality to Pain of Salvation. Daniel, over the years, gave various different reasons for the change of name, but the common feature of all those explanations is the fact that the name symbolizes the balance between things of vital significance, such as good and bad, light and dark, life and death.

The band had numerous personnel changes, mostly during the Reality period and the early period of Pain of Salvation up until their second album. Since the release of One Hour by the Concrete Lake the band remained fairly stable, with only two important band member changes: when Kristoffer Gildenl÷w, Daniel's brother, left in 2006 due to being unable to attend to rehearsals because he lived in Denmark, and when Johan Langell, Pain of Salvation's drummer since 1989, left in 2007 in order to focus on his own family.

After having a reasonably stable lineup for some time, Pain of Salvation decided, in 1996, to search for a record deal with some record label, but first recruited the keyboardist Fredrik Hermansson to complete the band's intended sound. During the rest of 1996 they distributed various demo tapes in hope to get signed with any interesting label. In early 1997 the band started recording their debut album in Roasting House, a professional recording studio in Sweden, and in August of the same year Entropia was released in Asia by Avalon, a Japanese record label owned by the Japanese record company Marquee, with generally positive response feedback, eventually leading to another licensing deal, this time with Romanian label SC Rocris Discs still in late 1997.

Entropia can be easily considered as the band's most musically diverse release up to today, raging from mellow passages to crus...
read more

PAIN OF SALVATION Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Show all PAIN OF SALVATION videos (3) | Search and add more videos to PAIN OF SALVATION

Buy PAIN OF SALVATION Music


PAIN OF SALVATION discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

PAIN OF SALVATION top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.09 | 629 ratings
Entropia
1997
3.91 | 600 ratings
One Hour By The Concrete Lake
1998
4.23 | 1344 ratings
The Perfect Element - Part 1
2000
4.24 | 1294 ratings
Remedy Lane
2002
4.08 | 953 ratings
Be
2004
3.23 | 656 ratings
Scarsick
2007
3.33 | 548 ratings
Road Salt One
2010
3.50 | 458 ratings
Road Salt Two
2011
3.01 | 192 ratings
Falling Home
2014
3.90 | 416 ratings
In the Passing Light of Day
2017
3.73 | 227 ratings
Panther
2020

PAIN OF SALVATION Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.41 | 325 ratings
12:5
2004
4.14 | 144 ratings
The Second Death of Pain of Salvation
2009
4.32 | 59 ratings
Remedy Lane Re:Lived
2016

PAIN OF SALVATION Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.39 | 228 ratings
Be Live
2005
3.96 | 125 ratings
Ending Themes - On the Two Deaths of Pain of Salvation
2009

PAIN OF SALVATION Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.78 | 60 ratings
Remedy Lane Re:Visited (Re:Mixed & Re:Lived)
2016

PAIN OF SALVATION Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.53 | 30 ratings
The Painful Chronicles
1999
3.61 | 37 ratings
Ashes
2000
3.21 | 124 ratings
Linoleum
2009
4.54 | 41 ratings
Remedy Lane Re:Mixed
2016

PAIN OF SALVATION Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Falling Home by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.01 | 192 ratings

BUY
Falling Home
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by Magog2112

2 stars I've always felt ambivalent towards acoustic albums. In some ways, I appreciate acoustic albums as they recontextualize various songs from a band's discography, especially if it belongs to the heavy rock or metal genre. However, seldom do I return to acoustic albums, as I almost always prefer the original interpretations of the featured songs. The same can be said about 'Falling Home' by Pain of Salvation. I will be reviewing the Standard Edition of 'Falling Home,' as opposed to the Limited Edition Digipack, which includes the bonus tracks "She Likes to Hide" and "King of Loss."

'Falling Home' opens with a jazz interpretation of "Stress," from the band's 1997 debut album, 'Entropia.' The main vocal melody of Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song" is referenced in the beginning of the song. LÚo Margarit plays the drums in a jazz style with a light touch. I love the barbershop vocal harmonies during the "Up on the rooftops" lyric. This then launches into a 50s style rock guitar solo, a la Chuck Berry. I like Daniel "D2" Karlsson's jazz organ playing during the bridge. I love the original version of "Stress," and it's one of my favorite songs on 'Entropia.' The 'Falling Home' version, in my opinion, doesn't quite capture the feeling of stress as successfully as the original. Nevertheless, this is a creative reinterpretation of a song that I am fond of.

The following track, "Linoleum," was taken from the band's seventh studio album, 'Road Salt One.' This reinterpretation is more dynamic than the original and contains an intense crescendo towards the end. Margarit delivers a powerful drum performance, depsite using brushes instead of sticks. Ragnar Zolberg's backing vocals are strong. "To the Shoreline" and "1979" were taken from the band's eigth studio album, 'Road Salt Two.' I find the inclusion of songs from 'Road Salt One' and 'Road Salt Two' to be redundant, as both albums are more acoustic-oriented. I could understand reinterpreting "Linoleum," as that song is one of the heavier songs on 'Road Salt One.' However, the 'Falling Home' versions of "To the Shoreline" and "1979" are essentially facsimiles of the originals.

