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Pain Of Salvation

Progressive Metal

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Pain Of Salvation Be album cover
4.09 | 941 ratings | 89 reviews | 48% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2004

Songs / Tracks Listing

- Prologue :
1. Animae Partus ("I am") (1:48)
- I. Animae Partus (All in the Image of) :
2. Deus Nova (Fabricatio) (3:18)
3. Imago (Homines Partus) (5:11)
4. Pluvius Aestivus (Of Summer Rain [Homines Fabula Initium]) (5:00)
- II. Machinassiah (Of Gods & Slaves) :
5. Lilium Cruentus (Deus Nova) (On the Loss of Innocence) (5:28)
6. Nauticus (drifting) (4:58)
7. Dea Pecuniae (10:10)
- a) Mr. Money
- b) Permanere
- c) I Raise My Glass
- III. Machinageddon (Nemo Idoneus Aderat Qui Responderet) :
8. Vocari Dei (Sordes Aetas - Mess Age) (3:50)
9. Diffidentia (Breaching the Core) (Exitus - Drifting II) (7:37)
10. Nihil Morari (Homines Fabula Finis) (6:22)
- IV. Machinauticus (Of the Ones With no Hope) :
11. Latericius Valete (2:28)
12. Omni (Permanere?) (2:37)
13. Iter Impius (Martigena, Son of Mars) (Obitus Diutinus) (6:21)
14. Martius/Nauticus II (6:41)
- V. Deus Nova Mobile (...and a God is Born) :
15. Animae Partus II (4:09)

Total Time: 75:58

Line-up / Musicians

- Daniel Gildenl÷w / vocals (lead, choirs, spken, harmony), electric & acoustic guitars, mandola, Chinese archo, keyboards, percussions, samplers, programming, producer
- Johan Hallgren / electric & acoustic guitars, congas, harmony vocals
- Fredrik Hermansson / grand piano, harpsichord, keyboards, percussion
- Kristoffer Gildenl÷w / bass & fretless bass, double bass, congas, harmony vocals
- Johan Langell / drums, djembe, cowbell, backing vocals

- Mats Stenlund - (Klosters kirka) church organ
- Cecilia Ringkvist - vocals (7)
- Donald Morgan,Donald K. Morgan,Alex R. Morgan,Kim Howatt ,Jim Howatt ,Jackie Crotinger,Ross Crotinger ,Tom Kleich,Blair Wilson,Gaby Howatt ,Molly Fahey / voices (narration)

The Orchestra of Eternity:
- Mihai Cucu / 1st violin
- Camilla Arvidsson / 2nd violin
- Kristina Ekman / viola
- Magnus Lanning / cello
- ┼sa Karlberg / flute
- Anette Kumlin / oboe
- Nils-┼ke Pettersson / clarinet
- Dries van den Poel / bass clarinet
- Sven-Olof Juvas / tuba

Releases information

Artwork: Daniel Gildenl÷w

CD Inside Out Music ‎- IOMCD 184 (2004, Germany)

Other CD reissues

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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PAIN OF SALVATION Be ratings distribution

(941 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(48%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(29%)
Good, but non-essential (14%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by hdfisch
5 stars When I first reviewed this album I was just a newbie as a Prog reviewer and my writing skills were still very much limited. Now as I read my former short but praising review again I wasn't happy at all with it. Therefore I decided to write a new one. Well meanwhile two years after its release plenty has been written already about this exceptional work and actually I hate repeating what others have mentioned already. Nevertheless I'll try it, so here we go:

BE was causing lots of irritation after it came out, especially in metal circles where POS have been well-known as one of the best if not the best at all progressive metal bands ever, being proggy AND very heavy at the same time without exhibiting the usual pomp and self-indulgence but instead some extraordinary talents and skills. Understandably some fans of the band expecting TPE Pt.II were quite disappointed when they did a first rough scrolling through this album. Narrations - folk - gospel - classical piano - symphonic orchestra - sections bringing Broadway into mind - finally there's a metal riff, but what's that again? - Oh no, BE is not the type of album suitable for a hunter for snappy heavy metal riffs, although they are there definitely, beautifully woven into a gossamer made of haunting music emanating from most divers genres with an extremely ambitious and broad theme behind it, that is just LIFE and GOD. BE cannot be compared with other pompous rock/metal operas done already by numerous power/symphonic metal bands (i.e. Ayreon,Aina). Those records are nice in their own way and maybe great for someone who needs pomp in his Prog. Here there isn't such a thing, lots of emotion, yes certainly but never pretentious kitsch at any moment. I won't get into details about the individual tracks because this had been done already perfectly by other reviewers and especially I won't write about the lyrics and the concept since this would exceed the given frame here. Speaking about the compositions for sure there isn't much new to be be found on here for POS fans knowing very well their previous records but though I really admire this band and consider them as the very best one in that genre I've to admit I listened to their other albums by far not that often than to this one. Thus I was absolutely amazed and fascinated by this work right from the very first listen just because the way it has been done is that much different from their previous ones. As far as I know this magnum opus was a kind of experiment by Daniel Gildenlow and actually they presented it live already before the release of this album to test its acceptance. This performance has been released in the meantime as a DVD that I watched already as well a couple of times of course. As said musically there isn't that much new material on here. In fact I did not compare the individual tracks on here that squeamishly with some of their older ones as some people did but it's true many of them are sounding quite familiar. So I guess they were re-working some old material, fitting it into the concept and adding up some new stuff. But who likes to play God and blame them for doing this if the result looks and sounds like this? Just BE human and enjoy - I AM!

Coming to an end of my review I just can tell those people still wondering whether BE has to be considered the worst or very best work by this band: If you love heavy metal and you're new to this band don't buy this one but go for any of their first four studio outputs. Each of them is a perfectly done Progmetal album and more or less a masterpiece in this sub-genre on its own. BE on the other hand is their first real Prog album (generally spoken not in terms of metal) and that's why it HAS to be considered an exceptional masterpiece of PROGRESSIVE MUSIC. I think any prog lover will have great pleasure with this one even after 100's of repeated spins just because it's a piece of art you'll fall in love with if you just allow to get captivated by it.

Edited 8/4/2006

Review by billyshears'67
5 stars "Be" is a conceptual piece mainly based around existential lyrical content. The guys from Eskilstuna really achieved a concept that maintained a certain focus and maturity that they hadn't yet attained (this maturity, of course, being in their standards, which are amazing). The artwork really accentuates the music quite well also. Daniel's lyrics are poignant and as meaningful as ever.

One of the characters (Mr. Money), is a business man who spends all his assets on Cryobiology (the science of studying the effects of very low temperature on life). He is cryogenically frozen and not revived until he is made immortal. Once awaken from his cryogenic slumber he comes to the realization that there are no other beings left, and that no one else chose immortality because of the state the world was in (the world being so decimated and sterilized by man's quest to understand life and profit monetarily from it). The story is much more capacious than what I've described. Daniel gives us some info about the concept in the booklet and leaves the remnants for further investigation.

"Imago" is a tremendous folk-inspired song. "Pluvius Aestivus" executes the amalgamation of a sting section with the group exquitistely well; touching. Uncharted territory is trespassed on "Nauticus" with its sullenly soulful and bluesy performance. "Dea Pecunia" is the album's emotional zenith and masterpiece. The song's sardonic lyrics are superb and the incorporation of a female co-singer and choir make the song as a whole magnificent. The end of this song is one of the most exciting in the band's impeccable repertoire. "Vocari Dei" is an affectionate song musically and subject matter wise. This track is very moving and I wish not to go any further into it, for its sake of catching you off guard, thus, giving it more emotive potency. "Omni" is mostly organ-based with a desperate vocal performance by Daniel. "Iter Impius" is also another very powerful song where the album seems to peak again. Great string work and dynamics.

The album has recurring themes if you pay close attention. This is a very focused album that maintains a somewhat dark ambiance throughout. "Be" is a classic, just as all of their works to date. It presents the musical world with another dynamic and a very different album than any of their previous conceptual works. PAIN OF SALVATION's musical trajectory is a vast and magical forest that has the ability to present the "aware" eye with many hue's and season's, for whatever it wills on the senses, it succeeds.

Review by diddy
4 stars "BE" appears to be something special. Not only is it yet again another concept piece just like all other Pain of Salvation albums it also seems to be the most controversial. On the one hand reviewers and fans love it but there's a lot of scolding lashing down on it in equal measure. Well, to be honest, I also had a lot of problems with it in the beginning because the album is so different from their other releases. I think the main problem are the many sound samples Daniel used, it's not everybody's cup of tea. The album features evidently less metal without sounding totally different from the established POS sound. People liking the band only because they're playing metal may be disappointed, though. The album contains a lot of mellow songs using orchestra as a stylistic device. I think the band can take credit for using the orchestra in such a wise way. Different from most albums featuring orchestra it definitely is an inherent part of the music, not just some orchestral music for the background. Another point leading to the general uncertainty may be the concept itself. It is very extensive and intransparent. At least it is more comlplicated than former concepts by Daniel. The main point of the concept is, if I didn't misinterpret, that the world is an instrument of self-knowledge for God and some day transforms to a God itself. Another point is that you can find patterns in the multiplicity of beings and that there's a meaning in everything, a unity in the multiplicity so to speak. Maybe Daniel noticed the complexity and amended it with the story of the personalized money (called Mr. Money) wich victoriously subdues everything untill it stands alone.

This concept is presented in a 76 minute long Rock Opera containing many different styles and influences. It's not only lyrically but also musically very complex.

The first tune features voices inducting you into the concept. I think it is a simple but effective way to conduct in a concept album. The rocking part of the second tune called "Deus Nova" is framed by voices untill the introducing voices appear again. The third tune "Imago" can be described as folk. Never before POS did something similar, but the result is more than impressing. A great song with nice melodies. It ends with rain and thunder causing the mood for the next tune which is a mellow piano solo with rain drops played by the orchestra. This tune alone shows why "BE" could be a disappointment for many prog metal fans. And to be honest, who expected POS to record such a song? Nevertheless, I like the song as well as the fact that POS breaks new ground. "Lithium Cruentus" is my favorite song of the album. It also became one of my favorite Pain of Salvation songs in general. It features great bass playing by Kristoffer Gildenl÷w and yet again, superb vocals by his brother Daniel. I really like the different melodies as well as the "rap" parts.indeed, you're right, I said rap.this song simply has to be heard. The reason for substracting one star follows shortly after: "Nauticus" is a horrible song, horrible enough to substract a whole star for 5 minutes. The whole song is one large cant and moaning and forces me to skip it. It is boring and totally out of place. But it fortunately is an exception and the only bad song. Without it, I may have given five stars. "Dea Pecuniae" , a great song with, yet again, great vocals. No Metal here as well but a truly great presentation of the caracter "Mr. Money". What follows is a beautiful, very mellow and quiet instrumental framed by God's answering machine. The next songs "Diffidentia(Breaching the Score)" and "Nihil Morani" should eventually satisfy all the prog metal fans out there. Again, very good songs featuring the orchestra as well as heavy riffing, nice mixture. Some reprises can be heard in "Nihil Morani". "Latericius Valete" is a short instrumental piece containing a lot of piano and orchestra, it rises in the end, gets heavier and leads to the bombastic "church organ ballad" (that's how I call it) "Omni", clear and brief. With "Iter Impus" follwos what became one of my favorite Pain of Salvation ballads (and they have a lot of good ones). Daniel's voice causes goose bumps here, simply beautiful, listen to this one very loud and I'm sure it will get you as well. "Martius/Nauticus II" is another highlight. It consists of many different parts featuring many different influences and some reprises, among other things the folk part appears again, of course somewhat modified. "Animae Partus II" is an outro, the introducing voice again and some muted heartbeat, over.

