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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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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 | 585 ratings
Entropia
1997
3.92 | 550 ratings
One Hour By The Concrete Lake
1998
4.23 | 1275 ratings
The Perfect Element - Part 1
2000
4.24 | 1208 ratings
Remedy Lane
2002
4.09 | 894 ratings
Be
2004
3.21 | 616 ratings
Scarsick
2007
3.32 | 504 ratings
Road Salt One
2010
3.51 | 418 ratings
Road Salt Two
2011
3.06 | 157 ratings
Falling Home
2014
3.89 | 365 ratings
In the Passing Light of Day
2017
3.71 | 168 ratings
Panther
2020

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

4.42 | 312 ratings
12:5
2004
4.15 | 133 ratings
The Second Death of Pain of Salvation
2009
4.31 | 49 ratings
Remedy Lane Re:Lived
2016

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

4.39 | 220 ratings
Be Live
2005
3.96 | 115 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)

4.84 | 49 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)

2.51 | 27 ratings
The Painful Chronicles
1999
3.62 | 33 ratings
Ashes
2000
3.22 | 116 ratings
Linoleum
2009
4.79 | 29 ratings
Remedy Lane Re:Mixed
2016

PAIN OF SALVATION Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Panther by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.71 | 168 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
3.06 | 157 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
3.71 | 168 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
3.71 | 168 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
3.71 | 168 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.

 Panther by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.71 | 168 ratings

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Panther
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by JJLehto
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Perhaps the most jarring and unusual album yet from this band's eclectic discography, but it works.

Pain of Salvation is no stranger to making changes in musical direction and is seemingly undeterred by fan opinion, though I would argue all their post Remedy Lane output while eclectic is still rock based. Not all of these albums have been as successful as others the band deserves credit for going there. After a partial return to their original form with "In the Passing Light of Day" Pain of Salvation has done it again: they pulled the rug out from under us. "Panther" is their most unusual work yet however. Unlike all their prior rock based albums, "Panther" takes a turn in the electronic direction. Given this comes directly after the bands return to heavy, more aggressive metal that had so many long turned off fans almost excited again, this truly is a bold effort.

When I first listened to this album I was bewildered. It's light on the rock, heavy on the electronics. On some songs I was struggling to tell if guitar was even present! When it was there, it was often simply just another sound, a piece of the soundscape. The drums are fine, but that's it...just fine, certainly nothing spectacular. It was an electronic and Daniel driven effort. It was weird and jarring, but not terrible upon first listen. Daniel's vocals are superb, as would be expected. There were some cool riffs and melodies, and a few songs that really struck me even upon first listen.

After giving "Panther" some time and a few spins, I can say it's a pretty good album. The music is different, no doubt there, and it may take some getting used to but it's really quite solid. The soundscape that is created is quite rich, and don't be fooled by my use of electronic. This is not some energetic upbeat album you can dance to, no it's fairly ambient, I'd say even somber and dark. Some of the hard edge that we have come to expect and love from Pain of Salvation is very much here in my opinion. The instruments all work together in a wonderful way, Daniel is piercing and driving and his voice has not lost even an ounce of its beauty, power, or nuance.

"Accelerator" kicks off the album with a pretty driving drum rhythm throughout, "Unfuture" is one of the more standard Pain of Salvation style songs, "Wait" features some great keyboard and guitar melodies, interesting passages and sections as it traverses the song, "Keen to a Fault" is a brilliant song that is one of the more energetic and musically interesting on the album, and I think should appeal to most Pain of Salvation fans. "Panther" is an interesting song that sounds a lot like Linkin Park, filled with electronic flourishes and sounds that sound straight from well, Linkin Park, and even Daniel rapping though thankfully it seems he's improved from his attempts on "Scarsick" (granted that was a more tongue in cheek and satiric effort). There are some rockin drums and it's all interspaced with quite piano and Daniel sections. Many may shudder at seeing Linkin Park in a Pain of Salvation review but frankly, it's one of my favorite songs, possibly favorite, on the album. "Species" is a good, slow burn and the 13 minute finale "Icon" is a straight up prog rock epic. It ebbs and flows through its well crafted song structure and is filled with beauty and passion. After writing all this I realized I have covered most of the album. That's how "Panther" was for me. Listening, listening, not super sure then it was over and I realized wow, I enjoyed that.

