Pain of Salvation
Entropia


3.5
great

Review

by Dr. Jake Destructo USER (5 Reviews)
December 31st, 2006 | 18 replies


Release Date: 1997 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Hailing from what could be considered our planet's metal haven in Sweden, Pain of Salvation deliver a solid debut album that appeals to both metal lovers and prog fans alike.

"Imagine yourself exhausted in the middle of a desert... Sitting down will take away your pain, but it will kill you. The walk for water will hurt, but it may save your life." This is how Daniel Gildenlow, frontman, composer, vocalist, and guitarist of the Swedish prog phenoms Pain of Salvation describes his band. He claims that there is a sense of duality in everything. "The idea with the name is that everything has two sides, everything is in balance." For Pain of Salvation, finding a balance between the eclectic influences to create something new for music fans seems to be the mountain the band has climbed ever since their debut. When you claim to carry on the sounds of Pink Floyd and Faith No More, you're bound to end up unearthing a new musical gem, thus we have Pain of Salvation.

With their first release Entropia [a juxtaposition of the terms entropy (scientifically meaning the measure of chaos in a system), and utopia, (a perfect world) thus yielding what one can guess was intended to be 'land of chaos'] Pain of Salvation successfully plastered their name and album all over the world. Beginning in 1997, the album was released in Japan. In 1998, the album was then release across Europe, and in the following year, the band's current label InsideOut reissued the album. Not until 2000 was the record released in America by InsideOut. The slow spread of popularity pays ode to what I personally found to be true with this album and Pain of Salvation in general. It is an incredibly tough album to get into. Gildenlow's vocal tone is abrasive, the structure of the songs are complex and hard to keep track of, and it's also a very emotionally draining album.

One thing that Pain of Salvation fans acclaim over and over again is how charged with emotion all PoS tends to be. With an album concept dealing with war, a man's seperation from his family, death, and God, the instrumentation and lyrics better damn well be filled to the brim with emotion. My favorite example of PoS's ability to convey such strong feelings is in the fourth track People Passing By. The three part nine minute song takes the listener down a path beginning with a slap 'n' pop bassline and a light-hearted angsty mood accented by constantly changing time signatures and brash guitar tones. The second movement then gives the listener more slap bass, but the lyricless vocal ensemble lends itself to a atmospheric almost Pink Floyd feel. Then, we enter into a 3 part polyrythm between the lead guitar, keyboard, and rythm guitar which naturally builds tension. Movement three of People Passing By shifts feeling once more to a very sad and foreboding feeling which is only continued with an amazing guitar solo. Another balance that Pain of Salvation often teeters on tenuously is their guitarist's tightrope act between technicality and emotion. This song is an example of perfect execution of both.

The variety within the other songs isn't as widespread as People Passing By, but across the board, there is a great range of genres and emotions that are tapped into on Entropia. Welcome to Entropia, the actual opener of the concept features samples of a soft ocean tide breathing in and out, what sounds to be a crowd of people, all driven by a nice breakbeat. Then the outro track features only Gildenlow and an acoustic guitar, a very depressing yet uplifting track. It is a well written track featuring a verse in the minor key and a contrasting chorus in the major key, another simple ode to Pain of Salvation's brilliant injection of emotions into their music. The accompanying songs tend to remain safely within the realms of progressive metal but with enough variation to keep it interesting for the listener. Things to listener for include lots of time changes, a grandiose number of vocal harmonies, even a xylophone. Also, in typical concept album fashion, there is also a bit of musical reincorporation, a technique originally made popular by Pink Floyd's The Wall.

Overall, I consider this album to be a great debut album for a band who has grown greatly since the original release a decade ago. Not quite the perfect blend and variation as I would like, but a fairly riveting concept nonetheless. Great vocal work, great guitar work, and as always with Pain of Salvation, brilliant execution of emotion transference.