"Chain Sling" was taken from the band's fourth album, 'Remedy Lane,' which is one of my favorite albums of all time. "Chain Sling" is one of my favorite Pain of Salvation cuts. I do find it odd, however, that out of all the songs on 'Remedy Lane,' the band chose "Chain Sling," as it's an acoustic song already. As you can tell, there's not much of a difference between the 'Falling Home' version and the original. The main difference is that Zolberg sings the high vocals, which could've been an indication of Gildenl÷w's vocal decline.

'Falling Home' includes two covers: "Holy Diver" by Dio, and "Perfect Day" by Lou Reed. I like Daniel Gildenl÷w's crooning vocals on "Holy Diver," as well as the jazz guitar solo. Pain of Salvation's cover of "Holy Diver" is a major shift from the original. I prefer their cover of "Perfect Day." The "You just keep me hanging on" crescendo is beautiful.

The three consecutive tracks, "Mrs. Modern Mother Mary," "Flame to the Moth," and "Spitfall," are all taken from the band's sixth studio album, 'Scarsick.' Like 'Remedy Lane,' 'Scarsick' is among my favorite albums of all time. I also regard 'Scarsick' as the most underrated Pain of Salvation album. I was pleased to see these three songs from 'Scarsick' on 'Falling Home,' and I was interested in how the band would interpret them in an acoustic context. The 'Falling Home' version of "Flame to the Moth" lacks the savagery of the original, especially the screaming. The 'Falling Home' version of "Spitfall" lacks the power of the original. In my opinion, "Spitfall" shouldn't have been written for an acoustic arrangement in the first place.

'Falling Home' closes with the title track, an original written by Gildenl÷w and Zolberg. "Falling Home" is a singer-songwriter ballad that contains beautiful vocal harmonies and a strummed acoustic guitar accompaniment. The title track serves as a gentle ending to the album.

In conclusion, 'Falling Home' is another acoustic album that I rarely return to. Few songs on this album augment the greatness of the originals. 'Falling Home' is for collectors and fans only, and surpasses 'Be' as being the weakest Pain of Salvation album.

 Road Salt Two by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.50 | 458 ratings

BUY
Road Salt Two
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by Magog2112

3 stars 'Road Salt Two' is the eighth studio album by Pain of Salvation, released on 26 September 2011. 'Road Salt Two' is the sequel to 'Road Salt One,' which preceded it. The same general vibe that was captured on 'Road Salt One' is captured on 'Road Salt Two,' while continuing to progress the band's sound. 'Road Salt Two' is the final album to feature Fredrik Hermansson, who had appeared on all previous releases by the band.

"Road Salt Theme" opens the album with lush strings that have an exotic quality. This acts as the precursor to "Softly She Cries," where the theme is repeated. "Softly She Cries" is a heavy song with a catchy chorus. "Conditioned" starts with a blues guitar riff that the whole song is based around. The descending bassline of the verse reminds me of "I'm a Man" by Chicago. The drums play in a half-time feel towards the end of "Conditioned." Daniel Gildenl÷w plays lute and mandolin on the folk song, "Healing Now." The music culminates into the final chorus. "To the Shoreline" is one of the most prog-sounding songs on 'Road Salt Two,' as evidenced by the syncopated drumbeat and synth textures. A Black Sabbath-esque guitar riff underpins the following song, "Eleven." The music then transitions into a funk instrumental section, before repeating the chorus one last time.

"1979" is a nostalgic piano ballad with added instrumentation. The musical atmosphere of "The Deeper Cut" is sinister and unsettling. Leo Margarit's drumming is excellent and makes "The Deeper Cut" even better as a song. The "Into the wild" lyric is a great hook. "Mortar Grind," which is featured on the 'Linoleum' EP, has a menacing verse that crescendos into a heavy chorus. Gildenl÷w demonstrates his growling skills on "Mortar Grind." The syncopated melody of "Through the Distance" against the straight drumbeat is typical of Pain of Salvation. "Through the Distance" is a pleasant foil to the heaviness that preceded it. "The Physics of Gridlock" is a suite of music that comprises three sections: "I. Gridlock (All Is Mine)," "II. The End," and "III. On nous a donnÚ la vie." The main guitar riff of "The Physics of Gridlock" is in 7/8. As the title implies, the final section is sung (and spoken) in French, and the music reflects that style. A chamber orchestra plays "The Physics of Gridlock" theme during "End Credits." Then, the theme from "1979" is reprised. Finally, the "Road Salt Theme" that opened the album also closes it, which brings 'Road Salt Two' full circle.

In conclusion, 'Road Salt Two' is a good sequel to 'Road Salt One.' However, I believe that 'Road Salt One' captured what Pain of Salvation were striving for more successfully than 'Road Salt Two.' The blues element isn't as prominent on this album. However, the raw heaviness and low-fidelity production is apparent on 'Road Salt Two' as it is on its predecessor. Overall, 'Road Salt Two' is a good album with some notable tracks.

