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PAIN OF SALVATION

Progressive Metal • Sweden


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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...
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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)

4.11 | 606 ratings
Entropia
1997
3.91 | 573 ratings
One Hour By The Concrete Lake
1998
4.23 | 1310 ratings
The Perfect Element - Part 1
2000
4.23 | 1254 ratings
Remedy Lane
2002
4.09 | 924 ratings
Be
2004
3.21 | 639 ratings
Scarsick
2007
3.33 | 531 ratings
Road Salt One
2010
3.51 | 441 ratings
Road Salt Two
2011
3.08 | 175 ratings
Falling Home
2014
3.89 | 392 ratings
In the Passing Light of Day
2017
3.68 | 202 ratings
Panther
2020

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

4.42 | 322 ratings
12:5
2004
4.16 | 139 ratings
The Second Death of Pain of Salvation
2009
4.35 | 55 ratings
Remedy Lane Re:Lived
2016

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

4.39 | 226 ratings
Be Live
2005
3.96 | 120 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)

4.83 | 55 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)

2.52 | 28 ratings
The Painful Chronicles
1999
3.63 | 35 ratings
Ashes
2000
3.22 | 121 ratings
Linoleum
2009
4.57 | 35 ratings
Remedy Lane Re:Mixed
2016

PAIN OF SALVATION Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 In the Passing Light of Day by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.89 | 392 ratings

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In the Passing Light of Day
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by Progexile

4 stars Daniel Gildenlow spent 4 months in hospital with a flesh-eating infection before POS made this album. It therefore relates strongly to this horrible experience.

I see this album as sitting 3rd after the classic "Remedy Lane" and "Perfect Element" albums in the list of POS top albums.

The opening song "On a Tuesday" and the closer "In the Passing Light of Day" are the highlights here but, thankfully, they are prog epics in their own right.

"On a Tuesday" starts at a frantic pace (perhaps Daniel's anger at his plight) then slowly calms into a superb final 3 minutes of prog heaven.

The album then becomes calmer generally with a few blips before the 15 minute closer "In the Passing Light....". This song starts very quietly as a tribute to his wife's support during his ordeal, goes through a midway increase in pace then comes back to the original beautiful melody for a great climax to the album.

After a few albums that didn't match up to their first 5 this is a return to the anger that drives this band. If not for a couple of items in the middle of this album it would get 5 stars but a good 4 behind the 5s I'd give to the aforementioned faves is well deserved.

 Panther by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.68 | 202 ratings

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Panther
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by A Crimson Mellotron
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Iconic art prog metal inventors Pain of Salvation released their eighth studio album 'Panther' in August 2020, as usual, through Inside Out Music, and this new recording serves as a successor to their absolutely brilliant 2017 offering 'In the Passing Light of Day'. The band present a collection of nine new songs spanning across some fifty minutes of playtime, giving the world of heavy music a real breath of fresh air - this album is quite unique in terms of how it sounds like when compared to the music of Pain of Salvation's peers, and while the listener will find the usual ingredients of a good PoS album - the peculiar approach to songwriting, the memorable choruses, the thoughtful lyrics, and the variety of sounds that the band members create - there is also something that sets this record apart from the rest of the band's catalogue; It is exquisitely personalized and sincere, it is almost like a shelter for all the wayward sons out there, and a very realistic reflection on the current condition of the human spirit.

'Panther' is just as dark as it is heavy, and the overall feel that this album leaves is of something comforting, a bit like a friend who is willing to listen to you when you most need it; This, however, does not mean that the record is uplifting - it is, in fact, engaging and reflective, and it demands your full attention, as is the case with most releases by this excellent Swedish band. The album kicks off with the powerful track 'Accelerator', accompanied by a very well-shot video, the song tells the story of the disappointments you could stumble upon in a relationship, and the angst is perfectly portrayed by Daniel Gildenl÷w's powerful singing. 'Unfuture' follows up, a song that builds up slowly and gradually unfolds into one of the most menacing choruses you could hear on a Pain of Salvation song. Then comes the single 'Restless Boy', a song that easily sums up what the whole thing is about. 'Wait' is a 7-minute emotional ride and a very unusually-sounding song for the band, with the ambient soundscapes and the vocal effects going on; Then there is 'Keen to a Fault', another powerful track on which Gildenl÷w is exquisite. 'Fur' is a daring little instrumental leading to the almost rap-metal title track that would have certainly fitted perfectly the track list of 'Scarsick'; 'Species' is a decent metal track that comments on the storyteller's disappointment with the society he is exposed to. And finally, the 13-minute 'Icon' is an interesting composition that kind of bottles up all the different aspects of the preceding songs but the songwriting is not necessarily among the band's strongest.

