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PAIN OF SALVATION

Progressive Metal • Sweden


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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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Remedy Lane Re:visited (Re:mixed & Re:lived)Remedy Lane Re:visited (Re:mixed & Re:lived)
Inside Out Music 2016
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BeBe
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Perfect Element Part 1Perfect Element Part 1
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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)

4.10 | 530 ratings
Entropia
1997
3.92 | 499 ratings
One Hour By The Concrete Lake
1998
4.24 | 1190 ratings
The Perfect Element - Part 1
2000
4.23 | 1121 ratings
Remedy Lane
2002
4.09 | 849 ratings
Be
2004
3.18 | 577 ratings
Scarsick
2007
3.34 | 473 ratings
Road Salt One
2010
3.50 | 391 ratings
Road Salt Two
2011
3.22 | 127 ratings
Falling Home
2014
3.87 | 309 ratings
In The Passing Light Of Day
2017

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

4.41 | 301 ratings
12:5
2004
3.99 | 122 ratings
The Second Death Of Pain Of Salvation
2009
4.24 | 38 ratings
Remedy Lane Re:Lived
2016

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

4.38 | 208 ratings
Be Live
2005
3.94 | 107 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)

4.80 | 38 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)

2.49 | 26 ratings
The Painful Chronicles
1999
3.64 | 31 ratings
Ashes
2000
3.22 | 111 ratings
Linoleum
2009
4.91 | 23 ratings
Remedy Lane Re:Mixed
2016

PAIN OF SALVATION Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Be by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.09 | 849 ratings

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Be
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Review N║ 241

'Be' is the fifth studio album of Pain Of Salvation and was released in 2004. It's one more conceptual album, this time focused on the existence of God and the Humankind. This was the first time that a Pain Of Salvation's album divided fans and critics, because of its experimental and philosophical nature, and also because it isn't properly a typical progressive metal album. We can consider that from this studio album, the controversy nevermore abandoned the group on their future studio works, until today, which was more evident on their next sixth studio album, 'Scarsick'.

'Be' represents also a landmark for the group. This was the last album featuring the participation of Daniel Gildenlow's brother, the bassist of the group Kristoffer Gildenlow. In 2006, it was asked to him to leave the band because it wasn't possible to him attends rehearsals, due he lived in Holland since he was married. So, the line up on this album is Daniel Gildenl'w, Kristoffer Gildenl'w, Johan Hallgren, Fredrik Hermansson and Johan Langell. The album had also the participation of Mats Stenlund, Cecilia Ringkvist and The Orchestra Of Eternity, as guests.

The concept of 'Be' is based in the human existence in its various forms before God. The album begins with the narration of 'Animae', self-titled God (He or She), pictured without form, sex and age, coming of the 'Silent Darkness' and formed by 'It', contemplating its natural existence and a beginning eternal question for self- understanding. The story continues with the creation of 'Imago' and multiplying them by 'Animae' accelerated to current time. Fascinated (He or She), concludes that 'Animae' can learn through their own creation. This is a very complex concept indeed.

The story has some characters: 'Animae' (is the representation of God, or his mind), 'Nauticus' (is the name of the most intelligent universal creation, which moves through space, looking for answers to save Earth), 'Imago' (is the image of humanity in its natural form and is associated to the reflections of 'Animae'), 'Dea Pecuniae' (is the feminine form of 'Mr. Money' in addition to representing human sins and wickedness) and 'Mr. Money' (is the main character in the story and is the man with the greatest wealth of the land that spend fortunes on cryogenic to his wish to be frozen and not be woken before reaching the immortality, and he represents also the evil and darkest side of the humanity).

The music and the style of the album are somewhat more varied than their previous studio works, but at the same time, it calls upon those previous albums and its musical influences. However, musically speaking, 'Be' is an album totally different from their other previous studio workings. On the album we can listen to, beyond the progressive metal songs, many other varied type of songs like a folk song, a gospel song, a church song, a classical piano piece of music and also some narrative passages, news readings, a conversation with a radio in the background, voice messages left on 'God's Answering Machine', beyond The Orchestra of Eternity, which features prominently through the album.