 Road Salt One by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.33 | 548 ratings

BUY
Road Salt One
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by Magog2112

4 stars 'Road Salt One' is the seventh studio album by Pain of Salvation, released 17 May 2010. All Pain of Salvation albums are conceptual, but 'Road Salt One' is more song-oriented than any other album from the band. Many of the tracks on 'Road Salt One' sound like they were recorded live in the rehearsal room. Pain of Salvation have always reinvented themselves and their sound with each album release, and that is especially apparent on 'Road Salt One.' Pain of Salvation fans who expect 'The Perfect Element - Part Two,' or something to that degree with 'Road Salt One,' will most likely disappointed. This is an album that you have to listen to with an open mind. It took me some time to fully "get" 'Road Salt One,' but I can say with confidence that this is a brilliant record.

The album opens with the dramatic "No Way." This song features Jonas Reingold on bass. "No Way" goes through many twists and turns, all within 5 minutes. The beginning is bluesy, then it transitions to a subdued moment, then the music transitions to a raw, rock and roll sound. Towards the end of "No Way," there are some interesting polyrhythmic melodies. "She Likes to Hide" is a catchy blues song. Daniel Gildenl÷w sings with a lot of soul by the end of "She Likes to Hide." "Sisters" is one of the greatest Pain of Salvation songs. Despite the members of Pain of Salvation being from Scandinavia, "Sisters" has a strong Norse quality. Fredrik Hermansson's piano playing on "Sisters" is hauntingly melancholic. The subtle percussion is a nice touch. The vocal harmonies during the chorus are stunning. And of course, Gildenl÷w's vocals are exquisite. "Of Dust" contains beautiful vocal harmonies with subtle instrumentation in the background. The low-fidelity production of "Tell Me You Don't Know" enhances the blues nature of the song. The guitar riff is great, and Gildenl÷w's vocals are soulful. "Sleeping Under the Stars" is a humorous song, with lyrics like "Semen stains wash out surprisingly easily" and "'You're the $hit!' As they say in... they say at... wherever they say that." The song sounds like it was taken from a vaudeville act.

"Darkness of Mine" is the perfect title for this dark song. The verse is menacing, and the chorus is heavy. "Linoleum" is the single of 'Road Salt One,' and is an accessible rock song with a great chorus. The frenetic verse of "Curiosity" resolves satisfyingly to the chorus. The sinister, lullaby-like verse of "Where It Hurts" crescendos into a heavy chorus. Gildenl÷w's vocals towards the end are intense. "Road Salt" is another single from 'Road Salt One.' Fredrik Hermansson's keyboard provides the instrumentation that accompanies Daniel Gildenl÷w's sensitive vocals. The closing track, "Innocence," is probably the most Pain of Salvation-sounding song on 'Road Salt One.' "Innocence" reminds me of something I would hear from the previous album, 'Scarsick.' Leo Margarit's drumming towards the end of "Innocence" is excellent.

In conclusion, 'Road Salt One' is a brilliant change in Pain of Salvation's sound. The fusion of blues into the band's essence makes for a surprisingly enjoyable listening experience. 'Road Salt One' may not be for everyone, but it's a wonderful addition to the Pain of Salvation discography. I have massive respect for band's that constantly change with each album release of theirs. Pain of Salvation is a paradigm for those types of bands.

 Scarsick by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.23 | 656 ratings

BUY
Scarsick
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by Magog2112

5 stars 'Scarsick' is the sixth studio album by Pain of Salvation, released on 22 January 2007. It is a concept album focusing on contemporary issues concerning capitalism, materialism, and consumerism. 'Scarsick' is the last Pain of Salvation album to feature Johan Langell on drums. The liner notes reveal that 'Scarsick' is actually 'The Perfect Element - Part II.' The album is divided into two chapters: side A (His skin against the dirty floor) and side B (Why can't I close my eyes?).

The album opens with the title track. A sinister guitar riff builds and then Daniel Gildenl÷w growls the word "sick." The music cuts out for a second, and then gets back into the groove. Gildenl÷w raps during the verse. The chorus has a Middle Eastern quality, which is especially heard in Gildenl÷w's high, background cries. The chorus is repeated at the end and progressively builds into an explosive climax. "Spitfall" comprises five section: "Introducing Star," "Thus Quote the Craving," "Redefining Vomatorium," "Man of the Masses," and "YO." This is the closest thing to prog rap that I've ever heard, and I love it. Each verse is slightly different from each other. The final verse is the most intense moment of "Spitfall." The following track, "Cribcaged," is a great foil to the previous two songs. Lyrically, "Cribcaged" is about the idolization of celebrities and how they're "just people." The aptly-titled "America" is an upbeat rock song that musically reminds me a bit of Green Day mixed with Foo Fighters. The lyrics describe the hypocrisy of America as a nation. "Disco Queen" is one of the most maligned Pain of Salvation songs, and I will never understand why. "Disco Queen" is a euphemism for casual sex and pop music. The octave basslines and high falsetto vocals are so disco. The lyrics and music perfectly capture the environment of a nightclub.