In a word, 'Panther' is a strong addition to the Pain of Salvation discography, an emotional and grim collection of very innovative prog metal mixed up with their art rock inclinations that gives us Daniel Gildenl÷w's pessimistic overview of the world we live in.

 Remedy Lane by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Studio Album, 2002
4.23 | 1254 ratings

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Remedy Lane
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by A Crimson Mellotron
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Swedish prog metal pioneers Pain of Salvation released their fourth studio album 'Remedy Lane' in January 2002 through Inside Out Music, after gaining momentum with three very well received records that presented something entirely different to the progressive music scene - a metal band that was not quite metal; a prog band that was not always explicitly prog; an intriguing collective of very talented musicians that were gradually developing a sound of their own, virtually impossible to mistake at this point, that can be termed severely original and movingly memorable. 'Remedy Lane', often referred to as the Swedes' breakthrough album, might be their biggest achievement - an album that certainly cemented their sonic portfolio and has gradually gained them massive adoration from the progressive rock community.

While this band and album might be very, very excellent, it has to be said (or rather, disclaimed) that they are not for everyone, and the critical acclaim of this recording and its predecessor are one of the very happy (but few) cases of modern prog being widely recognized as a strength to be reckoned with. Alongside charismatic vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Daniel Gildenl÷w, also the mastermind behind the albums' concepts, we see his brother Kristoffer on the bass, Johan Hallgren on guitars, Fredrik Hermansson on keys, and Johan Langell on drums and percussion.

As it is often the case with Pain of Salvation, 'Remedy Lane' is a concept album that deals with Daniel's searching for self-discovery, while touching upon themes like love, sex, loss, disappointment, and suicide - surely a darker prog album that surprisingly or not, contains several very uplifting moments, whether they be from the instrumental prowess the listener is exposed to, or the incredible and unpredictable movements in some of the songs. Thematically strong, lyrically very intriguing, and musically astonishing, we have to say that 'Remedy Lane' impresses as much as it surprises through the unusual songwriting, the specific approach of the bands to writing songs, and the beautiful amalgamation of acoustic and heavy moments.

With 68 minutes of music for the listener to experience, the album may leave some wondering could the same effects have been achieved with 50 or 55 minutes of length? And is the length of 'Remedy Lane' preventing it from being a really 'perfect' album? But this is certainly a topic for another day. What matters is that this record contains some of Pain of Salvation's most iconic and memorable moments that also happen to be fan-favorites, like 'Ending Theme', 'Fandango', 'A Trace of Blood', 'This Heart of Mine (I Pledge)' (which interestingly make up the first chapter of the three-chapter story, with each one spanning across four songs, excluding the opening track 'Of Two Beginnings', serving as an introductory piece), 'Rope Ends', 'Waking Every God', and 'Beyond the Pale'. Just excellently written and masterfully played progressive metal extravaganza, very involving, very touching, and above all, really memorable; This has to be one of the most profound and cerebral albums of the 2000s (and who knows, one day people might say, of the 21st century!). Sublime material!

 Remedy Lane by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Studio Album, 2002
4.23 | 1254 ratings

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Remedy Lane
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Pain of Salvation is back with another highly acclaimed release of theatric power prog.