"BE" is everything but a letdown, far from it. An unfulfilled expectation doesn't make a bad album. That's the crux of the matter for me. Many people expected "The perfect Element Pt. II" and with it another heavy prog metal output. Now having listened to the album they seem to be disappointed. I think that it is not fair to goof on "BE" just because it is not what they expected. I also loved "The Perfect Element Pt. I" and want it to be continued but I don't see what this has to do with "BE". It is a teriffic and very complex album which stays interesting for a very long time. It is very exertive and pines for concentration and attention, though. This album could also be interesting for people not liking (prog)metal, even if still some metal is featured. Pain of Salvation strengthen their position as my favorite prog metal band. Get this album, ignore the moaning of crestfallen prog metal fans.

Review by TRoTZ
4 stars Be, just be. A tribute, a concept album about philosophical thoughts, questions without response, ethical concerns, God and death itself. A concept in which God is seen as a omnipresence force who created the world, at his "own image", fusing his own "doubts and hopes", ending to be the union of every human "Together they became Me". A declining God, as the album evolutes painfully to the cathartic end of Mankind, where God vanishes himself. Very controversial message indeed, but it is emotionally dramatic the way it's used to criticize the worst of Men, since his own genesis to our days.

The album surely is strongly different from PoS previous releases, ending to be almost a majestic opera rock, perhaps influenced by the latest AYREON releases, particularly "Into the Electric Castle". It continued to keep the band's main characteristics, their somewhat unique progressive metal, while incorporating haunting symphonic elements and tribal patterns which assented like a glove in the album's concept atmosphere. The album starts truly with "Deus Nova", a crescendo track laded with its sinister piano and percussion, haphazard drumming rhythm and nervous organ as a disturbing narration reveals, date by date, the terrifying growth of Human population till our days and the fore come future. But then, Humankind history is told, tribal rhythms and flutes recreating the joyful ingenuous happiness of Humankind genesis in "Imago", revealing in a very funny way the crescendo egoism in our thought, the main refrain starting with "Take me to." at the beginning of the track, progressing to "Teach me of." in the middle, culminating with "Give me of" then "Give me all" at the end. Then the trebled instrumental "Pluvius Aestivus" with its classically emotive piano and percussion starting to construct the bridge to the present, culminated with "Lilium Cruentrus", which presents us the beautiful main motif of the album, repeated in the end of the album. Present is personified in "Dae Pecuniae", a beautiful track with a very catchy guitar solo and melody, ending in the Floydian gospel singing of "Dark Side of the Moon". Here, another critic to Humankind prototype, exemplified by Money character itself "I Could have bought a Third World country" showing all our hypocrisy and insensibility.

The disturbing cinematic narrations of screaming pain on "Vocari Dei" lead to the heavy "Diffentia", with its tense piano and strong guitar arrangements. Some more tracks follow representing the Present and opening the way to the dramatic "In Iter Impius" where Mankind has all been vanished except for Mr. Money who can now control the whole world - mountains of dust and ruins. Ironic. The album ends with the retrospective "Martius/Nauticus II", one of the best, which joins magnificently several arrangements showed around the album.

A stunning album. One of the best works of 2004. Varied, original, well played, with a dramatic, very controversial and metaphysical concept.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars It's a TRUE PROGRESSIVE ACT .!

It takes me months to finally feel that I dare to put some words about this conceptual opus. What has made it so difficult? Well, I have to admit one thing: my ability to put the right (read: "appropriate") words about the listening experience that I have had with this album. Unlike most people and my prog mates that have claimed insofar that "BE" is very difficult to digest and understand as the music is a bit heavy, I personally could accept and enjoy the music at the very first time of the CD spin. In fact, it blew my mind in the context that "this is the kind of weird and strange music that I never heard it before" and NOT in the context that "I like it!" or "I don't like it". I dunno why, the first time I spun the CD at my stereo set there was nothing like whether or not I like the album. The context was purely more on "Yeah . this is something different!". And I have engrained myself with a philosophy that writing a musical review is not a matter of liking or not liking it, rather it must deal with how to craft and assemble appropriate words on the way I feel about the total concept of the music itself and of course the story behind the album, if it's possible. The chief objective is clear: to provide an objective and fair image of the album to the readers of this beloved website as to help them on purchase decision.

Looking back on the albums the band has ever produced, there has been a fundamental change in the forms and styles of this album with its preceding albums. Pain of Salvation has traditionally been pigeon-holed as progressive metal band. But with "Be" the band has made the categorizers get confused with their task on putting the right basket of this album. I am not saying that there is no prog metal elements at all but it's not the main thing anymore. This album revolves around crafting a music (be it rock, pop, prog, metal or whatever) that represents the exploration of humanistic values and the definition of and the search for God. Well, for me personally I can give you a straight forward advice: just read and understand the Koran; you will then find your search clearly! But of course, I fully aware that you may not accept this straight away as people have differing views. Definitely, this album has successfully fulfilled its role brilliantly to represent that humanistic issues. The result is an album with multi- dimensional music that blends many elements of styles and influences into one cohesive whole that has made Pain of Salvation as one of the most progressive bands in approaching their creation. This is truly a progressive act!

Animae Partus ("I am") (1:48)

This short track remarks the opening of the opus with an ambient dialogue about definition and corresponding aspirations of "self". Who "I am"? The sound produced here represents the appropriate context intended for the song itself. The actors clearly try to figure out "Who I Am".

Deus Nova (Fabricatio) (3:18)

This second track flows seamlessly from the opening track with another ambient sound of piano work backed up with great cello and violin sounds, accentuated with light orchestra and clavinet sound. The music suddenly turns into heavy riffs produced through the combination of guitar, bass and improvised keyboard solo sound. One thing unique about this passage is its weird time signatures whereby the drum beats do not seem fall in the right time. Magically, this unsynchronized thing produces excellent harmony.

Imago (Homines Partus) (5:11)

This track starts off with a musical loop followed with a stunning banjo-like guitar work that produces a complex yet nice music. The percussion sound enters the music and provides a middle-east musical nuance. The vocal line of Daniel Gildenlow is a masterpiece as he can present himself as he is really part of the story of the song. The form of this song reminds me to Arjen Lucassen's "The Looser" of Human Equation album. The composition is dominated by the percussion work and energetic singing style. In some segments of the music, the orchestration inserts its work featuring oboe and other woodwind instruments. It's a great song.

Pluvius Aestivus (Of Summer Rain [Homines Fabula Initium]) (5:00)

It begins with a rainy sound loop continued with a classical-influence piano solo that brings this solo relatively long and provides an ambient nuance. The orchestration at the back has enriched the musical textures of this song. I have never imagined before that Pain of Salvation would ever create this magnificent instrumental track in the vein that is totally different with what the band got used to do with its music.

Lilium Cruentus (Deus Nova) (On the Loss of Innocence) (5:28)

This is probably the track with some prog met influence. It opens wonderfully with a light orchestra featuring oboe and distant voice followed with energetic musical riffs and vocal line. It abruptly stops in a quiet passage to feature melodic lyrical part accompanied with nice orchestra. It again moves to an energetic part in an upbeat prog met tempo. The singing technique that Daniel demonstrates here is truly top notch! It's an excellent composition.

Nauticus (drifting) (4:58)

It explores the use of stunning acoustic guitar to feature the low register notes' voice line. The combination of chanting male voices and acoustic guitar in mellow style has made this track is enjoyable. The ending part is filled with narratives with some distant voice at the back that provides an excellent bridge to the next track. It's a drum-less composition.

Dea Pecuniae (10:10)

This track starts off with a dialogue that I mention above continued with a blues influence music with solid bass lines. I never imagine that an originally a progmet band is now playing this blues-based music. The vocal brings the music into a continuous flow with a background of light orchestra that does not seem in-sync with other electric instrument sounds but it produces stunning background music. The lead guitar solo is performed between two lyrical verses. The music turns into quieter passage featuring light orchestra and vocals, accentuated with piano. It's a wonderfully crafted song.

Vocari Dei (Sordes Aetas - Mess Age) (3:50)

Is this song related to Opus Dei like it's mentioned in the Da Vinci Code novel? I don't know and it doesn't matter really. This is truly a phone mail box playback voices, inserted with a beautiful classical influence music with some sounds of oboe and cellos / violin. Acoustic guitar work signifies the musical textures. Out of many narratives produced from the mail box, I enjoy those spoken in Japanese language that end up with a word "sayonara!".

Diffidentia (Breaching the Core) (Exitus - Drifting II) (7:37)

This song flows seamlessly from previous track in a faster tempo using musical riffs as the foundation of the song's rhythm. The simple piano touch has enriched the sound coupled with some higher register notes singing accompanied by piano sound. Again, it sounds simple but this song is rich with textures and unique singing style as well as composition. In some quieter passages, the orchestration palys its role wonderfully by featuring oboe or violin solo shortly.

Nihil Morari (Homines Fabula Finis) (6:22)

This tenth track opens with a very nice acoustic guitar work in an ambient style followed with floating voice line with violin work at the back. It's an interesting opening track. The music flows smoothly with soft drum beats and it moves to soft riffs with firm drum sounds. This time the vocal brings the music into a more complex composition and moves in crescendo into a faster tempo. Again I observe weird time signatures among instruments used especially between those who produce riffs (guitar and bass) with drum that produces beat. Wow! What a great harmony here! The keyboard solo enters in weird style and produces unique sound that does not seem to match with the beats. But . they all produce wonderful music! Oh my God ... What a great composition! It's so inventive and so inspiring that normal human being would never imagine that it can happen like this....

Latericius Valete (2:28)

This sort track begins with an exploration of double acoustic guitar fills producing repeated chords with each guitar is playing different chord. Combined with light orchestra and some solos of violin and oboe this track produces wonderful sound. When the vocal enters it turns into a more upbeat style by still emphasizing piano sounds.

Omni (Permanere?) (2:37)

This one opens with a church organ solo with a background of people's talks. The duo- vocal enters in mellow style and it goes with the same organ's notes. It's a nice exploration of organ sounds.

Iter Impius (Martigena, Son of Mars) (Obitus Diutinus) (6:21)

The soundscape that contains the sound of heavy wind opens this track accompanied with piano and light orchestra. The vocal enters in mellow style with powerful voice accentuation. At the end of each voice accentuation the piano solo inserts its sound beautifully. The music flows continuously with violin at the background augmented with piano work. In the middle of the track the music turns into a sort of classic rock music with stunning guitar solo. The voice line enters back into the music with guitar solo at the back. Beautiful song!