'Be' has fifteen tracks that are divided in a prologue and five chapters. The album is very experimental and non commercial, and Daniel expresses his feelings when and as he wants all over the album. The composition is as good as ever, complex and strong, giving all kinds of atmospheres, moods and feelings. There is classical music, folk tunes, deeply philosophical voiceovers, power ballads, symphonic instrumentals, traditional pieces, heavy Latin percussion passages, spoken verses that border on rap, baroque music, blues, hard rock, symphonic prog, gospel and country. Considering the group's background, a progressive metal band, metal is the style that appears least often on the album.

So, what Pain Of salvation have made musically, is a mix of a million styles, yet somehow making them sound coherent. What is so amazing is that they use so many styles and that all sounds are so natural and in the right place. This is truly progressive music. This is what progressive music is all about. We don't can get individual songs from this album, as is usual on many conceptual albums. This is easily one of the most necessary to listen to all the way through albums I've ever heard before. Although, all the songs have their own identities, and some songs could still stand alone as some of the best songs ever written. However, it's just best that they be listened together in the real context of the all album.

Conclusion: This is, without any doubt, the most ambitious, difficult, challenging, complex, adventurous, risky and powerful conceptual album released by Pain Of Salvation, until now. 'Be' is a conceptual album, varied, original, very controversial about abstract, philosophical, metaphysical and existential thoughts, questions without responses about ethical values like life, death and the concept of God itself. There isn't the slightest doubt that when Daniel says that Pain Of Salvation is a different band he is talking very seriously. These guys are really different. The concept of their albums, the several musical influences of the band and the ever-changing of their music, actually it makes of them a unique progressive rock band, whether we love or hate them. You should give to 'Be', three to four auditions, at least.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 In The Passing Light Of Day by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.87 | 309 ratings

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In The Passing Light Of Day
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by The Crow
Prog Reviewer

4 stars After the just good Road Salt two entries and having overcome his health problems, Daniel Gildenlow returned with In the Passing Light of Day!

And this album was also a return to the old sound of the band, retrieving the classic syncopated rhythms, the great vocal melodies, complex instrumental passages and tons of heavy riffs and strong double-pedal drums.

There are a pair of forgettable moments like the Gentle Giant oriented Reasons and the vocal capabilities of Gildenlow are not so great like they were in the past, but this album is his best since Remedy Lane nonetheless in terms of songwriting.

Best Tracks: On a Tuesday (brutal and complex), Meaningless (catchy, retrieving the magic that this band had in the past), Full Throttle Tribe (great syncopated and polyrhythmic melodies) and In the Passing Light of Day (epic and very appropriated to close the record)

Conclusion: In the Passing Light of Day is the best Pain of Salvation album in many years, retrieving the magical melancholic melodies from the past, along with the heaviness and complexity that we thought were lost forever!

My rating: ****

 Linoleum by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2009
3.22 | 111 ratings

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Linoleum
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by The Crow
Prog Reviewer

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

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

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

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

My rating: **

 Road Salt Two by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.50 | 391 ratings

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Road Salt Two
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by The Crow
Prog Reviewer

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: ***

 Road Salt One by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.34 | 473 ratings

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Road Salt One
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by The Crow
Prog Reviewer

3 stars After the confusing and too experimental BE and the directly horrendous Scarsick, Pain of Salvation (or Daniel Gildenlow) returned to a better path with Road Salt One!

But fans of the older material of the band be aware, this is not a return to their roots. Some trademarks of Pain of Salvation are here, like some syncopated rhythms, a pair of polyphonic vocals and a bit o prog (No Way, Innocence), but the album is mainly blues-rock influenced by acts like Link Wray or Robin Trower with some experiments like cabaret music (Sleeping Under the Stars) and a pair of ballads (Sisters, Road Salt)

And another curious fact that this album has is some different singing of Daniel. I don't know if this man lost his voice or he just uses it differently here... But I think he shouts too much. It's even a bit unpleasant sometimes.

Nevertheless, the album has enough good moments to be considered a return to form for the band after some obscure years following the release of the grandiloquent (and maybe best work of the band) Remedy Lane.