Is "Panther" different? Yes. Does it reach the highs of the bands first four albums? No. Though come one fellow prog fans, we pat ourselves on the backs for our open mindedness and pride in deviating from the mean! I was quite perplexed, weirded out and immensely unsure about this album when I first heard it. That said, I quite like it. I would encourage all Pain of Salvation fans to give it a try, maybe a few, and keep an open mind. Like myself, you may be surprised! If you are a fan of just rock based music perhaps this will be a difficult listen, though I would consider myself a fan of rock based music and still was gripped enough from the first listen to keep going with it, I ask you to do the same. For those who simply can't get past the band's post Remedy Lane output and just itch for those days, then yeah this probably won't be worth the time. I for one am glad to see Pain of Salvation has not just avoided the trap of spinning their wheels for over a decade as happens to many bands, but manages to come up with new sounds and pulls them off.

THREE AND A HALF STARS

bump: Four Stars

 Panther by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.71 | 168 ratings

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Panther
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by alainPP

4 stars PAIN OF SALVATION hit me in 2000 with "The Perfect Element" essential and unique at the time. I am not going to list the following CDs, the personal problems of the group but it is sure that this translates into the musical notes given since, in the released atmosphere, in the innovation always present as a source of inspiration and resilience. vis-Ó-vis the vagaries of life. POS is this mythical group of progressive metal that challenges itself and tries to prove to you that beyond darkness there is indeed the light of life; POS is here dealing with whether or not to accept the difference in this sick world. POS has just released a huge album, don't wait until the end of this note to convince yourself. An electro-heavy, powerful track, synth-wave, a syncopated drums, a "current" sound, djent, a prog metal crucible to put in the bath. A folk entry then an animal rhythm, a song phrased rap, heavy and unhealthy limit undue, here is to drive the musical nail. A soaring intro, a voice mixed by auto-tune in the tradition of a LEPROUS or a HAKEN, a final with apocalyptic acceleration and its drums exploding the drums! an experimental title which reinforces the legendary creation of Daniel. A melodic, conventional title stamped POS with piano and voice forward to upset, it reminds me of the "12: 5" suddenly, rise which shortens the time with an almost pop end and a disturbed sound, melancholy of sidereal beauty to melt the still recalcitrant reader. A hypnotic riff, a keyboard with an obsessive repetitive loop, fusion between guitar and synth now for the most conventional title. A folkloric interlude on the banjo to rest from the effort of so many musical trends and off we go. An eponymous title with the label, here it is I found one of the links with the title of the album, unhealthy hip hop, archaic rhythm bordering on rap-metal, scratched chorus that upsets you and makes you look for an analogous chorus in your memory cluttered with their disco. The title where the emotion wins you with a standard title of the group leading you to a meditative regression and here you are listening to "Icon" dark with its melodic intro on the piano, then a crescendo, a Gilmourian atmosphere at 8 minutes that makes you to melt. Indus, electro-metal prog rock, oppression and sadness leading to melancholy but leaving hope as a backdrop to better bounce back, better enjoy life, uh music, sound with mixed raw, raw and charming voice of Daniel. This is what you will feel when you listen to "Panther" in apnea. POS has done POS here by taking into account the musical evolutions of the moment and by keeping its raw animal tribal identity, its syncopated rhythms based more on emotion than on technicality. POS has just released a centerpiece, but I'll leave it up to you to go buy it.
 Panther by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.71 | 168 ratings

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Panther
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by Einwahn