Martius/Nauticus II (6:41)

This track opens with acoustic guitar work continued with full music with drum work is performed in a marching style. The vocal line enters and the music flows flatly in the same rhythm. At the end of first lyrical part the music turns into faster tempo. It its transition, the acoustic guitar solo fills the music wonderfully with a middle-east nuance augmented with orchestration. The orchestra also features oboe and violin solo throughout the song. The composition demonstrates a very strong basis of traditional folk music. At the end of the track there is a segment that explores multi percussions played dynamically and provides a world music nuance. Very nice composition, rich with multiple styles.

Animae Partus II (4:09)

This concluding track tries to convey a message about the definition of one-self "I Am" as it was featured at the opening track. Out of 4 minutes duration most of it (more than 3 minutes) contains silent - basically it starts with a narrative "I Am" and it ends up with children's short narrative.


It's a different kind of music. I would say that this album is considered as prog in a sense that the approach that the band has taken is truly representing a "progressive" act. Of course, the music is complex and heavy which cause some people consider this album as inaccessible. Besides the conceptual story the band tries to convey, I find this album is brilliant. Enjoying this album should be in its entirety as when you listen from beginning to end, you can feel that you are in the journey of rediscovering human values. In addition, there are many prologues of some tracks that start with reverse digital duration; ie. starting with negative numbers prior to the main track. You definitely cannot access these prologues using skip function of your CD player. That's why, I recommend you to play it in its entirety. This album has been months with me and I still regularly play at my CD player because the composition is great. Highly recommended! Keep on proggin' .!!!

Yours progressively,


Review by FishyMonkey
3 stars I'm making a new way of reviewing, one that's far less biased than any other I've odne.

BE. Oh man...this was an interesting one. Starting with TPE, then Remedy Lane, I loved PoS. Everything about them, their emotion, great musicianship, interesting and new songs, great lyrics, it was all good. But people seemed to tell me to stay away from BE. Why? It was way different, got tangled up by the concept, they said. And I believe they were right.

Be has an exceptional concept revolving aorund population growth, god, the evolution and greed of man, the apocalypse, and a man named Mr. Money who cryogenically freezes himself to awaken in the future where everything is supposed to be perfect. Sound complicated? Good, because it is. It's very hard to swallow the first time you listen to it, which is why I'm reviewing this now when I got the album about two months ago. The concept itself is very good. The lyrics are great, the execution...well, good, but unfortunately, the execution of the concept is so good that the band kinda forgot about music. Yup, they forgot everythign about what made the mso great except for their concepts. Music takes priority over everything. Skill, concepts, lyrics, it doesn't matter if your music sucks. It's not that this music sucks, it's just that there's so little actual music to speak of that it just ends up feeling like the music sucks. I'm gonna be stealing the times and front labels from Gatot up there, so sorry and thanks. Let's break it down:

Animae Partus ("I am") (1:48)

Well, this beginning track doesn't contain any music really, just a bunch of creepy noises and a narrative talking about the existence of god. So...huh? Well, as an introduction, it works prett ywell, so long as no other song sounds like it.

Deus Nova (Fabricatio) (3:18)

Starts out with osme interesting orchestra work, then goes heavy. All throughout the song is a countdown (or countup, really) of human population growth, and how exponentially it grows, how rapidly. The unmbers are slightly disturbing to hear, but I never listen to this track. Nothing that interesting after the first couple listens. Ends with another narrative. Gah...please let that buy another kind of song that doesn't pop up too much.

Imago (Homines Partus) (5:11)

Oh, YES! Here's the creativity and instrumentals and singing I wanted! Finally! This track is kinda Blind Guardian-esque, sounds kinda folky. And that's the point, is it's about the creation and original freedom of man. Daniel plays the...banjo, I think...quite well, and adds great feeling to this track. Good lyrics that progress, great emotional singing, everything I could want. Keep it up, PoS! Please?

Pluvius Aestivus (Of Summer Rain [Homines Fabula Initium]) (5:00)

Well, this is odd. PoS making this kinda track...I never thought I'd hear it. It's a stirring piano and violin/orchestra composition that's nice if you're listening to this album in a dark room, totally into the music. Otherwise, useless. Pretty, but hat's it. Sorry. I liked it when I did totally focus on the music, but since I haven't been able to squeeze any enjoyment outta it.

Lilium Cruentus (Deus Nova) (On the Loss of Innocence) (5:28)

Good, good track! Basically like old PoS with an orchestra, which is excellent. I really love this track, it's got a great chorus, great heavy parts, equally as good soft parts, and talks about something quite serious. Awesome song, but will it get better?

Nauticus (drifting) (4:58)

Nope. Sorry, but this is another waste of time. It explores a sort of western/spiritual style that PoS hasn't ever touched before. It's four minutes of slow, non-changing spiritual singing about the lord and praying. Only reason you'd ever listen to this song is to get the full story, which is unfortunately the only reason you'd listen to many songs on this album.

Dea Pecuniae (10:10)

Like Gatot said, this is kinda blues-y with interesting lyrics and good singing. It kinda meanders along for 10 minutes though, and doesn't really do anything, just slightly builds on the original theme. No real excitement, emotion, nothing, just story and good male/female vocals and a good ending.

Vocari Dei (Sordes Aetas - Mess Age) (3:50)

"Awww..." SHUT UP. Useless song again. It's supposed to be moving, showing you how people pray and pray to god but nobody answers. It's OK for the story, but past that, useless. There's no good music here, just some light acoustic strumming and piano work. It's nice, but do I want to listen to it over other songs? Not unless I feel like listening to the whole album.

Diffidentia (Breaching the Core) (Exitus - Drifting II) (7:37) Hey, is this a good song? It starts promising enough, but it never chnages from the original riffs really, besides the "Help me, I'm starting to fade" section. It's better than the earlier stuff besides tracks 3 and 5 though.

Nihil Morari (Homines Fabula Finis) (6:22) Pretty good song, I like this one too. It starts with a good bass or whatever that is, I don't know my string instruments. The vocals here are EXCELLENT, and for awhile it's pretty good, but then it goes into the Deus Nova theme with narration and some singing too. It's layered very well and for once the concept doesn't limit things, and the music and concept intertwine seamlessly. Good job, PoS! It ends in a very powerful way, with the orchestra doing a great job. Bravo!

Latericius Valete (2:28)

I liike this song only because it builds so well to the "2060 AD..." part, and it actually does kinda take your breath away, which is why this album is best listened to all at the same time right in a row.

Omni (Permanere?) (2:37)

One word: useless plot filler. "We need you Nauticus!". Ok, where's the music! So far, I've heard way more plot concept stuff than good music!

Iter Impius (Martigena, Son of Mars) (Obitus Diutinus) (6:21)

Ahh...good song. It starts just good at best, but the chorus is excellent and very powerful, and the section at 4:05 is just breathtaking. Good ending again, and very powerful story about Mr. Money. Not much else to say, this is good like track 5 is good.

Martius/Nauticus II (6:41)

This begans with a weird twanging acoustic guitar speeding up with power riffs coming in, then the wole band busts out into the dramatic sorta march-tempo music. It's pretty good, but not amazing. It then goes into the Imago theme, which is always good, with mixed up lyrics. I like it, it's a good song, but it doesn't give us that much new material.

Animae Partus II (4:09)

Just like track 1. 1 minute of somewhat scary and jumpy noises and three noises of silence followed by a really creepy noise and a stupid child's narrative.

Blah. I wanted to like this album, I did, but to be honest, there's just not enough good music to like it.

Soft sections: 5/10 Heavy sections: 9/10 Lasting Appeal: 6/10 Musicianship: 9/10 Creativity/Originality: 10/10 (no question here) Animae Partus: 6/10 (because it's an introduction) Deus Nova: 6/10 Imago: 10/10 Pluvious Aestivus: 5/10 (it's pretty and nice once.) Lilium Cruentus: 10/10 Nauticus: 3/10 Dea Pecuniae: 5/10 (Why did the longest song have to be so drawn out and boring?) Vocari Dei: 5/10 Diffidentia: 7/10 Nihil Morari: 9/10 Latericius Valete: 8/10 Omni: 2/10 (There's no music here. Filler. I don't care if it has to do with the story) Iter Impius: 9/10 Martius/Nauticus II: 8/10 Animae Partus II: 6/10 (same as track 1)

5 + 9 + 6 + 9 + 10 + 6 + 6 + 10 + 5 + 10 + 3 + 5 + 5 + 7 + 9 + 8 + 2 + 9 + 8 + 6 = 138 138/200 = .69 = 69/100 = 34/50 = 3.4/5 Final rating: 3 stars out of 5. Stick to making prog metal, please, PoS.

I'd like to add something. After months and months of listening to this very occassionally, I've decided that this album is a BEAUTIFUL work of art. However, the art has absolutely destroyed the music PoS is so good at making. So, I do not change my rating. As a collection of songs, this album is a 2/5. As an album, it's a 4/5. As a concept, it's a 5/5. As good music it's a 2/5. You want a stirring concept that may cause you to think quite a bit more than usual? Get this. You want amazing music? Don't get this. It's just art, not great music. If that makes any sense.

Review by erik neuteboom
4 stars Believe it or not, today I've listened for the very first time to a CD from Pain Of Salvation! This weekend I got the opportunity to buy many new progrock CD's for very low prices so I decided that it was time to discover this highly acclaimed band on Prog Archives.

My first impression was that they really sound progressive, to me it's an adventurous and often exciting mix of classic, symphonic, metal and folk. The eleven compositions delivering many shifting moods, ranging from mellow with sensitive classical piano or a twanging guitar to folky (with instruments like grandpa's mandola or the djembe) and bombastic progmetal featuring heavy metal riffs, double bass drums, biting electric guitar and orchestral keyboards. Very special are "Vocari dei" with messages from fans on the answering machine and "Omni" with a tv news voice, a sumptuous church organ sound and wailing vocals. I have to admit that Pain Of Salvation is not really my cup of tea but I'm impressed by their genuine progressive approach and great musical talents and compositorial skills.


Review by Zitro
3 stars 3.5 Stars

I have given this album 2 stars in 2006, called it an overblown epic bordering on the ridiculous, almost as a parody on prog. I should have given this album more time. While still pretentious and having some distracting soundclips, It is musically adventurous and interesting, and I should at least admit that the lyrics are philosophical. The band really tried something different than what they were used to doing in the past here.