1. Of Two Beginnings" (2:24) gets one excited for that which could follow! (8.75/10)

- Chapter 1 2. "Ending Theme" (4:59) great chords and melody possibilities in the opening. Things slow down and drop away for the singing of the first two verses. Very sensitive and delicate; I was not expecting this! At 2:15, with the busting out of the chorus, we finally get the full feeling I was expecting, but then the overly dramatic "film narration" within the music . Nice keyboard and guitar interplay in the fourth minute's instrumental section. When Daniel returns singing in his upper register, it's pretty powerful--and then the guitar is unleashed (al little) for the finish. Great potential but too much is held back, held in check. (8.75/10)

3. "Fandango (5:51) frenetic guitar play opens this one before keys and second guitar join. The sinister Joker-like vocal has a Ozzy, Anthony Keidis, or Michael Sadler quality and style to it. (8.75/10)

4. "A Trace Of Blood" (8:17) part Fish-era MARILLION, part RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS, and part GUNS 'N' ROSES. (17.75/20)

5. "This Heart Of Mine (I Pledge)" (4:01) a tender love song that could almost have come from MINNIE RIPPERTON, BENNY MARDONES, or SEAL. Gorgeous and heart-felt! (9.5/10) - Chapter 2

6. "Undertow" (4:47) Almost a Post Rock construct as it rises slowly, building to a crescendo. The highlight for me is the shift into fullness at 2:22 and again at 3:33. (9.5/10)

7. "Rope Ends" (7:02) syncopated staccato riffs of tightly coordinated guitar, bass, and bass drum are joined by keyboard washes and cymbal play before multi-voiced lead come in to sing. The white bread chorus is a bit of a let down. Weird piano-based jazzy psych-pop funk section begins at 3:50 in order to support soloing. Overall, I'm just not a fan. (12.25/15)

8. "Chain Sling" (3:58) using a kind of balalaika effect on the lead guitar riff that repeats ad infinitum in this song, Daniel sings a fast paced, almost-continuous vocal which, to a deaf-to-lyrics kind of guy like me, only serves to hammer home the boring tedium of the melodic loop. (8/10)

9. "Dryad Of The Woods" (4:56) more interesting finger-picked electric guitar work. (Why doesn't he just use a classical guitar?) He's no Jan Akkerman. After 90 seconds piano, bass, and drums join in. From there, this instrumental borders on New Age GOBI-like stuff. Such an incongruous song among the others (but, then, so were "Chain Sling" and "Fandango"). This leads me further from supporting any claim (or theory) that this is a concept album. (7.5/10)

- Chapter 3 10. "Remedy Lane" (2:15) synths & percussion that remind me of a combination of The Who's "Baba O'Reilly" and Pink Floyd's Dragon Toms intro to "Time" run through a flange/chorus effects box to provide an interesting, if dated, futuristic soundscape. (4.25/5)

11. "Waking Every God" (5:19) Weird synth piano opening that is quickly joined by abrasive guitars and jazzy bass. Quite an odd and incongruous selection of instruments! Weak, almost vocals enter feeling as if the engineer and producer were unsure whether or not to include them in the song! (8.5/10)

12. "Second Love" (4:21) finally: an acoustic guitar! Opening with an almost BON JOVI- or POISON-like ballad feel, there is some nice lead guitar play in the third minute over the piano, but, overall, this is just an 80s power ballad. (8.25/10)

13. "Beyond The Pale" (9:56) Probably the best/my favorite Pain of Salvation epic-length song I've ever heard. There are parts (at the beginning) that drag, and the vocal stylings once again sound very familiar, but there are just some great textures here and an overall flow and construct that is pretty awesome. (18.5/20)

Total time 68:06

The band might have a little more of a consistent vision of what it is they are trying to say on this album--both musically and ideologically--and the music feels a little smoother (and less creative) and the singing more staccato- rap-influenced (less creative) than their previous effort, The Perfect Element - Part 1. The music here reminds me more of bands like Fish-era MARILLION, ANGE, SAGA, RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS, and GUNS 'N' ROSES than their previous album and just feels less creative and innovative than Perfect Element. Also, the music of the song constructs are remarkably simple--which leads me to my final comment/question (which is the same as with my review of The Perfect Element): Is this really Prog Metal?

B/four stars; an excellent addition of prog metal-lite to any prog lover's music collection.

 The Perfect Element - Part 1 by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Studio Album, 2000
4.23 | 1310 ratings

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The Perfect Element - Part 1
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars As creative and innovative as I've ever heard Prog Metal get, we have here one of the most highly acclaimed PM albums of all time. But then, the question arises: Is this really Prog Metal?

