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PAIN OF SALVATION

Progressive Metal • Sweden


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Pain Of Salvation biography
See also:

- Dial
- For All We Know
- The Shadow Theory

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...
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EntropiaEntropia
Import
Inside Out 2010
Audio CD$9.75
$12.49 (used)
Pain of Salvation - Be LivePain of Salvation - Be Live
Inside Out U.S. 2005
DVD$18.82
$8.94 (used)
One Hour By The Concrete LakeOne Hour By The Concrete Lake
Inside Out U.S. 1999
Audio CD$6.98
$4.40 (used)
Road Salt TwoRoad Salt Two
Inside Out U.S. 2011
Audio CD$9.84
$7.00 (used)
The Perfect Element Part 1The Perfect Element Part 1
Inside Out U.S. 2000
Audio CD$8.18
$6.18 (used)
Remedy LaneRemedy Lane
Inside Out U.S. 2002
Audio CD$10.93
$8.47 (used)
Road Salt OneRoad Salt One
Inside Out U.S. 2010
Audio CD$4.99
$3.99 (used)
EntropiaEntropia
Inside Out U.S. 1999
Audio CD$194.94
$30.00 (used)
12:0512:05
Import
Inside Out 2010
Audio CD$10.28
$12.36 (used)
BeBe
Inside Out U.S. 2004
Audio CD$9.98
$4.43 (used)
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PAIN OF SALVATION shows & tickets


  • Sweden Rock Festival on 4 Jun 2014
  • ProgPower USA XV on 12 Sep 2014
  • ProgPower Europe 2014 on 3 Oct 2014

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 | 390 ratings
Entropia
1997
3.97 | 372 ratings
One Hour By The Concrete Lake
1998
4.26 | 871 ratings
The Perfect Element Part 1
2001
4.22 | 810 ratings
Remedy Lane
2002
4.11 | 661 ratings
Be
2004
3.16 | 457 ratings
Scarsick
2007
3.39 | 357 ratings
Road Salt One
2010
3.55 | 281 ratings
Road Salt Two
2011

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

4.40 | 228 ratings
12:5
2004
3.97 | 96 ratings
The Second Death Of Pain Of Salvation
2009

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

4.38 | 169 ratings
Be Live
2005
3.94 | 84 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)

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

2.37 | 18 ratings
The Painful Chronicles
1999
3.61 | 23 ratings
Ashes
2000
3.30 | 92 ratings
Linoleum
2009

PAIN OF SALVATION Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Remedy Lane by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Studio Album, 2002
4.22 | 810 ratings

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Remedy Lane
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Having read about this album I was really excited when I put it on for the first time. It did not sound the way I had imagined but that's alright. Prog albums rarely do. Isn't that the whole idea of prog, not sounding like anything you'd expect? Well, turned out to be a hard one to review. Really it is. I am no stranger to heavy metal, I was sort of raised on it. It is not that. It is rather the fact that Gildenl÷w is extremely talented, obviously, but I do not agree with his musical vision wholeheartedly.

I will say this, the music found on Remedy lane really is a real concoction of styles. It is though Gildenl÷w has gathered together everything (or nearly) from the commercial side of hard rock to the more extreme, almost death-y, metal. That is a feat and as such I applaud him. But do I think it is a success? Well, maybe not in my book and maybe not to the full extent intended. I cannot embrace the album as muych as I'd like to. The ambition and talent is unquestioned but I am simply not that enchanted. And in that lies the difficulty.

There are tracks I really enjoy. The trio of "Rope ends", "Chain sling" and "Dryad of the woods" are very enjoyable indeed. The folky side of "Dryad..." is quite beautiful and "Rope ends" is certainly a multifacetetted piece of music, well worth exploring.

I do not suggest that the other tracks aren't enjoyable, as a whole or in bits, but there are elements I disagree with. There is a side of this album that makes me uneasy and not in a good way. It is hard to describe but I hear elements of music I quiver about, like contemporary pop-metal of sorts. Since I cannot digest those bits I find it hard to love this album. It is a good album, a brilliant one if I was to clear the plate from all those elements I find hard to swallow.

All in all, Remedy lane is a good album. Full of talent and intent. It just don't agree with me. Sorry.

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 Remedy Lane by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Studio Album, 2002
4.22 | 810 ratings

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Remedy Lane
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by jcarchia

4 stars I see several reviews basically saying that this piece of work isn't nearly as good as their other offerings. The issue is that P of S has set the bar pretty high. If you listen to this album and don't feel like a good amount of time and effort was put in writing and composing then maybe I'm deaf because most of the tunes are very well layered. Maybe I am basing this on the degenerative quality of most music these days, but "Remedy Lane" seems pretty polished to me and any progressive music fan should be pretty proud to have this album in their collection.