Sound Clips of a woman and a guy emotionless talking overwhelm the first five minutes of the album, with its only music being a metal tune with someone talking about human population numbers across time. A shame, it was instrumentally interesting. Luckily, "Imago" is the first good song in the album. An unusual blend of folk and world music. Of course, it might sound too serious for its own good, but you can't deny the wonderfully mysterious acoustic opening. You also can't deny the brilliant symphonic piano piece "Plivius" that comes next. Unfortunately, after a decent track, you have a duet of acoustic guitars and deep male chanting that is not too exciting and unfortunately is followed by some cheesy dialogue with terrible voice acting about a guy who wants to get his girl (or prostitute) to 'pleasure' him while driving. This is followed by a long bluesy/broadway-ish and repetitive track that is awfully out of place. This might sound like it would be a track I would love to skip, but it is actually a highlight of the album. The vocal performance is very good, the bass is groovy, the guitar performance is notable, the light orchestra and harmony vocals are effective, and I love how the track builds up near the end. Cheesy track for sure, which even includes moaning sound clips, but it is just very well arranged.

After this serious change of style in the album, it starts going back into a sound that fits the concept better with Vocari Dei , which is the most emotional and best moment in the album, not to mention the only part where the sound clips actually augment the impact of the music rather than become a distraction. Very fragile, layered music while individuals from different parts of the world send various types of messages to God. The instrumentation never fails to move me.

Diffidentia surprises you with a mix of slow-tempo metal, symphonic rock, and some rap. Strange song indeed. Nihiri Morari is a song that takes the music and ideas of the beginning of the album and improves on them. Pretty energetic and enjoyable, despite the somewhat distracting voices. The heaviness continues until "Omni", which is a short mellow tune which utilizes only sound vocals and the church organ as music. After a vocal-oriented song, Marticus/Nauticus starts with vocals and a marching rhythm and is interrupted by a great acoustic guitar showcase which you notice is dirently related to "Imago." The rest of the song is an "Imago" reprise. Its ending with the tribal drumming is enjoyable, but as an ending, it is anti-climatic since the last song is just silence.

I guess give it a chance if you want to hear something new, but this album is pretty flawed in my opinion and takes a while to get used to.

Highlights: Imago, Dea Pecuniae, Vocarei Dei, Omni, Iter Impius, Martius/Nauticus II

Let Downs: Anemae Partus I/II, Deus Nova, Nauticus,

Review by AtLossForWords
5 stars Very few bands have the ability to record an album that is philosophical and intimate, especially one like this. Pain of Salvation's fifth studio release Be is just that. Be isn't just music, it's a philosophical and espistomological experience. Be attempts to surround the concept who we are, what we are about, and what we will become with music. That being said the music supports the concept. This album isn't about the music, it's about supporting a concept, which for some may be somewhat difficult to grasp.

Be has a small cast of characters, Imago and Mr. Money are the two most prominent. Ms. Mediocrity makes a cameo along with a character who is somewhat unknown who grieves his loss, and god. Imago represents the altruistic spirit of man, or maybe man at the beginning. Imago is on a quest for knowledge and exploration, Imago wants to know more about himself. Mr. Money is as the name suggest all about the money. He steps on anyone and anything to get to the top. Mr. Money is representative of humanity's greed and lack of consideration for the consequences. Mr. Money has an initmate performance in "Iter Impius" is his expression of the consequences for his own actions. His greed and lack of concern cause an enviromental disaster leaving him nothing but the rocks and dust to rule. Mr. Money has it all, but at the end of the album, that isn't much.

Not only is the concept of this album wonderful, but the supporting music is as well. This is not simply a metal album, but a variant musical experience supported by the properly dubbed Orchestra of Eternity who add an essential orchestral element for this album vital to it's success. The Orchestra of Eternity is actually more important to the musical success of this album than the lead band Pain of Salvation. Along with great orchestration Be offers bluesy, metal, and even jazzy elements to this album.

There are some moments where listeners may feel lost in the concept with songs like "Vocari Dei", "Imago", and "Omni". Others may find these musically exceptional and creative. What's most important is their support nd expression of the concept that this album is built on. There is no filler here, it's an imtimate musical experience that is meant to bring the listener consistently closer to the concept of existence and knowledge. Every song has a meaning, and every meaning is subjective.

I've already spoken of how important the Orchestra of Eternity is to this album, so now I will speak of the albums composer and author Daniel Gildenlow. Gildenlow's lyrics and concept for this album are genius. It would have been impossible for him to create a more philosophical and intimate concept. Gildenlow's vocal performance is his best to date. His performance on "Omni" is dramatic and operatic, and his performance on "Iter Impius" is the perfect expression of agony and greed. Gildenlow has an amazing ability to become the characters he performs. Gildenlow doens't do as much guitar playing on this album, but his solo in "Dea Pecuniae" is an excellent bluesy guitar lead as one of the prominent guitar leads on the album.

Fredrick Hermannson ditches his usual rack of keyboards for a piano (including an organ on "Omni" and a harpischord on "Martius"). Hermannson's piano concerto like piece "Pluvius Aestivus" is among one of the best composed original classical pieces in the progressive genre, and features no lead band influence. It's purely orchestral with Hermannson as the lead pianist.

Kristoffer Gildenlow lays down some great rythymnic bass lines. The man has a variety of skills playing finger, pick, slap, and tapping styles. He also uses a variety of basses with six string freted and fretless along with a four string upright bass. Gildenlow's tapping interlude on "Nihil Morari" is an excellent example of the lead skills he rarely uses in Pain of Salvation, Gildenlow is a monster player in a controlled sense.

Johan Hallgren is the primary lead guitarist. He uses both acoustic and electric guitars throughout the album. His solos are quite improvised with the most touching performance on "Iter Impius". he also shows off adept technical skill in "Nihil Morari".

Johan Langell is on drums as usual. His performance would actually be better called that of a percussionist. Langell doesn't simply drum, but uses his entire set to use drums and cymbals the way that an orchestral percussionist would, which obviously fits the focus of this album. Langell's cymbal use is one of the most unique and creative in the genre. His playing isn't potent, but it perfectly supports the songs.

This album is all a listener could ask for. It's intellectually stimulating with a variety of musical styles that ends with an epic finish. This isn't just an album, it's an emotional experience.

Review by OpethGuitarist
4 stars If you are looking for an album that asks for all of your attention, then look no further than BE. Possibly one of the most ambitious and demanding albums you will have in your catalogue. BE is a in depth look into religion and the human nature. Very precocious, very mind expanding, and a very serious album. This album is about its message before its music. Unlike most albums discussing religion, which focus on the music before the message, here you will find that the message and the journey is put before the actual music.

BE is quite the musical journey, one that unfairly is put in the "metal" category. There is very little metal here. One part reminds you of a Broadway musical, yes, the sounds are that varied. As ambitious as this project is, I've never been completely captivated with it. Is the scope of it remarkable? Yes. Maybe with time and more listens, the album will click with me more, but while I do appreciate the art here, I'm not amazed by it. Thus, my 4-star rating to an otherwise very essential and interesting piece of work.

Review by Cygnus X-2
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Of all the conceptual pieces I've heard, I do believe that Be is the most contrived, silly, and most cryptic album I've ever heard conceptually. Pain of Salvation, led by the notorious Daniel Gildenlow, strides more firmly into symphonic territory with this album, as there are little to no metal parts (save for a few moments and pieces) and most of it is dominated by acoustic pieces with the vocals being the most prominent part. Now if you can get past the concept of the piece you'll probably find a lot to like (a lot more than me). I will say, though, that the pieces here are a run of the mill of emotions and different feelings all together, from dramatic piano solos to celtic inspired rhythms it is all here. Now, I'm going to get the overall concept of this piece out of the way so you can judge it from the first paragraph.Essentially, Gildenlow was thinking one day about what if God was just as confused and unsure of his/herself as any human being? So God decided to create man in his/her image in hopes that it would help find out what he/she is meant to be. That's to put it shortly, though.Throughout the album you'll hear essentially be given a brief history of the world and of spirituality.

Alright, time to discuss select pieces and some overall feelings I get from listening to this album. Beginning with the dialogue of Animae Partus and the repetition of the words I Am and essentially a backdrop to the entire foundation to the story as well. From the get go you can feel a different Pain of Salvation at work. Coupled with Deus Nova is begins the long journey that is this album. And although Deus Nova (Fabricatio) brings in a metal theme to the album, it doesn't really last long and the riff (although pretty nice) is pretty repetetive at the same time. In the background the vocals discuss the progression in population of human beings as time continues forward. The next piece, Pulvius Aestivus, also brings in a celtic influence to the piece, but the main problem I have with it is the preposterous lyrics, "take me to the breathe and be"... eh? Then comes in the next piece, Pluvius Aestivus, which is essentially an overly long classically tinged piano piece (all it is is piano and the backing Orchestra of Eternity) that seems more familiar to the them of The X-Files than anything else.

Following those pieces run a gauntlet of various themed songs that help further the ridiculous concept (at least the music is of a vastly higher quality). I like the guitar work in Lilium Cruentus (Deus Nova), which has a nice modulated feel to it and is rather heavy despite having a sharp and clean sound as well as a pretty dynamic bass line from Kristoffer Gildenlow. Nauticus (Drifting) has an interesting acoustic motif and some hymnal chants from Gildenlow, who gives a great vocal performance here (probably my favorite on the album). Dea Pecuniae is the longest piece of the album, clocking in at a bit over 10 minutes. I'm quite fond of the ending section I Raise My Glass because of it's catchy nature and the well performed background music, but the parts leading up to it are very good as well, with fantastic bass work and lead guitar. Vocari Dei is essentially phone messages to God (with an eclectic bunch of people phoning in their questions, prayers, and thoughts), the music in the background is quite stunning as well. Diffidentia (Breaching the Core) begins with a crushing metal riff with a droning piano motif that ranges between about two or three different chords and some questioning vocals from Gildenlow (who begins at this point of the album to really come out of the conceptual shell and reach out to the listener). Probably my favorite piece on the album along with Dea Pecuniae.

Nihil Morari is essentially a slight reprisal of the Lilium Cruentus (although a bit different it has the same mood and sounds very similar) in my opinion. It really seems that the metal that Pain of Salvation play comes in towards the end of the album, and the metal sections are certainly the best of the album. A reprisal of the theme from Deus Nova. Latericius Valete and Omni are two shorter pieces, and mainly act as filler (or interlude pieces, however you look at it) as far as I'm concerned. They aren't really that bad, but they just don't really sit well with me for some reason. Iter Impius has one of Gildenlow's most emotional vocal performances, and the accompanying piano is also quite pretty, playing a nice arpeggio based motif. Martius/Nauticus II follows, but the album isn't done yet. It's a bit of a piece that is all over the place musically, bringing up references to past songs as well as standing as a piece that has an original edge to it. It doesn't really do anything for me at the end of the day. The album ends with Animae Partus II, a reprisal of the first part of the album with the repeating "I Am" lines, it gives the album a continous feel as well as a circular feel as a closer.

In the end, it all comes down to if you can stand bizarre concepts with BE. Although musically it contains many brilliant moments, lyrically this album falls apart quickly (this is simply opinion, though, as I know how much work Gildenlow put into this album). For me, I liked this album, but there were a few definite flaws that keep me from giving this album full marks. Recommended, but with a bit of a warning in the obtuse concept. And if you're looking for metal on this album, you'll find that not a lot of this album is metal at all. 3.5/5.