- As These Two Desolate Worlds Collide: 1. "Used" (5:23) this song is all over the place, it's beautiful and abrasive, it's complex and it's simple, and yet it works! (9.5/10)

2. "In the Flesh" (8:36) with tinges of classic rock, jazz, pop, and theatre, this one was not what I was expecting in the Prog Metal realm of possibilities. The song starts out surprisingly sedate and uniform but slowly, subtly grows in power and complexity--until the heart-wrenching vocal and piano/acoustic guitar and crashing dÚnouement final 90 seconds. I am speechless. (18.5/20)

3. "Ashes" (4:28) decent musical drama; perhaps a little too simple and straightforward. (8.5/10)

4. "Morning on Earth" (4:34) a very theatric vocal opening that never really lets up--remains an incredibly sensitive, emotional Broadway-like piece to the very end. Shocking! (9.5/10)

- It All Catches Up with You When You Slow Down: 5. "Ideoglossia" (8:29) quickly establishes a break-neck pace, yet the thickness of the sound never becomes impenetrable or oppressive; I can always easily distinguish every instrument, in fact, every string and note from every instrument. The second song that reminds me of the mixed-media territory that was blazed by bands like SAGA and LINKIN PARK. The flaw here, in mo opinion, is that feeling of disconnect I get between the verses and the chorus--as if two rather distinct and not-so-well matched songs have been glued together rather haphazardly. There, however, some incredible moments, unmistakable power and emotion, and peak individual performances. (17.75/20)

6. "Her Voices" (7:56) Bonny Tyler? At least until 1:45; then we get a LINKIN PARK-like bridge before returning to the plaintive vocal and style of the opening. Viking chorus at 3:00 tries to take us out of the pretty, almost convincing Daniel Gildenl÷w to give up the pretty singing style, before leading us into a JC Superstar Judas/torture passage for a couple minutes. The weakest song on the album for me. (12.75/15)

7. "Dedication" (4:00) more tender, delicate singing and music? Again, I was not expecting so much schmaltz. It's pretty, and theatric, but less Prog Metal than I ever expected. Tensions rise at the two-minute mark, but, alas! it's just a tease as they remain unrealized. Still, a kind of cool, creative song.(8.75/10)

8. "King of Loss" (9:46) another song in which tensions are held in check despite little leaks here and there until the LED ZEPPELIN-like breakout at 3:30. Finally! I guess I'm getting used to the incredibly subtle razor's edge that this band and especially the vocals of Daniel Gildenl÷w live on. (17.5/20)

- Far Beyond the Point of No Return: 9. "Reconciliation" (4:24) another collage of SAGA-like mood swings and JC Superstar themes and motifs. (8.5/10)

10. "Song for the Innocent" (3:02) for 90 seconds, this is pretty like GENESIS' "Afterglow," but then a "Comfortably Numb"-like breakout and guitar solo happens. Powerful but seriously too close to "the original." (8.75/10)

11. "Falling" (1:50) a bluesy ROY BUCHANAN-like guitar solo over synth washes. (4.25/5)

12. "The Perfect Element" (10:09) nice opening to bring us in with a promise of something more "normal." As the music builds, a story as if from a murder crime scene is told beneath, and then it breaks into full exposition around the two-minute mark. Cool, gorgeous, powerful motif in the fourth minute "chorus." This is then followed by a kind of return/refrain of musical themes from the album's opening song. Heavy bass and Mellotron work well in the next section, but then at 4:35 everything drops away for some guitar arpeggi, strings, and choral "ahh's" while multiple voices singing in and around plead their cases with varying degrees of emotion Around 6:20 we reach peak power but then, just as quickly, everything falls away and we run along at an even pace for a stretch before the ninth minute's beautiful choral vocals above the driving music. At 9:25 guitars and keys disappear leaving only the drums and effects to finish. Good song, not great, but typical of the the dramatic emotionality of the whole album. (17.5/20)

Total Time 72:37

I'll say one thing for this album: it comes at you hard, with an authenticity and identity that is unlike others of the Prog Metal sub-genre; there is innovation, there is texture, there is drama, there is abrasive and beautiful--often paired together--and there is almost constant surprise. The fact that there is so much theatre and so many highly emotional motifs--and so few Devy Townsend-like "walls of sound" power chord passages from the bass and guitars--is still shocking to me.