"Kingdom of Loss" is about corporate society. "Someone sells us God? in 2-for-1 with Shame?. Someone sells us War?, And the marketing looks just the same." Truer words have never been spoken. "Mrs. Modern Mother Mary" is in a 9/8 time signature and is one of the most interesting grooves I've heard. The vocal melody is strange and doesn't follow a pattern; it's always changing with each verse. I like the tremolo-picked guitars during the chorus of "Idiocracy." Towards the end, the chorus builds into a heavy climax. "Flame to the Moth" may be my favorite song on 'Scarsick.' This song contains screaming from Gildenl÷w. One of my favorite moments on 'Scarsick' is the final minute of "Flame to the Moth," which urges the listener to "say no" to the world. Fredrik Hermansson's piano during this brief moment is stunning. The closing track, "Enter Rain," begins with speech-like vocals and a dark atmosphere. I like the use of slide guitar during the verse. With each refrain, the music explodes with heaviness. Gildenl÷w's voice during the "In two seconds, I will hit the ground" ascends into the stratosphere as the music slowly fades out.

In conclusion, 'Scarsick' is the most underrated Pain of Salvation album. I regard it almost as highly as I do 'The Perfect Element - Part 1' and 'Remedy Lane.' Say what you want about the concept, but 'Scarsick' is a daring record that is uncompromising yet distinctly Pain of Salvation.

 Be by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.08 | 953 ratings

BUY
Be
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by Magog2112

3 stars 'Be' is the fifth studio album by Pain of Salvation, released in 2004. It is a concept album about the existence of God and humankind. A nine-part orchestra called 'The Orchestra of Eternity' is featured prominently throughout the album. 'Be' is a rock opera with a narrative story and characters, including Animae (Godhead), Nauticus (a fictional space probe), Imago (the image of humanity), Dea Pecuniae (the Eve of humanity's sinful nature), and Mr. Money (the protagonist and the Adam for Dea Pecuniae). 'Be' starts with the prologue "Animae Partus ("I Am"), and the rest of the album is divided into five sections. "I Animae Partus (All in the Image of)" comprises the tracks "Deus Nova - New God," "Imago (Homines Partus) - Imago (Man Is Born)," and "Pluvius Aestivus - Summer Rain." "II Machinassiah (Of Gods & Slaves)" comprises "Lilium Cruentus (Deus Nova) - Blood Stained Lily (New God)," "Nauticus (Drifting)," and "Dea Pecuniae - Goddess of Money (I. Mr. Money, II. Permanere, III. I Raise My Glass)." "III Machinageddon (Nemo Idoneus Aderat Qui Responderet)" comprises "Vocari Dei - Messages to God," "Diffidentia (Breaching the Core) - Mistrust (Breaching the Core)," and "Nihil Morari - Nothing Remains." "IV Machinauticus (Of the Ones With no Hope)" comprises of "Latericius Valete - If You Are Strong, Be Strong," "Omni - Everything," "Iter Impius - Wicked Path," and "Martius/Nauticus II." Finally, "V. Deus Nova Mobile (...and a God is Born)" comprises of "Animae Partus II." 'Be' borrows from a myriad of musical styles and is the most ambitious album by Pain of Salvation. 'Be' is the last album to feature Kristoffer Gildenl÷w on bass.

The opening track, "Animae Partus," is God's soliloquy. No music, just spoken word from a woman and a man in a monotone voice. In the background, you can hear music that will appear later in the album. The Orchestra of Eternity appears on "Deus Nova" and creates a dark atmosphere that crescendos into complex, djent guitar riffing. Daniel Gildenl÷w lists off the population numbers throughout the history of humanity until the present day. "Imago" reminds me of "Chain Sling" from the previous album, 'Remedy Lane.' "Imago" sounds like a sea shanty. Each lyrical stanza references a season and compares it to the different periods of an individuals life, from childhood (spring) to elderliness (winter). The sound of rain leads into "Pluvius Aestivus," which is a piano piece with orchestral accompaniment.

Finally, "Lilium Cruentus" starts to actually sound like the Pain of Salvation we know and love. But even then, the music doesn't hit nearly as hard as anything found on the two previous albums. "Nauticus" is a gospel song with baritone/bass vocal harmonies. An audio excerpt of a conversation between Mr. Money and his mistress (including a subliminal radio broadcast) leads into "Dea Puceniae." This song is a 10-minute musical theatre extravaganza. The sleazy groove reflects Mr. Money's corruptness. Cecilia Ringkvist is a guest musician who provides some vocals "Dea Puceniae." The final section, "I Raise My Glass," is completely overblown. The mixing during this particular section isn't great. I can barely hear Daniel Gildenl÷w's vocals over the wall of noise accompanying him, especially during Mr. Money's proclamation.

"Vocari Dei" consists entirely of voice messages that were to be left on "God's answering machine." The band asked the subscribers of their newsletter to call a certain phone number and say whatever they would want to say to God. "Diffidentia (Breaching the Core)" is a traditional sounding Pain of Salvation song that's filled with heavy guitar riffs. The end of the song gradually crescendos to a grandiose climax. The djent guitar riffing that was introduced on "Deus Nova" is brought to fruition on "Nihil Morari." This is the point on 'Be' when society and its institutions fall apart. Overpopulation, climate change, pollution, gun violence, racism... the list goes on. People (like Mr. Money) who accumulated paper wealth and estate are in serious trouble.

