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Pain Of Salvation - One Hour By The Concrete Lake CD (album) cover


Pain Of Salvation


Progressive Metal

3.92 | 548 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars 4.7 Stars

An enjoyable, consistent, and mostly flawless concept album that grabs you with its dark intensity and doesn't let go. A work of art and one of the most musically interesting albums I have ever in the genre of metal. This is an album where the music doesn't follow a cliché, it doesn't show off (though you can clearly hear how talented these musicians are), and the vocals as well as the music play with pure emotion. Like Scarsick and Remedy Lane, this is one of the most emotional metal albums I possess. That is because of the amazing vocal performance given by this gifted singer, who has a very wide vocal range. Not only that, but in this album, he seems to enjoy overdubbing his voice multiple time, giving epic sweeps of vocalizations that send chills. This album is an example of why he is often considered one of the best vocalists in modern prog. In my opinion, he's the new Peter Gabriel. By the way, the concept is very unique and highly intelligent, though not as sophisticated and philosophical as lets say ... "Be"

Track By Track Analysis:

Spirit of the Land: a very short symphonic arrangement with keyboard to begin the album. It is soaring and beatiful. 9.5/10

Inside: Quite a complicated song for its short duration. It begins with fast piano parts, metal riffs and excellent drumming for one minute, then changes it's rhythm and a softer and more keyboard-oriented section plays which introduces the brilliant first vocal line "was told the pain and hungeeeeeeeeeer was not my fault, How could they be so wrong?". The vocals are nothing short of spectacular here. Then by minute four, there's almost nothing but a soft piano and delicate singing until it gets heavier with Daniel screaming 'till his last cry which is very powerful. Overall, an accessible and well-written piece of art. 10/10

The Big Machine is darker and slower with those intense vocal harmonies sang in low notes. The keyboards are in the background but they really help create a sinister mood while the guitar are at the front playing good riffs. The music takes a turn with the vocal line "What ... if we lose control", though the mood is similar. This leads into a crescendo with a wonderful display of vocals. Daniel is really talented. 9.5/10

New Year's Eve opens with unusual sounding guitars then leads to a more conventional song, though it was one of the hardest to get into for me. The music is relatively simple and contrasts the heavy/soft pretty well. The best part is when it gets into a very beautiful part that has only a nice grand piano and Daniel singing very sweetly until it ends in a majestic tone. Great song. 8.5/10

Handful of Nothing sounds more like a Remedy Lane song at first, with electric rhythm guitar (that never seems to play in 4/4) in a fast-paced manner. Close to minute 2, the guitar riff plays louder while a keyboard make a wonderful chord and later, a simple guitar makes a perfect transition to one of the most mindblowing and unconventional vocal harmonies you will probably ever hear. The rhythmically strange playing continues until the vocal harmony makes a second harmony. The ending is mellower and quite gorgeous. 9.5/10

Water is a song full of melody. The song is generally a very beautiful ballad with some electric guitars an a metal section. The guitar playing here is worthy of notice, Melodic, emotional, and fast (Though not too fast). The refrains are heavenly and focus on vocal harmonies. My favourite part is when the extremely heavy section fades out while the gorgeous chorus fades in. Genius! 9.5/10

Home is more laid back and simple and in my opinion is not as musically interesting as the rest of the album. However, This is by no means a dull track. It is quite pretty, has good vocal arrangements and ends with a great guitar solo. 7/10

Black Hills is my favorites here, because it sounds very unique and has great vocal performances. It features a very heavy and "Native sounding" guitar riff, creepy distorted vocals (unusual for Pain of Salvation), acoustic guitars, and amazing clean vocals of Daniel at his best. The buildup is impressive, with symphonic arrangements, fretless bass, excellent guitar playing and appropiate piano/keyboards. What follows is phenomenal. It is some indian chant in unison with an electric guitar, and then the riff at the beginning is played with a powerful vocal performance and a short but outstanding guitar solo. 10/10

Pilgrim is short but a high point of the album. It has a simple, yet perfectly effective acoustic guitar riff, gentle vocals, and a sweet folk-style chorus. The verses are very dark and there's an instrument that I don't know what it is, but it plays a sort of broken chord that sounds very dismal and gloomy and fits really well. This song serves as a transitional piece 9.5/10

Shore Serenity is another short, soft, and mostly acoustic song, but this one is more symphonic, a bit heavier and has more vocal harmonies. The song ends with nice synth noodling in high notes and a heavy blast of electric guitars. 9/10

Inside Out has to be great: it is the name of the record label! It is: a great song that successfully closes the album in a high note with many recurrent themes of "Inside". There's a very intense and emotional instrumental moment around minute three with guitars in harmony and a guitar solo. A downside: Why does there have to be a fadeout ... in a concept album!!? One point off for that, because the track is perfect. 9/10

Well, what are you waiting for? This is a perfect introduction to the band because it contains all the elements that make Pain of Salvation a creative progressive metal band. It is also their most accessible and coherent album (though I still did not hear Entropia, so I should not make that kind of statement).

Zitro | 5/5 |


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