Review by sleeper
4 stars Be is quite simply one of the most adventures albums ever attempted, trying to fuse Pain of Salvation's own brand of Progressive Metal with classical, jazz and folk by effectively adding a nine piece orchestra to the line-up. On top of that, Daniel Gildenlow created a concept to encompass the creation of the world and its people, and to explore the possibility that God could be just as insecure as any person. As you can imagine, this was always going to be a tall order just to get the separate parts to work together here, and to a large extent, they pulled it off very well.

The first thing that you think of when you here that a metal band have added an orchestra is "oh no, their doing a Metalica" i.e. this is going to sound like a heavy metal band playing with an orchestra supporting, with no real mix between the two entities. This is most definitely not the case here, Pain of Salvation have successfully integrated themselves into the "Orchestra of Eternity" with the result being the feeling that you are listening to a large, fourteen piece, band. This is the most impressive aspect of the album, that each instrument interacts to create a whole that is as cohesive as any of the previous four albums, perhaps even more so than Entropia. Though the fusion of all fourteen musicians is probably the most impressive aspect of this album, it is not the most immediate one, that goes to the diverse range of styles that are played to perfection here. The first real song of the album is a metal track in the standard sound of Pain Of Salvation (if there's such a thing) with the orchestra being barley noticeable, but this quickly moves into a song that can only be described as folk. From here on out, folk, metal, jazz and classical based songs, and others that are a blend of two or more of these styles, jump out at you to show you how diverse this album is. In-fact this works so well to the effect that it isn't really a metal album at all anymore, though to those that feel they must pin down a genre to it, all I can say is good luck, because I cant.

The musicianship of Pain of Salvation has now been at the highest level, and used brilliantly, for the past three albums without a single dip. They hold true to that maintaining such a high standard almost effortlessly, though this time its stretched encompassing multiple styles. A big difference here to the previous albums is that the concept is more transparent than in previous works, it wouldn't take much use of the grey matter of any listener to gain an understanding of what the concept is and where its going, something that is very different from Gildenlow's previous style of having elaborate and cryptic concepts that required a fair bit of study and thought to understand fully. What hasn't changed is the well thought out, and above all performed, lyrics that still convey their meaning with plenty of imagery, charisma and finesse.

Now that I've stopped gushing about how good this album is, I'll explain why it isn't a masterpiece, despite the fact that it really should have been with only a few changes. The main problem is that the concept gets in the way of the damned impressive music all too often. The album opens with a two minute spoken word piece with only the sound of a heart beat to add, and such spoken sections happen frequently, especially in the second half of the album. To put it simply, they're very annoying after a couple of listens and become very much surplus to requirement, some being very much unnecessary, even to the concept. The one song that really gets on my nerves, though, is Vocari Dei. This song is a beautiful piece of music ruined with a horde of "messages to God" from fans from all over the world (ones even in Japanese). Now I wouldn't be to aggrieved with a few messages considering that God is a key part of the concept, but it just gets all a bit too much for me, someone that tries to avoid any theological position. I also have great distaste for the practice of having a song with large sections of silence, sections that last for a minute or more. Unfortunately this is how the album ends, a spoken word piece that has large gaps of silence between two pieces, a disappointing end to say the least.

This is a great album with some of the most impressively conceived and executed musical ideas that I have come across, but it's a flawed piece of genius where the concept gets in the way far too much and can even put some people off. A great album that I will always hold in esteem and fully deserving of its four stars, but could have been so much more with a little extra care. Not for the musically unadventurous or those that are trying to get into Pain of Salvation, but a must have for everyone else. Now, who said pretentious..

Review by Prog Leviathan
4 stars I cannot imagine a more ambitious modern concept album than this existential labyrinth of music from PoS. For starters, it is a big departure from the band's more conventional metal as heard in their previous albums. "BE" is true prog-metal symphony, incorporating orchestral instrumentation and utilizing them smartly to achieve the grand, epic scope of the album's subject matter. Fans will likely be shocked, but I think "Be" will attract more than it will repel, and should be investigated by fans who don't normally listen to "metal". The band has crafted a precise piece of art here.

The lyrical content is straddles a fine line between the uplifting, abstract (such as dancing melodies of "Imago") and some VERY sociological statements about modern living. Daniel has a clear agenda, and it is not disguised in these lyrics. Although his deliveries are of the highest caliber, he comes off as sounding very pretentious (Latin song titles anyone?) and preachy as well.

That being said, the songwriting is of a very different tone and style than before, featuring few (but excellent) hard passages in favor of the textural and atmospheric-- melodies becoming hard to latch on to. There are vast tracts of "empty" space throughout, which feature delicate playing and uncharacteristic singing from the band-- lots of style changes. Regrettably, a heavy amount of voice-overs often spoil the effect of the music, and I regularly skip them to get to the good stuff. The finale of the album, starting with the intensely depressing combo of "Nihil Morari" and "Iter Impius" and ending with the uplifting "Martius/Nautics II".

So, while after many listens I have to say that "Be" is a mixed bag, but the good outweighs the bad, and is creative, emotive, and enjoyable enough for me to recommend this one to those open-minded enough to take on the challenge of its concept.

Songwriting: 4 Instrumental Performances: 3 Lyrics/Vocals: 3 Style/Emotion/Replay: 4

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars This truly is a marvelous, ambitious work that may be unprecidented, and it's about as progressive as you can get. Yet I don't really like it. I can admire it, I just don't enjoy it. If you add up the words in the song titles alone it's over 100 ! Almost 76 minutes of music. Well that's not exactly true because of all the sampling and spoken words that make up a good portion of this record. I just think the music has been compromised big time for the sake of the concept. That has been a complaint of mine in the past, and this is without a doubt the best example i've heard, of the music taking a back seat to the concept. Of course there is some good music here but it pales to the previous 4 studio records they have put out.

"Animae Partus" is really different people offering their opinions on how they came to be. "Deus Nova" features more information that is spoken to us over a fairly heavy soundscape. Piano comes and goes. Take away the speaking and this is great. "Imago" is like a medieval folk song. "Pluvius Aestivus" opens with rain and thunder. It ends the same way. In between we get some beautiful piano melodies, and strings after 2 minutes. "Lilium Cruentus" has some nice pastoral passages with heavy sections that come and go. Great track. "Nauticus" features deep vocals and acoustic guitar. Pretty much a gospel song of repentance. "Dea Pecuniae" opens with a non-funny skit. The music to follow is very average. "Vocari Dei" features more spoken words that are directed to God and about God with light music in the background. "Diffidentia" has this slow, heavy rhythm, with vocals to match. It changes as spoken words come in(rapping ?). A pastoral passage after 2 minutes,before heaviness returns. Violins and a pastoral section returns to end it.

"Nihil Morari" is dark and restrained,it reminds me a little of FATES WARNING. It picks up the pace a notch. Nice. Unfortunately spoken words arrive. "Latericius Valete" opens with some beautiful sounding acoustic guitar before piano and violin joins in. Some heaviness before 2 minutes. Spoken words come in. Good song. "Omni" features lots of powerful organ runs and spoken words. Vocals a minute in. The wind is blowing as it ends. "Iter Impius" opens with piano. A full sound 2 minutes in. Some aggressive guitar(finally !) after 3 minutes. A nice heavy ending as well. "Martius / Nauticus II" has some marching style drumming with vocals early. A change arrives after 2 minutes as a mid-eastern sound comes in. It's heavier after 5 1/2 minutes, I like the drumming. "Animae Partus II" opens with some strange sounds coming and going before she says I am. There is then about 3 minutes of silence before a monsterous voice, and then a child saying something silly. Annoying.

I really think someone with a lot of time on their hands could really get a lot out of this. This is deep, and it almost needs to be studied. As for putting on some music for my listening pleasure ? This is not something i'm going to reach for.

Review by ProgBagel
4 stars Pain of Salvation - BE 4.9 stars

Honestly, so close to a damn masterpiece, this album contains such a tiny flaw that doesn't make me consider this to be an absolutely essential album.

The lineup on the album is still the same from 'One Hour by the Concrete Lake'. I can't even begin to type the instruments that each individual plays, but I can still refresh everyone on the members. Daniel Gildenlow, Kristoffer Gildenlow, Fredrik Hermansson, Johan Hallgren and Johan Langell. The album also features the 'Orchestra of Eternity' that features 2 violins, a viola, cello, flute, oboe, clarinet, bass clarinet and tuba. Daniel was in near complete control of this album as far as orchestral arrangements, music and lyrics, with the exception of the music and orchestral arrangements in 'Iter Impius' by Fredrik Hermansson and orchestral arrangements in 'Imago', partial credit to Jan Levander.

This is about as great as a concept can get lyrically wise. They play such an important role that they pretty much drive the music in this album. Daniel states on the DVD for this album that he didn't want the orchestra to be thrown in the background, specifically, on some of Metallica's work. The orchestra is to be taken just as serious as a role in the album as any of the official band members themselves. The music in the album is extremely hard to describe that an attempt to do such might even make the reader more confused. It's the least heavy of the PoS albums and the instruments are extremely laid back, however, the vocals play a huge role in this album because Daniel singing represents several different characters. My only problem is that the album got a little boring in a very scarce few places. The chant in 'Lilium Cruentus' and the two tracks before the infamous 'Iter Impius'. Although everything in this album was put in for a reason, I am judging this on a listening experience, which these few things fail to deliver on. Other then that, this album is damn perfect.

I would highly recommend this so someone that appreciates effort and thoughtful concept. I myself like music with strings thrown in. This album has more then enough of that as well. The only thing that confused me was, why is pretentious a bad thing?

This is probably the most pretentious album in music since 'Tales from Topographic Oceans'. Very nice.

Review by LiquidEternity
5 stars This is, if you've read the other reviews I've put up here, the third in a threesome of perfect albums from Pain of Salvation. And it, in my mind, completely blows the first two out of the water. This is, without a doubt, my favorite album out of all that I own or have listened to. There is just some almost intangible feel permeating the CD, a feel of desolation and destruction and birth and God and man and just everything. And that's exactly what the album is aiming for.

Spoken passages accentuate the concept (which, being about God and man and everything in between, happens to be the only concept that I feel boosts the quality of the music more than detracts from it), and musical interludes tie each song together in ways I could never have imagined. The actual songs themselves range from folk tunes to slave songs to Broadway performances to technical metal ditties to orchestral pieces. But all that just simply describes it, and the true power of this album sits beyond my power of actual description.

Special mention must be made of Vocari Dei, a track where fans called into a voice mail account and left messages for God. It gets me every time, pulling me as close to tears as I've been in ten years. Also, Iter Impius is about the catchiest, most appallingly explosive sleeper song, driven by godlike vocals from Daniel Gildenlow. And finally, the album's closing song, Martius / Nauticus II, rehashes some themes from throughout BE and then culminates in a thundering drumming outro that ends it better than about anything else ever could, as far as I can figure.

Yes. This album is amazing. Again, like all proper Pain of Salvation, completely unique. A bit hard to swallow at first, but definitely completely worth it. Maybe start with Remedy Lane, but this is what prog music should be. Just stunning.

Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars WHAT IS THIS ???