"Latericius Valete" is a mostly instrumental interlude. "Omni" is a dramatic church organ piece. "Iter Impius" is my favorite song on 'Be.' Fredrik Hermansson's piano playing on this song is gorgeous. The music sounds desolate, as if there's no other life on Earth. Sure, you may have all the money in the world, but at what cost? Daniel Gildenl÷w's guttural singing style at the end of "Iter Impius" augments the intensity of the music. "Martius/Nauticus II" is essentially a reprise of "Imago," which gives 'Be' more cohesion. When reprised, the music sounds more celebratory and ends the album satisfyingly. "Animae Partus II" starts the same way the album began. A woman says "I am," indicating that a new God has been born. A heartbeat fades into silence. There is a hidden audio excerpt at the end of the track. A child named Molly Fahey states, "There's room for all God's creatures, right next to the mashed potatoes."

In conclusion, 'Be' is a disappointing followup to the masterpieces that are 'The Perfect Element - Part 1' and 'Remedy Lane.' The album takes seemingly forever to startup and find a flow. However, the second half is far stronger than the first. Therefore, I will rate 'Be' three stars.

 Remedy Lane by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Studio Album, 2002
4.24 | 1294 ratings

BUY
Remedy Lane
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by Magog2112

5 stars 'Remedy Lane' is the fourth album by Pain of Salvation, released in January 2002. It is a concept album about focusing on a character's search for self-discovery. 'Remedy Lane,' written by Daniel Gildenl÷w, is semi-autobiographical in nature. I view 'Remedy Lane' and its predecessor, 'The Perfect Element - Part 1' as companion albums. Sonically, both albums are similar. However, there are still aspects of 'Remedy Lane' that make it a unique album in the Pain of Salvation discography. I find that I can listen to many of the songs on 'Remedy Lane' in isolation, which I can't say for most songs on 'The Perfect Element - Part 1.' 'Remedy Lane' is structured the same as 'One Hour by the Concrete Lake." The album is divided into three chapters, and "Of Two Beginnings" is the prologue. Chapter 1 consists of the tracks "Ending Theme," "Fandango," "A Trace of Blood," and "This Heart of Mine (I Pledge)." Chapter 2 consists of "Undertow," "Rope Ends," "Chain Sling," and "Dryad of the Woods." Chapter 3 consists of the title track, "Waking Every God," "Second Love," and "Beyond the Pale."

The opening track, "Of Two Beginnings," lulls the listener by starting atmospheric and tentative. Then, the music sucker punches the listener with an explosion of music. This transitions nicely into "Ending Theme." I love the irony of the title. "Ending Theme" captures Daniel Gildenl÷w's broad vocal range. Gildenl÷w raps during the bridge. "Ending Theme" is a fairly accessible song. The lyric, "to be honest, I don't know what I'm looking for" is Gildenl÷w's mantra of life. A drop-D guitar riff in 5/4 opens "Fandango." The vocal melody is idiosyncratic, but after numerous listens it makes sense why this melody was chosen. Like the vocal melody to "Morning on Earth," there are unusual intervalic jumps, but Daniel Gildenl÷w sings it well. I like the dichotomy between the unsettling verse and the harmonious chorus, which uses a 5:4 polyrhythm. There's an interesting back-and-forth vocal effect during the "All his life..." lyric, which is discombobulating. Gildenl÷w sings high, reinforced falsetto notes during the final "Watch them dance" lyric, which is the climax of "Fandango." A stripped down chorus at the end featuring just piano and vocals ends "Fandango," and transitions into "A Trace of Blood." The first minute of "A Trace of Blood" reminds me of Fish-era Marillion. Especially Fredrik Hermansson's piano, which reminds me of Mark Kelly's playing. The lyrics are heart-wrenching as Gildenl÷w vividly describes his wife's miscarriage, which occurred during the recording sessions for 'One Hour by the Concrete Lake.' The line, "Now I will always fear to hope again," resonates with me. The guitar tapping towards the end and the accompanying music reminds me of music from Mortal Kombat. "A Trace of Blood," like "Fandango," ends with a stripped-down, melancholic chorus. "This Heart of Mine (I Pledge)" is a beautiful song filled with major seventh chords; something you don't hear much in a Pain of Salvation song. The second half takes on a darker mood and is the climax of the song. "This Heart of Mine (I Pledge)" is one of the happier moments on 'Remedy Lane,' which is an aspect that makes this album different from 'The Perfect Element - Part 1.'

"Undertow" is one of the most popular Pain of Salvation songs and one of my personal favorites. "Undertow" begins with a beautifully dark guitar melody. The song gradually crescendos to the climax, which is a highlight on 'Remedy Lane.' "Rope Ends" has one of the strangest syncopated rhythms I've heard in a song, but it works and isn't overused. "Rope Ends" has an excellent instrumental section, similar to "Her Voices" from the previous album. This section contains a shred guitar solo that is melodically interesting. Pain of Salvation are known for writing lyrical music, but they also provide a satisfying balance of vocal bits and instrumental bits, as demonstrated on "Rope Ends." The music of "Chain Sling" has a Celtic quality and reminds me of music from Lord of the Rings. "Dryad of the Woods" is an instrumental piece. The beginning of "Dryad of the Woods" is driven by guitar, and then the music builds into a piano-led chorus. The syncopated ending is pleasant.

