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Pain Of Salvation - Road Salt One CD (album) cover


Pain Of Salvation


Progressive Metal

3.33 | 479 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars A blues influenced, jam oriented rock album with a raw, "vintage" sound. What's not to like?

Well at first listen, a lot. Such a cool idea, and admittedly a cool sounding album, but was just...not that good. Though if there's one thing I've learned from post-Remedy Lane PoS, it's that patience is key. Sure enough, with time and listens this album grew on me, (though the seeds were already there) and while it's certainly not as strong as their "classic" albums, or even their previous is a decent album.

I gave kudos to PoS for changing it up and doing what they want. While different, "BE" was a dense, pretentious prog rock album and "Scarsick" was prog metal..."Road Salt One" however is something that truly flies in the face of PoS fans. As mentioned, this is a blues rock album, with little prog, (and less metal) to be found, and the band even took an unpolished, raw sound to make it feel vintage. If this sounds out of your league best avoid RS1 entirely. I like it personally. Like any radical change it did take some getting used to, and outside the feel I really didn't like the music much.

While it's much "simpler" as in there's less complex, progressive songs...replaced with more direct, "stripped down" ones it is challenging instead that it's a subtle album, (much like Scarsick). Not to mention a challenge to prog/metal fans! The music can at times be a bit repetitive and drab, but generally it gradually moves...building to powerful climaxes. The writing is subtle and keyboards are more prominent than previous albums, even if its often gentle.

As always, the music takes a back seat to Gildenl÷w's vocals, whose powerful, emotional singing truly dominates this album, ranging from soft cries to powerful wails and loaded with the emotion and nuance that needs no explanation to any PoS fan. His singing really carries the album, though of course the music is not to be forgotten about.

More of an "album experience" rather than individual songs, though some do standout like the powerful opener "No Way". This is followed by the good "She Likes to Hide" and the more mellow "Sisters" which is not a bad song but one of the weaker. "Of Dust" is a choir segue which brings us to the middle of RS1 which is absolutely the strongest part.

"Tell Me You Don't Know" is a real cool, blues heavy song and the next 3 are more progressive songs, punctuated by "Sleeping Under the Stars" and "Linoleum" two awesome songs and the latter being my favorite on the album.

"Sleeping Under the Stars" has a circus type jig and gets kind of weird in the middle, in a great way, and has some humor, best seen in the line "Wait darling wait, you're the sh*t as they say in...where they say at...wherever they say that" ha! While "Linoleum" is just a damn awesome, heavy, proggy rock song.

"Curiosity" is another progressive song, notably more up beat while "Where it Hurts" is another mellow one that peaks and valleys. "Road Salt" is a vocal driven, light keyboard song before the finale "Innocence". A 7 minute song that is like a wrap up of the album, progressing through light, psychedelic sections and loud, heavy sections.

So, overall this is a good album. Certainly takes some getting used to and patience, but is worth it. Musically not the mot technical and complex thing made, even by the band, but instead it focuses on subtle songwriting and compositions that rise and fall, taking us on an emotional rollercoaster. The raw, blues rock sound is really cool and Gildenl÷w's singing is, as always, some of the best. It fits the feel of this album even more than ever, and shows why he is one of the top vocalists out there. Some parts drag and are a bit drab, and isn't an anytime listen but a good album nonetheless, and I applaud PoS for doing what they want and challenging the fans.

Three Stars

JJLehto | 3/5 |


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