Usually, concept albums start with a short intro which is not always representative of the work and most of the time it is not great track. Don't worry: "Animae Partus" is such a track.

I do share more Zitro's feeling about this "work" than the majority of my fellow reviewers. But when I listen to "Deus Nova", the word that best describes my view is: crap. Some spoken words on a noisy background. That's basically it.

It takes an awful lot for this album to (moderately) start. One has to endure a heavy-tribal-folk tune ("Imago"), an atmospheric instrumental ("Pluvius"). At this time, you have to get up and look if this is really a POS album. Yes, it is! But it sounds as a "Gandalf" track. Spoken words are again available ("Lilium Cruentus"). This time, the music is almost getting to prog metal for a while. POS reverts to some Indian chant with "Nauticus". When this track is over, some twenty-six minutes have already passed since this pain started.

As far as I am concerned, this album startS with the long "Dea Pecuniae". It starts on a bluesy mood with strange vocals (with some Bowie accent at times). Orchestrations are a bit too much in here and the female vocal is somewhat gospel-oriented. It is just an average track. But bearing in mind what I had to suffer so far, I welcome it.

Spoken words again to start "Vocari Dei". This time out of telephone set. What a fantastic idea! Press next (it is the first time I recommend this, but there were already lots of opportunities to do it before).

The first good piece of music is IMHHO the metal "Diffidentia". There is finally a POS-related song. It is just a pity that the same spoken sickness stroke again. Fortunately there will be a fine and melodic vocal part as well; just to remind us that Daniel is a very good vocalist. The same is valid for "Iter Impus" later on. I consider it as the best song from "Be". One can listen to one of the very few great guitar break (maybe the only one).

It is also a great idea to get titles in Latin. Next time, they can ask "Deus Ex-Machina" to write the lyrics as well. It could be a nice come-back for this Italian band.

When "Nihil Morari" starts, I thought it was a joke: "See Me, Hear Me, Need Me".."Touch Me Heal Me". Sounds familiar right? Maybe a tribute to one of the greatest concept album in the rock history. POS should have learned better in this case.

If you doubt that POS could once play some church organ song, I can only confirm that this is possible: "Omni" is such a track. Some might call this genius. I don't.

The closing number is brilliant: noises for about forty seconds and a long silence break for 3'20". What a great creativity!

Almost the whole of this album is boring (and it last for over seventy-five minutes): it sounds like sub- sub par "Ayreon". This might well be the progiest of their efforts but I don't like it at all. This is pure mental masturbation. Like Zitro, I wonder why I go as high as two stars with my rating. I must be in a good mood this evening.

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars "Be" is a very special album in the recent history of art-rock, and definitely, a particular milestone in the career of pain of Salvation. This concept-album shows a band that had been on top of their game since their "Concrete lake" days headlong for a new stance, a stance that even defies the defining elements that had been essential to the style and sound developed in earlier efforts. "Be" is a non-prog- metal album by a prog-metal band. The main concept revolves around the relationship between God and man, laterally leading with issues such as the origins of human conscience, the meaning of earthly life, the essence of evil, the dialectics of destiny and freedom, etc. 'Animae Partus' and 'Deus Nova' set the mood of industrial-friendly environments, metallic riffs and ceremonious orchestrations, augmented by assorted assertions and recitations. 'Imago' provides the first passage of Renaissance, featuring strong percussive cadences and lute, together with the chamber instruments that fill the atmosphere. 'Pluvius Estivus' has to be one of the finest moments in the album: a lovely piano piece nurtured by dreamy string and woodwind orchestrations. 'Lilium Cruentus' is an unusual exercise on a mixture of jazz-rock and folk-prog, with traces of menacing metal rock erupting in the choruses and ultimately taking over. 'Nauticus' is Pain of salvation's tribute to Gospel, effectively evoking images of corn fields, Southern river streams, clouds passing by and people gathered around bonfires. 'Dea Pecuniae' remains in North American fields, only this time focusing on the utilization of blues with an extra touch of soul and an additional ounce of Gospel. The energetic climax is well delivered, with the band and orchestra carrying each other as the singing stays enthusiastic and passionate. 'Vocari Dei' is a pastoral instrumental that includes voices of people stating existentialist complaints of discomfort and confusion toward God: I interpret the contrast between the music's softness and the voices' angry disappointment as an opportunity for good things to flourish among bad things. 'Diffidentia' starts as a slow rocker with lots of Metallica-oriented overtones, bearing a menacing feel that stands somewhere between constrained neurosis and desolation. The second half shifts to a chamber waltz, displaying a controlled colorfulness. 'Nihil Morari' kicks off from the ceremonious introspectiveness with which the preceding track had ended, but it soon builds up to a rockier development, first mid-tempo, then reprising the main body of 'Deus Nova': the track's climax comprises a cleverly complex set of counterpoints, something that the band had employed in earlier albums. 'Latericius Valete' is a pastoral piece that might as well have come out of an Anthony Phillips album (no kidding!), occasionally ornamented with elegantly controlled metal bursts. 'Omni' sounds like a religious hymn, almost Gothic but not really creepy. It melancholy is patent, and so is the delicious despair reflected in 'Iter Impius', arguably the best ballad ever written by Pain of Salvation (at least, so far). Gildenl÷w's singing is emotional beyond words; the piano phrases exemplify refined precision; the guitar solo takes hints at the heritage of the best Gilmour; the orchestration works beautifully, well, everything works beautifully in this song all the way toward its magnificent climax. After this song's end, a harpsichord gets in to introduce the sonic framework of 'Martius / Nauticus II', which starts very symphonic and ends heavily antique, a Renaissance thing with strong Arabic undertones: actually, this is a reprise of 'Imago', but only this time the sung parts are based on the instrumental harmonies and the latter are converted all the way around. The final sung lines and the following percussive climax are outstanding, plethoric and celebratory after the preceding drama. The real last track, 'Animae Partus II', is an ambient-filled enunciation of 'I am'. While not being typical of the usual Pain of Salvation musical trend, Be stands out as a true masterpiece in their career. Two final words of caution to true lovers of good prog rock and good prog metal: get this CD. and get the DVD as well!
Review by Conor Fynes
5 stars 'Be' - Pain of Salvation (10/10)

This is quite simply one of the best albums ever made. Daniel Gildenlow has once again transcended the boundaries of his musical parameter and tackled a project which is nothing short of massive. Pain of Salvation has composed an album that is close to being perfect, and might as well be considered as such. 'Be' has a little bit of everything. There are folk-influenced pieces, a minimalistic (and very beautiful) classically styled piece, songs reminiscent of their 'Remedy Lane' effort, and even a song that wouldn't sound out of place on Broadway! The culmination of all of these magical elements is rendered even more splendid with the addition of a 9 piece Orchestra (The Orchestra of Eternity.) While other bands have used orchestras before (Metallica's 'S&M', Dream Theater's 'Score'), never before has there been such a perfect mixture between the rock based and symphonic based instruments. The orchestra is at the forefront of the action throughout the work, and compliments the music greatly.

I've always wondered what genre to truly consider this album. It's certainly not metal, despite the fact that many consider Pain of Salvation to be a progressive metal band. In fact, metal is the least represented genre on this album! That's not to say that there's less progression on this album however. Many have said that this record takes a long time to appreciate. While I can see where they're coming from (it's incredibly musically dense and unique) I personally fell in love with the music from first spin on. However, I would give a warning to those who aren't used to such avant-garde leanings.

If the music itself wasn't enough to sell 'Be' off as a masterpiece, the concept of the album fortifies the album a hundredfold. This is one of the most epic, ambitious concept albums ever produced. 'Be' tries to answer the questions that mankind has posed ever since it's inauguration. Who is god, and does he exist? What does he want? This divine element is contrasted by a human plot, of the future 'richest man in the world' (named in the script as Mr. Money) attempting to seek immortality through cryogenics. When waking up, he finds himself in a world of desolation and emptiness (apparently after some sort of apocalypse) and realizes that his all of his money was, in the end totally meaningless. Summarizing this shouldn't spoil any of the enjoyment, as it is the way it is told that is worth so much praise.

Daniel Gildenlow is a musical genius, and if ever there was a perfect representation of the man's brilliance, this is it. 'Be' is not only one of the best progressive albums of all time, but one of the greatest pieces of music ever to be composed. A masterpiece, and possibly my favourite album ever.

Review by Negoba
2 stars A Big Swing and a Miss for the Talented Swede

In a genre with its share of ambitious, pretentious, self-absorbed musical forays that go too far, this one runs headlong right off the cliff without even looking back. Pain of Salvation's bandleader / singer / multi-instrumentalist Daniel Gildenlow's creative talent is enmeshed in pushing the envelope further and further, and he's effectively ridden the edge to great effect many times. I would argue the "pushing too hard" begins as far back as Remedy Lane, and most agree that Scarsick is way past the line. In my opinion, this is the first album in the PoS discography where I felt like I wasted my money.

Be contains LONG spoken word sections throughout the album on subjects dealing with existence, religion, love, and the nature of being. And not allegorically, head on, attempting to juggle multiple immense subjects at once - it was doomed to fail. At times these musings run over ambient key pads, occasionally over prog-metal, and sometimes some simple guitar noodling. Even more occasionally, we get an entire SONG with actual lyrics and melody that relates to the instrumental music. To a greater degree than even the previous PoS concept albums, this is a rock opera, a soundtrack to what sounds like it was meant to be a stage production (Existence and Everything in It - the Musical). Several songs sound like big stage numbers, and the genre hopping here sounds more like Broadway than prog.

Some of the composed music on this album is really good, and in fact the album opens and ends quite well. The completely realized songs (Imago, Pluvius Aestivus, and Martius / Nauticus II) and many of the instrumental interludes are up there with the best of Pain of Salvation, and makes a fan like me wonder what could have been. Gildenlow has added a folky flavor in spots with acoustic instrumentation and melodic sense that really gives the album a freshness and contrast to previous work.

But after weathering several spoken word passages among some truly compelling music, we are given the very questionable Nauticus. Starting with a similated slave work song (White northern European not only trying to sound Black but writing a slave song??? That takes some stones) the piece then devolves into a spoken word scene between a narcissist and a woman he's picked up that is just painful on repeated listens. The piece is really an intro to the next track (all about narcissism), and it's all part of the story, I get it. But beginning at this spot and continuing for many subsequent songs, the brushstrokes are so broad, and the points so basic on a philosophical level, that only (young) teenagers are not already going to be past the lyrical content of the album.

There's enough here to earn the album two stars, but it's significantly inferior to Remedy Lane, which I initially (before hearing this album) gave the same mark for some faults in common and some of its own. Where I think most PoS fans should get Remedy Lane and render their own opinion, I feel like no one should buy this disc unless they've sampled it in its entirety first. Sadly, it could have been a masterpiece. But when you swing for the bleachers, you're going to have your share of strikeouts. Gildenlow swung for outer space on this one. The result is not surprising.

Review by J-Man
5 stars Pain of Salvation's Third Consecutive Masterpiece!