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 12:5 by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Live, 2004
4.40 | 228 ratings

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12:5
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars There is quite an unusual concept behind this album. Band leader Daniel Gildenl÷w was asked if Pain Of Salvation were interested in recording a special radio show for Swedish radio. This resulted in this acoustic album being recorded in front of 80 invited guests, and with no extra instrumentation added if you were there that night this is what you would have heard. The album is divided into three books, as is usual with POS, as there is an underlying story (titled "Brickworks) but most of the songs have previously been available on their studio albums. The difference now of course is back then they were powering prog metal and now this is in an acoustic setting.

The band comprises Daniel Gildenl÷w (vocals and guitar), Johan Hallgren (guitar and vocals), Johan Langell (drums and vocals), Kristoffer Gildenl÷w (bass and vocals) and Fredrik Hermansson (keyboards). While the band is playing acoustically there is never any doubt that this is a rock band. On "Winning The War" there is the feeling that the passion is just going to take over the band. There may be no amps involved, but they seem intent on killing those acoustic guitars. It shows how well the songs are structured in that they can easily be switched from full on prog metallic mayhem to this environment.

A fascinating album, which while obviously of more interest to fans of the band, will also have appeal to those coming to them for the first time. Just don't expect any of their other albums to sound quite like this.

Originally appeared in Feedback #78, April 2004

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 Road Salt One by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.39 | 357 ratings

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Road Salt One
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by bloodnarfer

3 stars New refreshing (if unexpected) direction

Pain of Salvation have never been ones to stagnate, and this album lives up to its name. It is dirty. Instruments and tones blend together in a almost live feel to the music. I love it. You don't have a separate frequency spectrum for each instrument, it all meddles together and the effect gives you a geniune feeling that most modern music misses out on. Daniel's vocals are at his finest and most natural here and he sounds great. Its impossible not to sing along and realize how intricate and soulful his singing is. Here we have a heavy influence from 70's hard rock and blues and the effect is a welcome meshing with the dark style of POS. The Road Salt saga are the last albums recorded with long time members Johan and Fredrik. (On guitar and keys respectively.)

The album opens powerfully with No Way, which has a very classic hard rock sound. The subtle and very organic drumming sounds great, and the new member Leo holds up. The song enters lighter, melodic parts which thrust you back into the fury of this song. It can really be said that this song is all about frustration and confusion. (Why can't I get the girl if she likes me better? Is it possible that you have something that I don't?) And the song conveys it well. The retro-sounding breakdown at the end of the song is great as bluesy guitar solo falls into a drum solo. It rocks!

The next highlight is Sisters, which impresses as the best song on the album. This song conveys thoughts of inevitibility and lack of self control. We see POS doing something totally different here with a soft, emotional, ballad-like song, a very gradual build and a powerful payoff. The piano and melody is slow, thoughtful, and haunting. Daniel's visceral vocals really pull this song together. I promise you will feel something listening to this.

Darkness of Mine sneaks up on you, which is very fitting. This song is all about mood and tension. First we have ominous long guitar tones and delicate, pained vocals. Listening carefully, the guitarist moves his hands back and forth across the frets making a dark laughing-like sound. Neat! Before you know it the heavy section slides in to brutalize you for just one iteration before slinking back into the darkness. A really well constructed and interesting song.

Where it Hurts is a really dreary and dramatic song which could be a bit over the top but still remains cool. Everytime the heavy drums come in it thrills. Also, there is a really cool jam section in the middle of the song as Leo again shows his chops. The end guitar solo is nearly ruined by Daniel going overboard screaming "touch me where it hurts" but its still manages to pull through.

On the other hand, I found Curiosity and Innocence to be somewhat uninteresting even if they fit into a more traditional Pain of Salvation sound. Sleeping Under the Stars is kind of awkward and misfitting but tolerable.

I love what POS has done on this album, and it is a great and refreshing contribution. Not their best work by any means. Good, but non-essential.

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 Remedy Lane by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Studio Album, 2002
4.22 | 810 ratings

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Remedy Lane
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars This is the fourth album by Swedish prog metallers Pain Of Salvation and although it is again a concept album, it is not a follow-up to 'The Perfect Element Part 1'. The band has decided not to work on a sequel just yet, although that is in place for the future. POS have been working with the usual suspects in the past, having toured with both Threshold and Arena while band leader Danny Gildenl÷w also found himself playing with Transatlantic. They have also confirmed dates with Dream Theater in the near future. Danny describes the album himself as follows "If you're looking for a band that sounds like your favourite group, forget about us. But if you happen to be looking for a band that lets you forget your favourite group, take a few walks down Remedy Lane and you'll find that you're not the same person that you were before".