Best Tracks: No Way (cool blues melody with a surprising instrumental interlude), Sisters (pure Pain of Salvation magic, melancholic and touching), Darkness of Mine (dark, like its title), Linoleum (will please old fans of the band) and Road Salt (truly beautiful singing here and great lyrics)

Conclusion: Road Salt One supposed a return to form for a band which lost its way with BE and Scarsick. Nevertheless, die-hard fans of the old Pain of Salvation albums will maybe also dislike this one, because it's not prog, and it's not metal.

It's another experiment of Gildenlow with new sounds for the band in the form of blues, soul, cabaret and country. It's not overall excellent, but good enough to be considered a worthy addition to the band's discography.

My rating: ***

 Scarsick by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.18 | 577 ratings

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Scarsick
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by The Crow
Prog Reviewer

1 stars After the disappointing and unsatisfying BE, the fans of Pain of Salvation were waiting for a redemption and an album which were able to retrieve the band to the prog-metal Olympus... But then Scarsick came.

We knew that this album was secretly called The Perfect Element Pt.2, so the expectations were very high at first. But after a couple of hearings, I just could not believe my ears. What happened to our beloved technical, atmospheric and intimate prog-metal band? Where were this challenging and innovative songwriting? Where were the intricate rhythmus and nervous drums? Where the hell were all the magic gone?

Because Scarsick is an insipid collection of rap-metal songs with lousy exceptions like the ridiculous America and the horrible Disco Queen (this song is really a shame not only for Pain of Salvation. It's a shame for the music) where the prog-metal is almost gone, being replaced for a lazy and reiterative songwriting where almost all the songs starts and ends with the same bad riff and insipid vocals.

Just bad, my friends. And with the perspective given by the years, Scarsick has not improved. It's still the same lame album now as it was back in 2007.

Best Tracks: Flame to the Moth (the only track of the album which is actually good and diverse) and Enter Rain (powerful despite its repetitiveness)

Conclusion: Scarsick is the worst Pain of Salvation album. The band tried to retrieve their fan base after the dividing experiment of BE, but they just made a step further in the wrong direction, demonstrating that Daniel Gildenlow had definitely lost his grip.

It's not a surprise that Kristoffer Gildenlow gave up before recording Scarsick... And he did well in my opinion.

My rating: *

 Be by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.09 | 849 ratings

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Be
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by The Crow
Prog Reviewer

2 stars After two masterpieces of prog-metal, The Perfect Element Pt.1 and Remedy Lane, Pain of Salvation released the most ambitious album of their career!

Which sadly was a big step back for them, dividing the opinion of fans and critics equally.

What I think of this BE? I consider this album a boring and disjointed attempt to create a concept bigger than life, which revolves around philosophy, religion, God, apocalypse and tons of other ideas inside Gildenlow's head at that time. I cannot say that Be is a bad album, but it's too irregular and full of disposable tracks to be a worthy follow up of their previous four records.

There are fifteen tracks here, and I would say that only four or five are really worthy of Pain of Salvation. The rest are a repetition of ideas, melodies, simple instrumentations and tons of voices and dialogues in service of the history, forgetting what a good and enjoyable album really is... Moreover, that makes the hearing of BE on its integrity an odyssey by itself.

Even the fine folk and orchestral elements cannot hide the lack of more consistent and hearable songs.

Best Tracks: Imago (fine primitive and folk melodies), Lilium Cruentus (very cinematic), Nihil Morari (one of the few songs which reminds to the true Pain of Salvation of previous albums), Iter Impius (incredible vocal performance by Gildenlow)

Conclusion: BE is an irregular, pompous and pretentious album where Pain of Salvation tried to make something different and ground-breaking forgetting almost all the trademarks which made them big in their first four albums. Gildenlow set the history above the music and the result is an album with lots of fillers, absurd tracks and just a few good moments.

Sadly, BE supposed the end of a glorious era for the band. And I think that they never really recovered themselves of the flop of this strange and messy album.

My rating: **

 Remedy Lane by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Studio Album, 2002
4.23 | 1121 ratings

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Remedy Lane
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by The Crow
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Which is better, The Perfect Element Pt.1 or Remedy Lane?