The title track is an electronic instrumental that reprises themes from throughout the album, including "Fandango," "Rope Ends," and "Ending Theme." Despite only being two minutes, the title track augments the gravitas of 'Remedy Lane.' "Waking Every God" has a groovy hemiola and contains slap bass from Kristoffer Gildenl÷w. I love the pairing of the delicate piano and the distorted guitars. "Second Love" was an old song that Daniel Gildenl÷w wrote in his adolescence. It's the simplest song on 'Remedy Lane,' but one of my favorites. "Second Love" has an element of country music, making it accessible and radio-friendly. Nevertheless, the emotion is still felt on this song. The final song, "Beyond the Pale," is a classic Pain of Salvation song, and is one of Daniel Gildenl÷w's best vocal performances. "Beyond the Pale" is the grand finale of 'Remedy Lane.' In terms of structure, "Beyond the Pale" is fairly simple. A harshly raked guitar ostinato starts "Beyond the Pale." This time, there is a polymeter between the guitar riff, bass and the rest of the instrumentation. The main theme of "Beyond the Pale" was introduced in "Chain Sling," giving 'Remedy Lane' a sense of cohesion. Daniel Gildenl÷w growls during the "Come and drown with me" lyric, which leads into two guitar solos. The final lyric of the album, "We will always be so much more human than we wish to be," is essentially the theme of 'Remedy Lane.'

In conclusion, 'Remedy Lane' is another masterpiece from Pain of Salvation. If there was one album I had to recommend to someone who wanted to listen to Pain of Salvation, it would be 'Remedy Lane.' I think that 'Remedy Lane' is a fairly accessible album that didn't take me a long time to audibly digest.

 The Perfect Element - Part 1 by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Studio Album, 2000
4.23 | 1344 ratings

BUY
The Perfect Element - Part 1
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by Magog2112

5 stars 'The Perfect Element - Part 1' is the third studio album by Pain of Salvation, released in October 2000. It is a concept album that focuses on human development, specifically the progression from childhood to adolescence. Like the two previous Pain of Salvation studio albums, 'The Perfect Element - Part 1' is divided into three chapters. "Chapter I: As These Two Desolate Worlds Collide" consists of the tracks "Used," "In the Flesh," "Ashes," and "Morning on Earth." "Chapter II: It All Catches Up on You When You Slow Down" consists of "Idioglossia," "Her Voices," "Dedication," and "King of Loss." Finally, "Chapter III: Far Beyond the Point of No Return" consists of "Reconciliation," "Song for the Innocent," "Falling," and "The Perfect Element." An aspect that makes 'The Perfect Element - Part 1' stand out in the Pain of Salvation discography is the incorporation of a chamber orchestra, which is featured on the tracks "Used," "Morning on Earth," "Idioglossia," "King of Loss," and the title track.

Many different themes, including child abuse, sexuality, and tragedy, are dealt with as the story explores the lives of two characters. One male and one female (known as "He" and "She," respectively) are the main characters of the story, and are both broken, dysfunctional people. They both meet in the song "Ashes," and the two previous songs depict their troubled pasts: "Used" for "He" and "In the Flesh" for "She." The opening track, "Used," is one of the heaviest Pain of Salvation songs. I love the juxtaposition of Daniel Gildenl÷w's vocals as he switches between horrorcore rapping and soaring tenor notes. The climax during the coda progressively builds to an overwhelming intensity. "In the Flesh" is the perfect foil to "Used" as it's atmospheric and takes its time to crescendo. The piano and acoustic guitar interplay during the final minute of "In the Flesh" are gorgeous. "Ashes" is the single on 'The Perfect Element - Part 1,' and rightfully so. It's a well-crafted, accessible rock song that works as a standalone piece. "Morning on Earth" begins with an intricate melody played on a kalimba that Daniel Gildenl÷w then sings note for note. Not only does Gildenl÷w have a broad range, but he has great vocal agility, allowing him to sing melodies that wouldn't suit most singers. The chamber orchestra enhances the music greatly on "Morning on Earth," as well as the following track, "Idioglossia."

"Idioglossia" is cinematic as the chamber orchestra plays the chords in the musical background. Daniel Gildenl÷w's vocals are among his best on "Idioglossia," especially when he belts out "why can't these scars ever mend?" "Her Voices" starts off as a beautiful ballad, and then the music tantalizes the listener with distorted guitar for a couple seconds, indicating the heaviness to come. The second half of "Her Voices" is mostly instrumental and has a snake charmer quality with great guitar playing from (who I presume is) Johan Hallgren. "Dedication" is an acoustic piece that features Kristoffer Gildenl÷w on fretless bass. Fredrik Hermansson's piano playing is simple yet stunning and perfectly serves "Dedication." The music takes on a darker tone as it transitions into "King of Loss," my favorite song on 'The Perfect Element - Part 1.' I love the tight vocal harmonies during the second verse on the lyric "mother" and "in those." The chorus is so heavy and intense during the chorus. The third verse has great groove provided by drummer Johan Langell. The bridge is ethereal. This section reprises the chorus of "Used" and is followed by a guitar solo. This moment is the climax of 'The Perfect Element - Part 1.' The chorus of "King of Loss" is repeated one last time at the end and goes on longer than any other one, creating a chaotic effect.