B+/4.5 stars; a near-masterpiece of progressive rock music regardless of whatever sub-genre it may fall into; definitely an excellent addition to any prog lover's music collection.

 Panther by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.68 | 202 ratings

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Panther
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

3 stars 2017's 'In The Passing Light of Day' was seen by many PoS fans as possibly their best release since their heyday, and with the return of long-time guitarist Johan Hallgren to a band which had been incredibly stable in the previous six or so years, expectations were high. However, not for the first time, Daniel Gildenl÷w decided to move in a very different direction indeed. He is someone who relishes in challenging his audience, and when he thinks of the term "progressive" he obviously treats it as a direction as opposed to a genre in its own right, the only question is whether or not his audience will travel the same road he is taking and whether they will keep returning if they find the music being delivered is not to their taste.

While Johan was with the band for their most important years, he has somehow been kept rather restrained in their latest album which is far more electronic and industrial than I would ever have expected from Pain of Salvation. It is hard to compare between this and 'The Perfect Element, Pt I' as they are totally different beasts, but during the nearly two decades between the two albums, the band, and Daniel in particular, have been through many challenges and they are no longer the same as they were. It is incredibly dark, with 'Unfuture' in particular being incredibly unsettling as it brings forth the images of a post-apocalyptic future where everything is in black and white. There is no doubt that Gildenl÷w had a vision in his mind when he approached this recording, and he has achieved exactly what he wanted, and for both this and that he is always looking for a new direction must be lauded. He is an incredible musician and band leader, but I surely cannot be the only one hoping for more in the line of the "classic" years as opposed to the direction he is currently moving in.

 Falling Home by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.08 | 175 ratings

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Falling Home
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

2 stars Three years after 2011's 'Road Salt Two', Pain of Salvation came back with 'Falling Home' which is basically an acoustic re-imagining of previous material plus a few covers and one new number. This was in many ways quite a different approach for the band, but it may have been driven by the changes in line-up as only bandleader Daniel Gildenl÷w and drummer LÚo Margarit were there from the previous release, with long-time members Johan Hallgren and Fredrik Hermansson both departing in the intervening years. 'Road Salt Two' also had many guests, but here the band operated as a quintet with just a single guest (Roger Íjersson) providing a solo on one song.

This is not a true acoustic album, as there is the use of organ and electric bass, but for a band known to frequent the metal scene the lack of electric guitars is interesting. However, there are too many times when this feels more like a self-indulgent experiment for fans only as opposed to being an album which many will seek out. The vocals are great, as one would expect, and the musicianship second to none, but there is no spark or vitality, while their covers of "Perfect Day" and particularly "Holy Diver" should have been left in the studio. If anyone came across this album first, I think it is probably unlikely they would check out the rest of their canon which is a shame, as to me this is not at all representative of their music.

 Panther by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.68 | 202 ratings

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Panther
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by The Crow
Prog Reviewer

3 stars After the surprisingly good "In the Passing Light of Day", Pain of Salvation are back with this strange, daring and dark "Panther".

This time, Gildenlow and colleagues bring back the experimentation of albums like "BE" and "Scarsick" in contradiction to the more traditional previous record, in the form of electronic and industrial influences which sometimes work like in Accelerator and sometimes are a bit too much like in Restless Boy.

Nevertheless, there is also some glimpses of the old (and missed) Pain of Salvation in tracks like the piano-driven Wait, which also contains a beautiful acoustic guitar work and an excellent chorus, and the long and moody Icon.

So if you are hoping for a more traditional Pain of Salvation album like Remedy Lane or The Perfect Element, you will not find in here. But is also a tradition for this band to be innovative and always search for new ways to express their music and at this respect, "Panther" is a success.

So recognizing that this album is very good, and sometimes even excellent, I have to say that is just maybe not exactly my coup of tea.