Reccomended tracks: People Passing By, Leaving Entropia, Nightmist, ! (Forward)


user ratings (187)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
Yhann Ortiz (4)
Pain of Salvation's debut album eclectic influences combines Faith No More's impulsive songwritting ...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
December 31st 2006


16089 Comments


Good review. Pain of Salvation are great, although they've only had two albums that I really like. Didn't they just release a new one as well?

Dr. Jake Destructo
December 31st 2006


86 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Scarsick leaked, but it's due out early '07. It's gotten terrible reviews thus far though. I'm reserving my judgement in hopes of it growing on me.

Moses
December 31st 2006


32 Comments


Yeah, Scarsick sucks.

Syncratic
January 2nd 2007


756 Comments


Excellent review, man. I like this band, and will check this album out.

Dr. Jake Destructo
January 2nd 2007


86 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

If anyone would like to check this album out, I uploaded it. Just drop your email within the next couple weeks and you'll get it.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
January 2nd 2007


16089 Comments


Hmm, if you ever sent me an email with the link I never got it =/.

Doppelganger
January 3rd 2007


3124 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I have this album, but I haven't really listened to it due to the fact that I bought Nick Drake's Pink Moon on the same day :D

Good review, by the way.

asheroth
January 3rd 2007


130 Comments


Good review. If I could nitpick for a bit I'd say that you probably spent too much time talking about People Passing By; this is quite a short review, so the PPB paragraph is probably too long. On that note, I'd like a couple more song evaluations, since you only referred to PPB, Leaving Entropia and Welcome to Entropia. Still, you managed to convey the overall sound of the album well, and you made sure to highlight the emotional side of the band (which I think is the most important thing in a PoS review). Pos'd.

Thanks for the link btw :P

Altmer
August 21st 2008


5652 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Album fucking rules. Seeing these guys on Saturday.

Yazz_Flute
January 26th 2009


18811 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fuck this is better than I expected. Absolutely brilliant debut. Nothing quite as remarkable as "The Perfect Element" or "In the Flesh" but this is definitely their most consistently amazing album. I'm torn between this and The Perfect Element as their best album.


Digging: Kayo Dot - Coffins On Io

laarx
May 30th 2010


13 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Awesome review! Spot on.. although this album is very much like marmite, you either love or hate it as not everyone who likes PoS is into their crazy, almost childish, yet perfectly mastered music such as the 2nd part of People Passing By. But truly a good album, not their bast, but still good.

SuicideVeil90
September 17th 2010


42 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Entropia is a special another world... Great debut album!

theyhann
May 13th 2012


17 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is my first review for this site so bear with me:

In my opinion, this is definitely a great debut album. Daniel and co. really did try to represent everything that is trully progressive and forward thinking, not just sticking to the "basics" of the genre (pointless time changes, obnoxiously long instrumental passages and mundane power metal vocals...which ironically where there in the first place to provide a change of pace for the tried and true formula) in their songwritting while still remaining organic throughout the whole ordeal.

The only negative thing I could say about this album is that it's somewhat unfocused at times, with songs that don't really have much to do with each other (although its supposed to be a concept album, don't ask me what its about as a whole, because I don't really "get it"). It's not to say that it doesn't have good lyrics (the lyrics in "stress" are completely legit- definitely one of my favorites from the album and a good example of music that binds with the lyrics), but most of the time you're not gonna be paying too much attention to them.

All in all, this is definitely an excellent way for a band to start of their career. They definitely achieved a unique sound that most bands with decades under their belts can't achieve. This only signaled what was to come: Masterpieces.

4/5

Yazz_Flute
May 13th 2012


18811 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You could have elaborated on that and actually published it as a review, and not a comment.



theyhann
May 14th 2012


17 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Woops, I thought this is where you put the reviews...noobie mistake, forgive me

NeroCorleone80
February 15th 2013


29288 Comments


I really like the Jazz-fusion parts of this album.

OmairSh
April 17th 2013


11547 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah there are some great grooves and melodies here, and loads of quirky bits. Kris and Johan groove
hard

Digging: Freak Kitchen - Cooking With Pagans

OmairSh
August 21st 2014


11547 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Slap de BASS



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