I think it depends of personal tastes. The Perfect Element is darker, harder and more difficult to appreciate. However, once you are into the world of this album it takes you forever. Remedy Lane is melancholic and dark sometimes, but also shows a more romantic and sentimental side of the the band (or Gildenlow). For this very reason, I think it is also more accessible while maintaining all the elements that made this band so great back then, marking the peak Pain of Salvation's career.

The production is crystal clear, especially the incredible vocals mix from Gildenlow who has in absolute top form here (producing also the album together with Anders Theander), and everything sounds just perfect. The concept of the album is autobiographical and very touching, giving the best lyrics of the whole band's career in my opinion, and as I said, this is one of the few prog-metal album that is instantly accessible (This Heart of Mine, Waking Every God) and very complex (Fandango, Rope Ends) at the same time.

Best Tracks: Of Two Beginnings, Ending Theme, Fandango, A Trace of Blood, Undertow, Chain Sling, Second Love... There is no weak moment to be found here. Really!

Conclusion: Remedy Lane marked the creative peak of Pain of Salvation in my opinion, being of the best prog-metal albums of the last decade. Intricate but accessible, dark and romantic, soft and fierce, and with a beautiful lyrical concept which deserves to be delighted slowly and many, many times.

Sadly, after this masterpiece nothing would be the same for Pain of Salvation again.

My rating: *****

 The Perfect Element - Part 1 by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Studio Album, 2000
4.24 | 1190 ratings

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The Perfect Element - Part 1
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by The Crow
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Prog-metal for the new millennium!

After two excellent albums, Pain of Salvation released one of the best prog-metal records ever made with their third effort. Deep, catchy and challenging, with a dark concept full of meaning and mixed feelings. This is the natural evolution of acts like Dream Theater and Queensryche.

The only complain I have with this album is that it's a bit too dense, maybe also too long sometimes. But this is a minor fault when you are enjoying tracks so splendid, diverse and well produced like these. Perfect mixture between virtuosity, great songwriting and accessibility.

And I want to give a special mention to Daniel's vocals... One of the best singers in metal history in top form here! Just awesome.

Best Tracks: there is no filler here. Really!

Conclusion: dark, melancholic and complex prog-metal with an incredible songwriting, very good production and lots of new ideas and influences (rap, industrial, jazz...) very well crafted in a collection of great songs which helped to create the path to follow for tons of new metal bands in the new millennium.

Not for every day, but perfect to be enjoyed every so often. A true prog-metal masterpiece!

My rating: *****

 Be by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.09 | 849 ratings

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Be
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by mlkpad14

5 stars Pain of Salvation was founded in 1984, by the eleven years old Daniel Gildenl÷w, in Eskilstuna, Sweden. Every album released thus far has been a concept album; from Remedy Lane (2002) to The Perfect Element, Part I (2000) and In the Passing Light of Day (2017), the band has released a multitude of albums in the progressive metal genre. However, their most ambitious effort to date - that is BE (2004) - transcends any genre. It is not only a great musical experience but a major crack at ideology and philosophy. To be blunt, BE is Pain of Salvation's masterpiece, but it is also a very challenging and rewarding album.

This review will first describe the musical journey, and it will also analyze all of the themes included.

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"Animae Partus ("I Am")" sounds like it belongs in the soundtrack for "The Tell-Tale Heart" by Edgar Allen Poe. It introduces the album with menacing bass notes and ominous breathing. In the background, snippets of gospel-like and harmonic vocals can be heard propelling the song forward, but first and foremost are spoken word vocals that are not uncommon in post-rock. All of it makes for a very haunting two minutes.

Next, "Deus Nova (Fabricatio)" first makes use of The Orchestra of Eternity, which is truly an integral part of the album. A minute in the instrumentation becomes heavier; grand, progressive keyboards, guitar soloing, and nu metal rap vocals make up the majority of the track, but towards the end, the "Animae Partus ("I Am")" feeling returns, and the spoken words can be heard echoing.