The album audibly starts to wrap-up by the third chapter, which is a testament to the impeccable flow of 'The Perfect Element - Part 1.' "Reconciliation" is a reprise of "Morning on Earth," but with a rock arrangement. Daniel Gildenl÷w's ascending vocals on the last word, "help," are incredible. "Song for the Innocent" starts peacefully and then builds into a heavier piece as it reprises "Her Voices." "Falling" is an atmospheric synth interlude that contains a Gilmour-esque guitar solo, which acts as the precursor to the 10-minute title track. "The Perfect Element" is the perfect closer to this album. The section with the lyric "now he is dressing this naked floor" is an emotional highlight. The music crescendos beautifully during the "I am the waking child" lyric. Johan Langell's powerful drumming is the last thing we hear at the end of "The Perfect Element."

In conclusion, 'The Perfect Element - Part 1' is Pain of Salvation's magnum opus, and the band's first masterpiece. It was 'The Perfect Element - Part 1' that introduced me to Pain of Salvation, and from the first notes of "Used," I fell in love with the band and instantly became a fan.

 One Hour By The Concrete Lake by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.91 | 600 ratings

BUY
One Hour By The Concrete Lake
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by Magog2112

3 stars After the release of 'Entropia' in 1997, preparations for the release of the second Pain of Salvation album were disrupted by the departure of Daniel Magdic, who was unprepared to commit to the increasing demands that resulted from the band's initial success. Magdic was one of the early Pain of Salvation members, having joined the band in the 80s. Magdic was replaced by Johan Hallgren, who has remained a member of Pain of Salvation since 1997, with the exception of 2011-2017 where Icelandic singer and multi-instrumentalist Ragnar Zolberg filled Hallgren's shoes. This new Pain of Salvation lineup, consisting of the Gildenl÷w brothers, Hallgren, Hermansson, and Langell, saw the release of their second studio album, 'One Hour by the Concrete Lake,' released on 21 July 1998.

'One Hour by the Concrete Lake' is a concept album primarily about the nuclear industry and the displacement of indigenous peoples. As opposed to the debut album, the concept of 'One Hour by the Concrete Lake' is conveyed through more of a factual lens than a fictitious one, though there is a fictional narrative. 'One Hour by the Concrete Lake' is structured similar to 'Entropia' in that there is a prologue followed by three "chapters," but there is no epilogue on this album like there is on 'Entropia.' The prologue is a 43-second piece entitled "Spirit of the Land." Chapter 1 (Part of the Machine) consists of the tracks "Inside," "The Big Machine," and "New Year's Eve." Chapter 2 (Spirit of Man) consists of "Handful of Nothing," "Water," and "Home." Finally, Chapter 3 (Karachay) consists of "Black Hills," "Pilgrim," "Shore Serenity," and "Inside Out."

As explained in the album's Wikipedia article, 'One Hour by the Concrete Lake' tells the story of a man that works in the weapon industry who begins to have doubts about the morality of his occupation, and comes to the realization that he is just a part of a "big machine" that controls his life. On New Year's Eve, he makes a resolution to discover what consequences his life and his work have on other parts of the world, and decides to break free of the machine. In the second chapter, he travels around the world to many different places to see what effects his weapons are truly having. He was told that the weapons he would help make would save human lives and promote peace, yet all he witnesses are weapons being used by people to kill other people, which is their designed purpose. Moreover, he finds Native American Indians struggling to reclaim their sacred land from the colonizing white man, who have also taken uranium from the ground and poured radioactive waste into the local rivers. In the third chapter, he arrives at shores of Lake Karachay, located in Kyshtym in (then) USSR. There, so much nuclear waste had been dumped over the past 50 years that if one stood by the shore for one hour, the exposure to radiation would be such that death from physical injuries would inevitably occur with two weeks, hence the title of the album. The man's quest to leave the machine ends as he realizes that it is impossible for anyone to truly leave the machine. The only thing he can do is choose which machine he wants to be affiliated with and take some responsibility for its directions.

In conclusion, 'One Hour by the Concrete Lake' contains a good selection of intricately arranged songs. However, many of the songs on 'One Hour by the Concrete Lake' sound similar to each other, resulting in monotony and a lack of standout moments. The only track I can say I absolutely adore is "Pilgrim," which is one of the best Pain of Salvation ballads and one of Daniel Gildenl÷w's best vocal performances. Unfortunately, the remainder of 'One Hour by the Concrete Lake' sounds like it's retreading the same ground that was explored on 'Entropia.'

 Entropia by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Studio Album, 1997
4.09 | 629 ratings

BUY
Entropia
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by Magog2112

4 stars Pain of Salvation is a Swedish progressive metal band led by Daniel Gildenl÷w, who is the band's main songwriter, lyricist, guitarist, and vocalist. Every album from Pain of Salvation is in some way, shape, or form a concept album. Daniel Gildenl÷w formed the band at the age of 11 in 1984 under the name "Reality." He renamed the band "Pain of Salvation" in 1991, after having allegedly conceived the name during math class. In 1996, Pain of Salvation (which consisted of Daniel Gildenl÷w, Daniel's younger brother Kristoffer Gildenl÷w on bass, Daniel Magdic on guitar and vocals, and Johan Langell on drums and vocals) entered a local studio and recorded the 'Hereafter' demo. Fredrik Hermansson discovered the band through the 'Hereafter' demo and successfully auditioned to become the band's keyboardist.