Every now and again, an album comes around that is so different from anything previously released. An album that pushes the boundaries of a genre, doing something so ambitious that it will get criticized from people not willing to hear a band take a new direction.

BE is Pain of Salvation's attempt to make the most unique progressive metal album I have ever heard. And they most certainly do not fail. The unique blend of Pain of Salvation's already original prog metal formula, folk music, classical, and orchestrations work perfectly on this ambitious concept piece. If you're just looking for the average prog metal album, this is not it. You must go into BE with an open mind and you won't be disappointed.

Another thing that make BE so excellent in my opinion is that this is a very concept-driven piece. Every other Pain of Salvation album is also a concept album, but this focuses much more on lyrics than any of their previous efforts. Any one song on this album isn't a masterpiece on its own, but in the concept of the album, everything flows together perfectly. If you're looking for a really accessible album, you might not want to turn to BE either, simply because in its conceptual nature you won't "get it" at first listen.


"Animae Partus (I Am)"- This incredible journey of an album opens up with a dark spoken word passage. It contains some excellent lines that accurately set the dark mood of the album.

"Deus Nova"- The second song opens with a very dark piano, low string, and woodwind melody. It contains some nice harmonies, and it actually sounds a little avant. Soon an odd rhythm enters with spoken word stating the world population at different times. In the background is one of the main musical themes to the album. This is followed by the same speakers in the previous track.

"Imago (Homines Partus)"- An Arabic sounding acoustic guitar and flute riff opens up the third track, and the first real song on the album. The riff is very dark and moody. Pain of Salvation proves that they don't need metal to create powerful music. The chorus is absolutely beautiful, and is later reprised in the album. The instrumentation here is absolutely perfect.

"Pluvius Aestivus"- This is a very classical inspired piano piece. It has other orchestral instruments. It is a truly beautiful instrumental, and it builds wonderfully without you even realizing it. Every time I try to focus when listening to this song I soon get lost and my mind drifts in all of its beauty. Words obviously fail, but this is one of the best instrumentals of its type I've ever heard.

"Lilium Cruentus (Deus Nova)"- A light guitar melody serves as a short opener, but soon an excellent woodwind melody serves excellent contrast with the guitar riff. A syncopated riff soon enters and sets a darker tone. Both of these themes are used later in the song. This is a very powerful song, and I absolutely love the woodwinds here. I just can't get enough of the melody! Another great song.

"Nauticus (Drifting)"- This song is very bluesy. It contains an acoustic guitar and baritone vocals. It has some nice harmonies in parts, and the main section is very good. This isn't a song you won't to focus too hard on. Just let it's repetitiveness slowly pull you away. Near the end there is a humor-tinged spoken word section between a man and a woman.

"Dae Pecuniae"- This song continues where the previous left off. It has a very funky main riff, with a nice electric piano melody. It is very catchy and has a light and moody feeling throughout the song. It has some nice progressions from section to section. It actually reminds me a little bit of Paul McCartney at times.

"Vocari Dei"- This song mostly builds off of the same melodies and riffs and spoken word. This is very classically influenced, and again I love the oboe. I think the woodwinds are a good amount of why I think so highly of this album.

"Diffidentia (Breaching The Core)"- This opens up with repeated piano chords, and this contains some of the most metal on this entire album. A heavy riff contrasts the piano chords. This sounds like a pretty standard Pain of Salvation song off of previous albums. A light emotional piano and guitar melody soon enters, and Daniel Gildenlow has an excellent vocal melody. It goes back to the previous section, but near the end it goes back to that lovely piano melody. The rest of the song builds off of that perfectly.

"Nihil Morari"- An ominous low guitar and string melody starts the tenth song off. This has some excellent metal sections with beautiful orchestral melodies. This also has a reprise of the second song on the album near the end. The ending is absolutely perfect.

"Latericius Valete"- This song is entirely instrumental, and it never once tires. The main instruments are acoustic guitars and piano, but near the end there is an oboe and strings. When the song is at it's climax drums are present, and it gives the song a very powerful feeling.

"Omni"- This song starts with a relatively dark organ melody, but it turns very emotional when Daniel's vocals enter. The entire song is just his vocals and the church organ,yet somehow it's one of the most powerful and emotional songs on the album. This really shows what an excellent vocalist Daniel Gildenlow is.

"Iter Impius"- An ominous piano melody opens up this song. This is another excellent vocal performance from Daniel Gildenlow. The song builds mostly off of the same chord progression, and this is a beautiful song, and is a perfect way to prelude the perfect closing song that soon follows.

"Martius/Nauticus II"- A march like drum beat follows the complex harpsichord melody. A beautiful vocal, string, and woodwind melody naturally contrasts the drum and harpsichord beat. Soon, a tribal guitar and flute melody enters that is the same as in the third track. Another tribal riff with a great drum beat enters until we have a lighthearted (what sounds like) a banjo melody. This is the same beautiful chorus used earlier in the third song. This is the perfect way to end such an epic album, and it just builds beautifully. It creates an indescribable feeling, and that feeling is what makes a great concept album. A heavy percussion section ends the song.

"Animae Partus"- This isn't really a "song", but more so of a way to sum up the concept. After you hear one of the speakers say "I AM", it is followed by silence. At the very end there is a short dialogue, and then this epic album is over.


This album is as close to perfect as you can get. I still think The Perfect Element, Pt. 1 may be my favorite Pain of Salvation album, but this album is still one of the greatest I've heard, and in my top 10 albums ever released easily. This is a great way to begin listening to Pain of Salvation, and it is worth hearing for any fan. If you're looking for metal, you're not going to find too much of that here. If you're looking for one of the greatest concept albums ever released- you're going to find that here.

5 stars.

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars After being slightly disappointed by the material that I heard on Remedy Lane I was afraid that the band have gone entirely into the metal territory and left the magic of The Perfect Element Part 1 behind them. This was of course not so and Be was there to prove it!

It took me a lot more time to get into this album than any of their previous releases but that had, for most part, to do with the rather complicated subject matter that the album's concept deals with. Originally there were quite a few professional critics that bashed Be for being over the top in everything it dealt with. Be it the instrumental arrangements or its story. Well let's get this critique out of the way once and for all, shall we?

It's vital to remember that this record is first and foremost a concept album and everyone who doesn't understand its somewhat sophisticated subject matter is bound to dislike the overall experience. I know that I had the exact same issue when I heard The Perfect Element Part 1 but that album's material works well on the track-by-track basis while Be fits in an entirely different bracket.

This is one of those albums where the individual tracks might not be all that spectacular but once it's all combined and put in the right order the fluent story magic will take over and lift the material to new heights. I'm talking about albums like The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway and God In Three Persons, which are by the way two of my favorite concept albums by far. Guess what, Be fits into this very exclusive club of the greatest concept albums ever recorded!

I really like this album's introduction, it's actually an ingenious way to start a concept album when you think about it. Let me explain: The two minute long Animae Partus ("I Am") consists of voices talking about themselves while we hear different parts of the album played underneath all the narration. Remember that this first track is here for a reason because it's actually a riddle that the listener has to solve before going further into the story. Here are a few clues to get you started:

Who are these voices? What are they talking about? What do the words Traveled | Formed | Transition | Crossing the line | Drifting | Eternity mean in this particular context?

Got it? Good! Deus Nova is the second track and this is where the countdown begins. What you need to do here is to use the knowledge that you acquired in Animae Partus ("I Am") and apply it to the arc that is unfolding here. The last part of the track is another voice-over section where you have to collect additional clues. It all ends on the quote "I think they will teach me something..." and once Imago begins it's all practice from here on!

I agree that the musical arrangements are not on par with what the band has achieved on their previously releases but it's weighed up by the amazing concept. The whole two-part introduction reminds me of The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway where first we are introduced to the setting through the title track while Fly On A Windshield unfolds the story arc. Then it's action from there on!

Be is a must have album for fans of concept albums but unfortunately the music itself is lacking which will definitely put some listeners off. Still it's among this band's best albums and therefore an excellent addition to any prog rock music collection!

***** star songs: Animae Partus ("I Am") (1:48) Deus Nova (3:18) Imago (Homines Partus) (5:11) Dea Pecuniae (10:10) Omni (2:37)

**** star songs: Pluvius Aestivus (5:00) Lilium Cruentus (Deus Nova) (5:28) Vocari Dei (3:50) Diffidentia (Breaching The Core) (7:37) Nihil Morari (6:22) Latericius Valete (2:28) Iter Impius (6:21) Martius,Nauticus II (6:41)

*** songs: Nauticus (Drifting) (4:58) Animae Partus II (4:09)

Review by Warthur
2 stars I seem to be entirely out of step with most people when it comes to Pain of Salvation - particularly Be, which I find incredibly irritating. Part of it is the daft, nonsensical attempt at metaphysics which the album is based on (apparently the band's conception of God is as someone with so much time on their hands they can't think up anything to do beyond smash themselves into a myriad different souls, torture themselves, kill themselves, and return to the whole... go figure), but most of it is the fact that the album plods along in the same obnoxious all flash and no sincerity vein as most of Pain of Salvation's albums. I don't mind progressive metal - there's a lot of progressive metal albums I love - but I wish people don't feel the need to be so progger than thou about it.
Review by SoundsofSeasons
4 stars There have been just a few key moments that I've come across something beautiful, something important, that i found didn't belong in the medium that it was boxed into. A video game that had a wonderful message, a work of art that should be heard and experienced by more people but is dragged down by the fact that it isn't a movie or a book or a painting but a game and primarily is not meant to be anything but. A movie that gifted ideas so profound, but the subject matter is shallow on the surface and takes away from the experience if for no other reason than 'leave that to the documentaries, this doesn't belong in X Y Z movie'. They become cult classics, or resonate with just a few people, but for the most part they are found to be pretentious, controversial, and are either spat at like they are worse than garbage or hailed and loved deeply those that the message touched.

This is one of those times that i find the medium just doesn't, and can't possibly, do the message justice. Pain Of Salvation, like a missionary on a quest for evangelism in a foreign land, forgo their music entirely for the spoken words. It is bigger than themselves, than their music, and they treat it as such. It isn't an album to be enjoyed as music as much as it is an experience for your life.

Now, i started reviewing on this site in my early teen years, and actually the first progressive rock album i ever listened to beyond the standard RUSH albums i had collected before i knew of prog was Dream Theaters - Scenes From a Memory Metropolis Part II. At the time it completely blew my mind, from instrumental skill of the musicians (Mike Portnoy was one of my biggest influences in learning my own instrument) to the way that the album told a story throughout. But, i was young and impressionable and i did not see the faults at the time. Years later i revised my score of the album and found that i no longer enjoyed listening to it for these reasons: the overlong jamming moments of most songs were drawn out and should have been cut down to just enough time to get the idea across then move on, and the subject matter of the album was just kind of laughable and juvenile, cheesy even. I took a star off for these reasons, and i might even take another one off if "I haven't had one single urge to listen to this album in years, and still don't want to even now" was a reason to diminish an albums' value. But it isn't actually, because these concept albums take quite a toll on the individual and it is an investment. Only the highest quality rock operas can be listened to on a more regular basis, and even those you wouldn't listen to in one sitting you just pick out the songs you like and digest in small portions.