"Imago (Homines Partus)" is not unlike "Songs from the Wood", by Jethro Tull. It is obviously folk-influenced, what with the acoustic guitar and flute playing that is dominant throughout. However, "Imago (Homines Partus)" also features a lot of contrast, which gives it the defining Pain of Salvation sound first established in The Perfect Element, Part One. The ending sound effects create the image of a forest: branches rustling, wind blowing, and pond cracking.

"Pluvius Aestivus" again makes brilliant usage of The Orchestra of Eternity. The piece is piano-driven, and it would not be out of place on Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake. Nobody would have ever expected something like this to appear on a Pain of Salvation album, but Gildenl÷w is highly well-rounded.

"Lilium Cruentus" has an epic feel, so that in many ways it sounds like a twisted version of a ballad. There is more going on here than there appears to be: the soft parts sound repressed, but so do the rapping and screaming parts; albeit forceful and angry they are definitely curbed. The significance here is that this drives the album forward, and it foreshadows some sort of breakdown later on in the album.

"Nauticus (drifting)" comes out preachy and features more gospel. It is even more repressed, as if further elevating that future epic. At the end, there is some humorous spoken word music (think Frank Zappa).

If the theatrical "Dea Pecuniae" was performed on Broadway, it would probably alienate a lot of fans; however, Mike Patton would certainly approve of the vibe. A little over three minutes in, Gildenl÷w's guitar solo is most unexpected, but Cecilia Ringkvist comes in strong on vocals, eliminating any doubts. Guitar harmonics are also responsible for the strong and successful development that makes the song, and eventually everything comes together - the shattering of a glass, screaming, and then this spoken word outro, leading right into the next song.

"Vocari Dei (Sordes Aetas - Mess Age)" is pure post-rock; piano and subtle sound effects carry the spoken words. Godspeed You! Black Emperor's Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven is a clear inspiration - Pain of Salvation's distant contemporary. Amongst the typical English language, "Vocari Dei" uses Japanese, Dutch, and Greek to its advantage.

"Diffidentia" - headbangers, it's metal! Now, at last, we get a typical Pain of Salvation song: driving and heavy guitar, complex time signatures and subdivisions, gentler choruses, and brilliant dynamics. With the release of BE, many were disappointed that there was still no trace of The Perfect Element, Part II - they should have listened to the whole record first! What is so impressive about "Diffidentia" is that the orchestra is, even now, and undeniable part of the music!

"Nihil Morari (Homines Fabula Finis)" opens up with a repetitive rhythm on the fretless bass (reminiscent of Tool). It continues to use prog metal and nu metal as its biggest influences, and it also links back to "Deus Nova (Fabricatio)". On top of all of that, the piece screams Serj Tankian at times - all of that, of course, being pretty awesome!

"Latericius Valete" has somewhat of a symphonic feel and is somewhat of a guitar and cello duo. Together, "Latericius Valete" and "Omni (Permanere?)" sum up all different parts of the album, providing temporary closure. "Omni (Permanere?)" has the trademark prog sound popularized by Genesis and Gentle Giant - guitar arpeggios fit in very well with the orchestra, indeed.

Finally, "Iter Impius" could not be placed better in the album. Easily the best track off of the album, "Iter Impius" is six minutes of pure emotional bliss. It is almost a continuation of "Dea Pecuniae" except the ballad is more straightforward and heartfelt. Here, like throughout Remedy Lane, Gildenl÷w's vocals are in full form, and nobody has a vocal range like he does! Sometimes, piano and vocals is the best way to go!

"Martius/Nauticus II" is a return to the folk style of "Imago (Homines Partus)", and it basically concludes the album. That is, "Animae Partus II" has some drumming and thumping, but otherwise, it is four minutes of silence (at the end, a family can be heard laughing and enjoying themselves).

Additionally, each part seems to begin and end on either an epic or silent note, which is cool to say the least.

My top 5: 1. Iter Impius 2. Dea Pecuniae 3. Imago (Homines Partus) 4. Diffidentia 5. Nihil Morari (Homines Fabula Finis)

--

2017 interview on Pain of Salvation (Daniel Gildenl÷w):

"My biggest problem is that I don't believe in God, which makes everything very difficult. But, I still feel the need to address God. That's the weird thing. I've always felt that the notion of God is really important. Divinity for mankind and sort of God life being is a very strong and important concept for mankind, so it's impossible not to be fascinated and deal with it.