5 stars 'Panther' is studio album #11 in the 23 year recording history of classic prog metal band Pain of Salvation. They have two top-10 albums in our Prog Metal subgenre chart - 'Remedy Lane' (2002) and 'The Perfect Element' (2000). Their debut 'Entropia' (1997), and 'Be' (2004) are also in the top 25. These millennial albums are very progressive, full of complex, intense, imaginative and unpredictable music. Their albums of 2007-2011 are also very good, though less progressive and less highly rated on this site. Their leader Daniel Gildenl÷w, who is one of the finest and most charismatic vocalists in progressive rock, suffered a horrific bacterial disease in 2014. Although their previous albums had very human themes, they were not specifically personal (with rock-opera, existential or ethical conceptions). In contrast the two post-illness albums 'In the Passing Light of Day' (2017) and now 'Panther', have a new subject - Daniel Gildenl÷w. ITPLOD confronts his life-threatening experience, using a musical language not dissimilar to his classic albums, slightly less inspired but deservedly rated excellent on here.

But now we have 'Panther' and - WOW!! This is a Pain of Salvation that is musically transformed, not only from the previous band, but even from one track to another within this album. Gildenl÷w has mentioned that he was randomly influenced by music his kids were bringing home, and one can recognise unexpected areas of popular music all over the place. The one stylistic character the 'Panther' tracks have in common is that the music is always in some way disjointed, in time signatures, musical layers or sections. All this may be an expression of the concept - in hospital Gildenl÷w was diagnosed with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). The songs deal with an individual (the 'panther' in a dog's world) who is disconnected in personality from his peers, and (in themes to which many of us can relate) dismay at what his species is doing to the planet, and the endless bewilderment of life.

Does it work? That is up to every listener, but for myself I have not enjoyed a Pain of Salvation album so much ever. Easily my favourite album from them. I will speculate about one influence among the many - the finale 'Icon' has driving multi-layered riffs that surely come from their Swedish compatriots G÷sta Berlings Saga. Anyone who enjoys 'Icon' should check out the new streaming-only album 'Artefacts - Live' by GBS and see if they agree with me.

Verdict: Einwahn's #1 album of 2020.

 Panther by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.71 | 168 ratings

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Panther
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by ssmarcus

4 stars Goosebumps, pure body rattling goosebumps is exactly what I felt upon hearing "Unfuture," the second track on Panther, Pain of Salvation's 11th studio record. Across 53 minutes, Daniel Gildenl÷w and company employ menacing synths and somewhat muddied production to create an engrossing Blade Runner like dystopian vibe. You could be forgiven for at first thinking Panther constitutes a radical departure from the band's sound. But as the record wears on, the vintage dense and theatrical Pain of Salvation sound persists.

As with any POS album, the lyrics present us with a well-developed and thematically significant story. The opening track "Accelerator," which seemingly starts us off at the end of the story, has our protagonist, a quick minded misfit, facing down the measured and stoic establishment and challenging its narrative of how the world around them all has begun to go up in flames. The album proceeds to detail how it is we came to this point. I highly recommend reading Daniel's interview at Metal Injection for more insights

 Panther by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.71 | 168 ratings

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Panther
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by uribreitman

3 stars The glory days of 1997-2004 are definitely gone for Pain of Salvation. Yes, 2017's "In the Passing Light of Day" was a nice effort (almost a return-to-form) but 2020's "Panther" feels like an electronic solo album by Daniel Gildenlow.

Most songs are "songs" in the traditional sense - they come and go with no big surprises. The "band" is not a "band", it's the home studio of Mister Gildenlow. Lyrics are all Daniel's. Compositions are also his. i don't hear anybody but Daniel in the vocals. The keyboard parts are almost non-existent.

Not even the 13-minute closer, "Icon", is able to revive this sleepy panther. Not that expectations were really high. Fans of POS have experienced many disappointments with their prog-metal cult band. 2007's Scarsick has divided the camp, throwing many prog-heads overboard and losing touch with POS for a complete decade.

Now Daniel is back with something which cannot be described as an ensemble. It is clear that Daniel does not work with people anymore - he just works with himself. So the verdict is clear: Panther can be easily skipped. Musically it's thin and almost mediocre. Gildenlow has thrown rock-and-roll out the window, and he's overemphasizing the importance of his lyrics.

Panther's a very long cry from masterpieces such as Remedy Lane and/or The Perfect Element. We can safely move on to younger, bolder groups.

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

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