Pain of Salvation's debut album, 'Entropia,' was released in 1997. Many songs on 'Entropia' were taken from the 'Hereafter' demo, including "! (Foreword)," "Revival," "Nightmist," "To the End," "People Passing By," and "Plains of Dawn." 'Entropia' is structured like a novel. "! (Foreword)" is the prologue and "Leaving Entropia" the epilogue. Sandwiched in between are three chapters. Chapter 1 contains "Welcome to Entropia," "Winning a War," "People Passing By," and "Oblivion Ocean." Chapter 2 contains "Stress," "Revival," "Void of Her," and "To the End." Chapter 3 contains "Circles," "Nightmist," and "Plains of Dawn."

The name 'Entropia' is a combination of the words "entropy" and "utopia," and is the name of a fictional society that Daniel Gildenl÷w devised, which this album is based on. Despite the fact that this is a fantasy world, there are uncanny parallels to Entropia and our world. Conceptually, 'Entropia' is about the war industry, which has plagued humanity since the dawn of time.

The prologue, "! (Foreword)," sets the stage beautifully. Daniel Gildenl÷w's words are being sung directly to the listener, the individual. Gildenl÷w explains how he is the same as me and you. He uses pathos to convey his message that the world is in our hands and we can make a change. The raw music accompanies Gildenl÷w's theatrical vocals which ebbs and flows from loud to soft and everything in between. "! (Foreword)" could essentially be the prologue to all Pain of Salvation albums, which is why it is the perfect opener to their debut album.

Chapter 1 opens with an interlude entitled "Welcome to Entropia," which contains a hip-hop drumbeat and unsettling, ambient noises. This bleeds into "Winning a War," which describes the effect war has on families, particularly on children and their fathers. The line "all armies are only fathers and sons" crystallizes the theme of "Winning a War." The only people who want war are the government who capitalize on it. Nobody wants war; we want peace. "Winning a War" also explains how nobody is a winner when a war ends. The son character in "Winning a War" is in a catch-22; he is neglected by his father, but his father is merely following orders. "People Passing By" is divided into three parts, each one representing a different time of the day. A slap bass riff from Kristoffer Gildenl÷w opens the song. The time signature and tempo shifting on "People Passing By" captures the genius of Daniel Gildenl÷w's compositions. Lyrically, the child, who misses the absence of his father, falls into destitution. The nightfall lyric reveals that the son dies. On "Oblivion Ocean," the news is broken to his father. He pleads to God and moves to West Entropia, where he can start over and lead a new life as a family man. "Oblivion Ocean" is a ballad that evokes great sadness within me, and it's one of my favorite Pain of Salvation songs. Daniel Gildenl÷w is living what he's singing on this track.

As the title suggests, "Stress" is about the PTSD the soldier experiences in West Entropia. Musically, the polyrhythmic nature of "Stress" perfectly reflects the frenetic lyrics. "Revival" deals with lyrical themes of vicarious atonement. The instrumental interlude "Void of Her" starts with a reprise of "People Passing By." The soldier's wife dies on "To the End." The vocals switch back and forth between backing vocals and Daniel Gildenl÷w's lead vocals during the verse, creating an interesting dichotomy.

Kristoffer Gildenl÷w opens the interlude "Circles" with a beautiful bass arpeggio. There is a short, quiet reprise of "People Passing By" again that transitions into "Nightmist." Lyrically, the soldier commits suicide in this song. The father and son meet again in the afterlife on "Plains of Dawn," but they must part ways one last time, for reasons I'm not sure of. The closing track, "Leaving Entropia (Epilogue)," is a beautiful acoustic piece with thought-provoking lyrics.

In conclusion, 'Entropia' is a strong debut album that I revisit frequently. There is a rawness about 'Entropia' that isn't apparent on other Pain of Salvation albums, with the exception of 'Road Salt One' and 'Road Salt Two.' While I do feel that the second half of the album isn't as strong as the first, that's only a minor criticism. While 'Entropia' is certainly progressive, it leans more on the metal side. What I love about Pain of Salvation is that each of their albums are different from each other. They never repeat themselves, and the only time they may have repeated themselves would've been with 'The Perfect Element, Pt. 1' and 'Remedy Lane,' which are my two favorite albums from the band. Despite my love for those albums, I appreciate that Pain of Salvation are constantly reinventing themselves with each release of theirs.

 Entropia by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Studio Album, 1997
4.09 | 629 ratings

BUY
Entropia
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by Argentinfonico

4 stars A waterfall of music

Entropia is Pain of Salvation's debut album, but the band performs the music in such a way that it feels like they've been together for years, as well as being all professional and top-notch musicians. The rhythmic breaks, the versatility of Gildengl÷w's singing, the energetic bass and guitar riffs and the ceremonious keyboards make for an impressive album. Everything flows seamlessly, everything contributes. The album's lyrics are some of the most memorable I've ever read and heard in my entire life. It's been a long time since an album has awakened so many things in me. A beast of a work with a hierarchy that would amaze any musician. Certainly a must for every rock music lover.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.