Best Tracks: Wait (like I said before, a glimpse to the old Pain of Salvation sound), Panther (the hip-hop influences of "Scarsick" are back, but this time in the good way), Species (the best lyrics of the album) and Icon (the most progressive and emotional moment here)

My Rating: ***

 Panther by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.68 | 202 ratings

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Panther
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by Devolvator

4 stars Actually "Pain of Symphony". How can you describe the emotions you hear? It's as if the crumbly potatoes have learned to roar like an old lion. Let's get serious now! They still have courage and good shape, despite the fact that the group is 31 years old! Oh gods, why do they still exist? After all, everything has already been written and played 15-20 years ago! However, there is something to listen to, although we understand the lack of novelty. But let's be honest: after all, people should do something if they still have energy and talent! And I have no moral right to criticize them for their habit of writing records. There is still a lot of anger and unbroken teeth in Daniel Gildenl÷w, but this anger is more theatrical than not. The voice has undoubtedly become quieter, and this fact is carefully hidden by expensive mixing. Among the shortcomings: the integrity of the songs is very lame, and sometimes there is a feeling that the musicians are trying to outmatch themselves, which is in vain. However, melodicism has never been a strong point of POS. There is a feeling as if Opeth of the early 2000s strongly "simulate" Gentle Giant, only with the addition of flamenco and synthesizers. Delighted with the sublime sadness of Daniel's voice and the still unforgotten feeling of flight, which is so vividly revealed in the composition titled "Wait". Although the drums still run chaotically and randomly (which POS has always had), this is their trademark, but this is for "big fans". In general, the melody of the song is original and seems to emerge from various musical moves together. "Keen To a Fault" is also pleasantly drawn into a whirlwind of sounds, where you can recognize the old battle vocal cry from Gildenl÷w, as if rushing from the heights. Together with the characteristic "behindhand" drums. This whole atmosphere is permeated with atypical acoustic guitars at the ready with a heavy component. And the alternative "smash-hit" titled "Panther", in which Dan deftly gets involved in heavy hip-hop, diluting it with something similar to the work of the Norwegian Gazpacho. Not to say that this is a successful opus, but it is easily recognized and listened to in one breath. It is not boring. Well, and the uncompromising "Species", where the young brutal Pain Of Salvation suddenly hits the ears, with powerful screens of depressing and falling overloads of guitars. Yes, the melody is absent in the album as a class, but there are no boring and mediocre tracks. They put everything on the line for the originality of the moves, realizing that they apparently had nothing more to bet on. Perhaps these old dogs are no longer so strong and evil, but they are too smart and resourceful to make it clear to the listeners. The technical side is perfect. If you are not afraid to constantly switch your consciousness from one move to another, then listen to this album in full. And not an ounce of fatigue, although this feeling is more likely the result of many hours of studio work, rather than a suddenly opened "second wind". Do you want the truth?! Pain Of Salvation's music is still complex, heavy and non-trivial, just like before! It's just that now the listeners need to find the edges of the musicians' talents themselves, and not receive it "on a silver platter", as in the 2000s. This may be the best Neo-Progressive album, but only if you want to.
 Panther by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.68 | 202 ratings

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Panther
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by dougmcauliffe

4 stars This has been my introduction to Pain Of Salvation and I have to say, I'm very impressed and pleased with what's delivered here and at the time of writing this review, this album is on my 2020 podium. I love this very outside the box take on progressive metal. While the music is still very technical, and metal, it doesn't forget to be progressive. I have to applaud some of the very interesting production techniques and heavy electronic elements used throughout. All the tracks here are very dynamic and generally super solid front to back, however, I think there's one track that really transcends into superb territory and that's the 13 minute closer "ICON." I find it highly emotional with some very pretty piano flourishes and a passionate vocal performance. There's a great contrast between soft and heavy and those heavier moments really hit. I also really enjoy some of the softer songs here such as WAIT, which uses vocal tuning effects in such a cool way while also packing a somewhat unconventional and offbeat hook. The opening track ACCELERATOR kicks into gear right off the bat hitting you with a sweet twisting polyrhythm, another great and exciting track. The only track I'm a little split on is the title track "Panther." There's things I really like about it, notably the hook and general latter half of the song, but the lyrics and kind of rapping delivery found in the verses towards the beginning of the song come off as a bit cheesy and dated to my ears. My only other complaint about this album would be that I think the production and mix could benefit from a little more clarity. I love some of the interesting soundscapes and techniques they put forth, but sometimes I feel the songs could benefit from some crunchier guitar and drum tones.

In conclusion, I've really been enjoying this album. It's one that immediately grabbed me and I continue to enjoy it more and more with each listen, a safe 4 stars from me.

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

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