At that time, as a teenager, if i had heard and reviewed this album it would have blown my mind 10 fold of Scenes did. But, since then, I've had many existential all-night conversations about life, and God, and why-are-we-here and all that so this albums' subject matter doesn't shock me or really even get me thinking too much as I've done all that and then some.

BE has the opposite issue that Scenes did for me back then, the lyrical content and overall purpose of the message outweigh the music itself. But that doesn't mean i don't still find the message, and in turn this album, important. It is very important, and i do believe that for someone that has not given serious thought into the metaphysical beyond needs to hear this. I have been a fan of Pain Of Salvation for years, but never attempted to listen to/review this album probably because i was more than satisfied with Remedy Lane and The Perfect Element, so i moved on to other bands before finally coming around full circle back to this album. Those albums are perfection, and essential, and the music meshes perfectly with the message. This one is a gorgeous piece of art, but unfortunately it is confined in the realm of a piece of music, and as such it must be judged by how well it works in that medium. I imagine a live stage play would be wonderful, for what its' worth.

I didn't have to listen to this album many times to 'get it', but i also don't find the concept of God and the metaphysical world controversial, it is something i think about daily. So, those reviewers who are saying this is challenging music it really isn't in the sense that the music is challenging, it is the subject matter that challenges them.

If you are a young progressive rock adventurer, do yourself a favor and really give this album a good long listen and if it speaks to you then i suppose it did its' job as the purpose is just to be heard.

Larger than life piece of musical art, that is more art than music.

Essential to experience for some, non-essential to own for others. 4 stars.

Review by The Crow
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: **

Review by VianaProghead
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*)

Review by Dapper~Blueberries
4 stars After a little break, I am back on my reviewing tendencies. So within my musical ventures I have found myself getting quite involved with the Progressive Metal scene, especially with newer bands out there, but never fully, head to toes, diving into more "classic" bands. Well I have decided to express my joys and wonder to such classic Prog Metal bands, like Voivod, Opeth, and maybe even a little bit of Symphony X. I think, though, there is no other band from the starting periods of Prog Metal like Pain Of Salvation. This Swedish band of merry misfits took me a while to get into, but after I did I have been really loving their very varied sound with albums like The Perfect Element Part 1 and In The Passing Light Of Day. But, while each album they try something new, on their 2004 release of Be, the band would get a lot more verbose in their ways and create an album filled with songs ranging from folk, jazz, musicals, and gospel.

I find myself seeing this as the band's turning point away from their harder structures as they venture to new, unseen territories here, and with it comes a mixed grab bag of some really solid material. What I most enjoy about this album is the huge cinematic focus the music brings. This album most particularly reminds me of Frances The Mute or The Clockwork Fable with each song having tiny moments in between giving leadway into this grand narrative. This album, in fact, feels like a big movie in some way, with the whole reality bending concept, and with it comes a new enjoyment for me as a whole. Each song feels like a new scene in this cinematic journey through god complexes, greed, religion, sex, and loss, resulting in a work that can be seen as a modern day Greek tragedy.

Musically, this is a very wide ranged sounding album, to both its benefits and its troubles. For its pleasures, I think the lack of any cohesive sound really makes this release way more interesting, and fun. You do not know what you might get on this record, and each song has something new to give and bring. I found myself loving the more musical ebb and flows like on Dea Pecuniae and Martius/Nauticus II. It really gives this a rewarding and expertly crafted experience for me since each song really does give you way more than you would expect.

However, to the album's detriment, with such a big narrative and a big idea, there are moments here that feel very fillery, and even some songs on here never quite hit the same mark as others. I find the more gospel and folk songs, while good in their own right, never get the same oomph for me as say Deus Nova or Nihil Morari. I can absolutely appreciate a very complex and varied album, but I think what makes Pain Of Salvation's sound so good is their energy and expression. That rough, dirty, and almost poisonous sound has always been a Pain Of Salvation staple, so with some tracks loosening the grip on that ideology, it makes this album feel very disjointed in presentation.

I think the best way to try and counteract this is probably to listen to the songs in the perspectives of the characters singing them, whether it is the lustful Mr Money, or the godly Animae. With the varying perspectives, it could help the odd effect this album brings.

I think though, this album is stronger than not. It reminds me of equally strong but wild rock operas, but there are so many out there that it's a little hard to say. I guess you gotta pick and choose then.

While not my favorite release these guys made, it does contain some of my favorite songs the band has released. It is big, grand, really different from anything they've released, and an album that, while in some cases disjointed, still feels really tightly knit in its presentation. Highly recommend giving this a listen, but only if you are into the more prestigious pose of more wild rock operas like The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway or Frances The Mute. A solid effort from a great Prog Metal band.

Latest members reviews

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#1868880) | Posted by mlkpad14 | Tuesday, January 23, 2018 | Review Permanlink

5 stars "BE" is one of the most ambitious project that I saw in modern rock music. The idea of an album about God, humanity and creation of world is pretty huge. When you see the tracklist of the CD, you are really confused : there's a prologue, then five chapters with latin names. If the idea is great, is ... (read more)

Report this review (#1341308) | Posted by floflo79 | Wednesday, January 7, 2015 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The listening of PoS's "Be" always find me surprised and in my opinion PoS are been brave to present that black-coloured work to their fans. Be it was really different from their previous succes R.L. or T.P.E. and is different from Scarsik and RS1. The way they insert folk instrument and orchestr ... (read more)

Report this review (#507520) | Posted by Christabel | Tuesday, August 23, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Another interesting concept album by the Swedish band, BE stands as one of the best prog metal albums in the last decade. In spite of many of his weaknesses, it represents a very interesting attempt from Gildenl÷w and company to make a true artistic set of concept-orchestrated driven songs. This, of ... (read more)

Report this review (#487523) | Posted by elcaballodecaligula | Wednesday, July 20, 2011 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Road Salt One got a lot of criticism as being "the end of Pain of Salvation" where a lot of progressive fans felt that they had gone mainstream and boring... To me, Be is a significantly worse album. I wanted to like Be. It's so experimental, different, and out-there, but as an album it just doesn't ... (read more)

Report this review (#476608) | Posted by TheMasterMofo | Tuesday, July 5, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars A drop in quality after the masterpieces that have been "The Perfect Element Pt. 1 "and "Remedy Lane". From an ambitious concept (about how God can learn from their own), they created an album somewhat uneven, but with good moments that only the Pain of Salvation can make.The first five tracks are t ... (read more)

Report this review (#415244) | Posted by voliveira | Sunday, March 13, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Ok, when it comes to comparing music to art (the Pitchfork method which leaves a lot of great bands with poor reviews on albums, basically because they don't sound like Radiohead?yawning every piece of music they can make (there first 3 albums were great, at least there was music present.) ... (read more)

Report this review (#269468) | Posted by arcane-beautiful | Thursday, March 4, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Pain of Salvation are well known for their concept albums thing. led by mastermind Daniel Gildenl÷w. Mr.Gildenl÷w wrote an ambitious concept album about the essence of our existence and god. The song arrangements are not typical Pain of Salvation, the previous albums were mostly Progressive Metal, ... (read more)

Report this review (#265589) | Posted by BlindGuard | Thursday, February 11, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars For me this album, at least is from the 5 best albums on the last 15 years, it has everything, and the parts that are spoken, well, many albums have songs like that and they are great, I like very much this album, specially for the lyrics, they are spiritual, they tell things in a perfect way, ... (read more)

Report this review (#245664) | Posted by momoholo | Thursday, October 22, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars After years of following progarchives, I feel the need to write my own review. The first one has to be really something special. I spent a couple of minutes staring at my cd stacks, and this album sort of looked back at me. I remember how I first came to hear ! and Ashes samples from this site, ... (read more)

Report this review (#241521) | Posted by terryl | Saturday, September 26, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This album is the most challenging one i┤ve ever heard in my entire life,this is a piece of art ,the concept of this album is about the existence of god and the humankind,in this album it┤s not important the answers to this subject ,i think what is important is the way this album passes his musical ... (read more)

Report this review (#235793) | Posted by Grijo | Sunday, August 30, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Pain of Salvation throws together the mysterious ideas of creation, the haunting prospect of the future of the Earth, and the death of the human race all together and throws it against the listener musically in a dark and solemn way. This is one of the most thoughtfully put together concept al ... (read more)

Report this review (#234534) | Posted by topofsm | Sunday, August 23, 2009 | Review Permanlink

2 stars This is not my definition of good. It is definitely a concept album but there is too much talking and not enough music. For long periods of time the talking sounds more like whining than anything and it gets really annoying. There are some good musical bits here and there. Sometimes it is ... (read more)

Report this review (#227858) | Posted by digdug | Wednesday, July 22, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This swedish band was introduced to me through PA. Thanks for that. The word progressive is totally appropriate with this record. I don┤t think it worth while to go through the music piece by piece, since the whole is what matters here. This is a musical journey through western man and times. T ... (read more)

Report this review (#183629) | Posted by JJ | Friday, September 26, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars BE. When I saw the album cover, I thought it may be a masterpiece. When I read the rewiews, I thought it's likely to be a masterpiece. When I heard the first sounds with the breathtaking, I thought it must BE a masterpiece! And it is, the astonishing kind of. Very different from the former PoS al ... (read more)

Report this review (#181290) | Posted by klvin | Monday, September 1, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars First of all, I would like to thank the ProgArchives community for bringing Pain of Salvation to my attention. I saw the high ratings and decided to try them out. I've purchased four albums so far: The Perfect Element Part I, Remedy Lane, Be, and 12:5 and have thoroughly enjoyed each one. For ... (read more)

Report this review (#175553) | Posted by hattrick | Saturday, June 28, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A 4 compared to other bands, a 3 by PoS's standards. This album doesn't really capture what they do best, but certainly shows that they are prepared to step outside the box. The quality of the product is excellent in all respects, it's just that it is spoilt by too much talking and scene set ... (read more)

Report this review (#173892) | Posted by praj912 | Saturday, June 14, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Well ok so after two masterpieces The perfect Element and Remedy Lane comes Be. BE is definitely less accesible than the previous album maybe becaue the music flows around the concept here and not the other way around and the concept is quite profound and complex. Now for me this is PoS best al ... (read more)

Report this review (#161953) | Posted by eon_ | Saturday, February 16, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars 5 stars for Iter Impius alone. I can say with confidence that this song is undoubtedly the most beautiful song ever created. I must have listened to it nearly 100 times and I can honestly say that it never gets old. It's just utter perfection in music, between Gildenlow's godly vocals, the soar ... (read more)

Report this review (#149768) | Posted by Purplefloyd | Friday, November 9, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Perhaps it would help the listener to realize that this is not an album of songs, but an album of one complete piece of music. Perhaps if fans of the band would have expected something this different it might have been more appreciated. Still, it gets a quite good overall rating here, so most p ... (read more)

Report this review (#122624) | Posted by infandous | Thursday, May 17, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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