I talk to God every once in a while. I always start with "sorry for not believing in you". There you go... You know, for the odd chance that he or she actually exists... It's not therefore that I don't believe in them (laughs). Things can exist even if you don't believe in them. It's not that I'm saying that it's impossible that there is some sort of God; I just don't believe in it.

I tried to make that thought experiment in "BE", that if there is a God, by default that God must be on a level of existence that we cannot grasp or understand. That doesn't necessarily mean that it's something exceptionally bizarre..."

On BE:

"Chinassiah is a word puzzle, as so many other titles and phrases on the album. It derives from the combination of China (for fragility and beauty, but also man made) and Messiah (for savior but also the notion of something in which we, humanity, put our faith for salvation)."

The Latin errors are on purpose, and each of the puzzles can be translated into English.

"Animae Partus ("I Am")" can be translated to mean "A God Is Born ("I Am")". It describes how Animae, the album's representation of God, first appears out of nothing. It ends on the haunting line, "And I will spend the rest of forever; Trying to figure out who I am."

"Deus Nova (Fabricatio)", meaning "New God", describes how people first populated the Earth. Animae looks down upon the people and states, "I think they will teach me something."

"Imago (Homines Partus)", or "Imago (Man Is Born)" , is more on the birth of man, which, in the album, is represented by Imago. The lyrics describe the moralities of Imago, and the "Breathe and BE" qualities of Imago,

"Pluvius Aestivus" means "Summer Rain". It is strictly instrumental, but it most likely represents "longing for the things we could not be" from Imago. Man is beautiful, yet far from perfect overall; for every champion, there is a rotten egg too.

"Lilium Cruentus", "Blood Stained Lily", is about death, and it is about all those that truly do not deserve to pass on. (leftovers from Rope Ends?)

"Nauticus (drifting)" is about the fictional space probe, Nauticus. According to BE, it is the most intelligent space probe to have ever been created, and it drifts throughout space, searching for answers to "save Earth from itself". Additionally, "Nauticus" is latin for "Sailor"; Nauticus embarks on a journey throughout space.

At the end of "Nauticus (drifting)", Mr. Money is first introduced along with his girlfriend. He jokes about letting her drive the expensive car; in other words, Mr. Money represents "greed" and one who is pretentious (not Daniel Gildenl÷w; he is not pretentious!).

"Dea Pecuniae" can be translated to mean "Goddess of Money". The first part, "Mr. Money", is about how Mr. Money decides he loves money, more than any women; he does not care about making relationships, and rather, he decides to be "cold" and "mean". "Permanere" and "I Raise My Glass" play on the same concept.

"Vocari Dei", "Message to God", is about how powerful faith is. Many are uncertain that Animae exists, or they believe he is no longer there; however, they still pray to him or her - against everything that Mr. Money stands for.

"Diffidentia", "Mistrust", is one big theory revolving around everything that brought about the destruction of Animae - at first, Imago screams of hope, but at the end Imago states, "We failed."

"Nihil Morari (Homines Fabula Finis)" means "Nothing Remains (The Story of Man Comes To An End)". Imago apologizes for all of its sins - "Abuse", "Rape", stealing, and the loss of "thanks" - that finally cause Imago to implode on itself. "Latericius Valete", or "If You Are Strong, Be Strong", and "Omni (Permanere?)", or "Everything", further stress this concept.

"Iter Impius", meaning "Wicked Path", describes how Mr. Money finally wakes up. He has spent all of his money on cryogenics, and asked not be awaken until he be made immortal. How that he is immortal, he is very happy; he does not care when he discovers the absence of Imago.

At the end, Nauticus finally succeeds in his journey and contributes the "BE" that society needs to survive. This is in "Martius/Nauticus II"; in "Animae Partus II", Animae comes back, bringing a brand new Imago with him.

What happens to Mr. Money is uncertain. The above review is just my interpretation of one of the best albums ever.

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Live on, Pain of Salvation! (but seriously, I love every album they have released!)

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

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