The album is about failed relationships and the role of a person's past when entering into a relationship. At times the music is very heavy, at others very light, but there is a constant tension between the two, so that the listener is never quite sure what is going to happen next. The vocals also take on an important aspect as they move between rock screams and almost spoken passages, while at all times maintaining a certain menace.

While there are no really long tracks (closer "Beyond The Pale" is the longest at less than ten minutes), the proghead cannot feel hard done by as there is plenty of complexity and intricacy to get their head into. Again an intriguing album from Pain Of Salvation that may be too heavy for the proghead while being too complex for those into metal, but it is rewarding for those who follow the path to the end.

Originally appeared in Feedback #67, Apr 02

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 The Perfect Element Part 1 by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Studio Album, 2001
4.26 | 871 ratings

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The Perfect Element Part 1
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars This is another concept album by Swedish outfit Pain Of Salvation, and is actually only part 1! I enjoyed their last album 'One Hour By The Concrete Lake' so I was intrigued to hear this. While they have always been seen as part of the progressive metal movement, this album sees them make some real strides in both parts of that genre. There are times when they are playing as heavy as any of the hard rock bands coming out of the States, yet they temper it by going through so many different musical styles and ideas. The gentle lilting vocals, accompanied by a delicate fretless bass can give way suddenly to brutality, while there is often a feeling of melancholy.

It is the sort of album that can be enjoyed on first hearing, but it has great depth ? and I wish that I had the lyrics so that I could study them. This album will only see their reputation grow.

Originally appeared in Feedback #61, Feb 01

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 The Perfect Element Part 1 by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Studio Album, 2001
4.26 | 871 ratings

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The Perfect Element Part 1
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by bonestorm

3 stars Pain of Salvation's "The Perfect Element Part I" kicks off with a cascade of drums and guitar and a mixture of several musical styles. In the opening track "Used" there's a distinct flavour of Disturbed or any number of other nu-metal acts getting around circa 2000. Then the chorus almost has a pop feel to it.

"In the Flesh" and "Ashes" take a different and far superior direction, ditching the nu-metal vibe in favour of some more interesting textures. The musicianship is excellent and the album begins to sound a lot more cohesive. "In the Flesh" features a stunning acoustic guitar and piano outro that feels both like an organic extension of the first part of the song, and also as a great introduction into "Ashes". This track is the highlight of the album, with the most memorable guitar and vocal hooks.

"Ideoglossia" is a complex, chaotic number that once again showcases the band's prodigious talents, and also which cleverly incorporates the chorus of "Ashes" midway through the song. "King of Loss" also deserves special mention as a brooding, simmering track with a great buildup. The album closes with another 10 minute epic "The Perfect Element", which takes the total running time up over the 70 minute mark. It's a long album, but there are enough ideas incorporated over the duration to keep things fresh.

Overlaid upon all of this are some impressive vocal gymnastics by Daniel Gildenl÷w, at times evoking Mike Patton with a guttural, savage delivery juxtaposed with the silky smoothness of a seasoned crooner. And of course, he has an amazing heavy metal high pitched scream just to top it all off.

While not one of my favourite albums, this is still a great production to experience for the sheer ambitiousness and talent on display.

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 Road Salt One by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.39 | 357 ratings

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Road Salt One
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by Earendil

1 stars Road Salt One sounds like Pain of Salvation had the idea of doing a stripped-down, non-metal song, did a couple demos, and just went with the best version. Then, they repeated this process until they had enough music to fill an album.

Welcome to Road Salt One, a concept album where half of the songs are explicitly about sex and the other half are about a girl. I found nothing unifying about the album to warrant it a concept album unless it was how every song sounded like part of the same underdeveloped demo, which is not exactly something to strive for. Overall, some credit must be given because this album is indeed unique, but it fails to deliver at all musically. Fortunately, Pt 2 works much better.

Rating: 3/10

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 Road Salt Two by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.55 | 281 ratings

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Road Salt Two
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by VanVanVan
Prog Reviewer

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

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

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

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

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

4/5

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 Remedy Lane by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Studio Album, 2002
4.22 | 810 ratings

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Remedy Lane
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by Biff Tannen

2 stars The popularity of this band and this album in particular has long mystified me. Maybe it's because I am generally not a fan of Daniel Gildenlow's melodramatic style of both writing and singing, but I am often less wanting to reach my hands through the stereo and choke him so he will shut up. He is just one of those guys who personalities comes shining through in his music way too much. That is not to say that this album is without its moments, which is why I am giving it 2 stars instead of 1. Undertow is a solid song, and Beyond the Pale had good ideas (even if he bludgeoned them with his overbearing personality yet again), but on the flip side, songs like This Heart of Mine are just absolutely putrid. If you are a fan of this band, I can see this being an album you should have, but I would not recommend this CD to anyone I like.

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