Pain of Salvation
Road Salt One


4.0
excellent

Review

by Voivod STAFF
August 9th, 2010 | 27 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Pain of Salvation strip their music off ALL "prog fat", yet once again they deliver an overwhelming listening experience.

In an interview for the Hellenic Metal Hammer, Garm, a founding member of the avant-garde act Ulver, commented on the band’s abrupt transition from metal to electronica in Themes from William Blake's The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, by saying:

At the beginning of our musical endeavors, we felt that black metal was the best way to express ourselves. However, from a point further, black metal simply wasn’t working for us, so we evolved, baring no second thoughts”.

Pain of Salvation changed from album to album, baring no second thoughts as well. However, these changes were not as abrupt as Ulver’s previously mentioned crossover. Their work initially shed new light to hidden territories in the so-called “progressive” metal (Entropia-The Perfect Element pt I) and eventually defied the norms of traditional (sic) “progressive” metal (see Remedy Lane and Be). With their minds dedicated to perpetual progression, Daniel Gildenlow and his crew issued Scarsick as the second part of the The Perfect Element pt I. However, 4 years after its release, in an interview for the Hellenic Metal Hammer, Daniel will confess that he didn’t felt bold enough to fully realize what he really had in mind for Scarsick, in terms of both production and song writing.

What did he mean?

Listening to Road Salt One, part of what Gildenlow meant is illuminated. Scarsick brought the band’s well cloaked rock attitude on the surface, but the scratching under it, reveals that its straight rock aura was somewhat imperfectly balanced with the band’s previous musical legacy on a significant amount of songs. In this album, Pain of Salvation strip their music off all the remaining "prog fat" Scarsick had, finally leaving the pure heavy rock “muscles and bones” to "lift the weight". The songs’ arrangements are nothing but optimum minimalism, always with great care for each song’s basic melody and rhythm. The drums, the bass, the guitars and the keyboards work for the song, not for themselves. The production is optimum as well, as the songs feel as if they had been recorded in the 70’s but with the right sonic depth.

The vocals of Daniel Gildenlow deserve a separate description. Is it really necessary to say that he is one of the top rock vocalists of his/our time? It is hard to describe with plain words the emotional depth of his voice. The minimalistic song-writing approach contributes even more in highlighting his seminal vocals in the album. As for his lyrics, they are cryptic. So is his fruitful criticism about the dilemmas of the individual in its endeavor towards perfection.

The mood of each song is carefully tailored. Cheerful polyphonic Queen-like a Capella singing, gives in to passionate/dark heavy rock and blues tunes. Musical stimulae for inner self introspect, swap places with passionate prayers in the same vein. Melodic rock n’ roll is followed by a gloomy stroll under the sounds of a waltz.

Except from the good music, this record succeeds big time in making the anticipation for the second part, Road Salt Two, even more intense. No one knows what to expect. Isn’t that the very essence of prog music after all?



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user ratings (194)
Chart.
3.4
great
other reviews of this album
Genrebender12 (3)
Gildenlow and Co. keeps driving over new musical landscapes, sometimes for the better, othertimes fo...

Jeremy Price (2)
The further stagnation of Pain of Salvation....

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Comments:Add a Comment 
Voivod
Staff Reviewer
August 9th 2010


6275 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

What She Means To Me:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEevOf7yw14&feature=related

No Way:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cM9-EIg4AWA&feature=related

She Likes To Hide:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_XuwvjNWPw&feature=related

Sisters:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ct2LrH3xPJc

Of Dust:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ef_qNCq92AA&feature=related

Tell Me You Don’t Know:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TsVJoJs5zIQ&feature=related

Sleeping Under the Stars:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwAg50DayYs&NR=1

Darkness of Mine:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZEnE2yPTwo

Linoleum (official video):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGbgITz_KVY

Curiosity:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXVK1FBMPkw&feature=related

Where It Hurts:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bw2_XUyBXx8

Road Salt:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URPfzUmEA4k&feature=related

Innocence:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgkO9kSd82o

Constructive criticism is most welcome.

Digging: Varathron - Untrodden Corridors of Hades

AnotherBrick
August 9th 2010


9772 Comments


wait a minute....this came out january first and i'm just learning this now?

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
August 10th 2010


6275 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

No it came out in May or June, 2010.

The user who added the album didn't know the exact release date, I guess.

lostforwords
August 10th 2010


446 Comments


"No one knows what to expect. Isn’t that the very essence of prog music after all?"

Agreed.The element of surprise is long lost in prog today.
Good review, I'll pos!

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
August 10th 2010


6275 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

muchas gracias.

this needed a positive review bad.

Can't wait to get my hands on Road Salt Two.

Willie
Moderator
August 10th 2010


16117 Comments


Nice review. I like their music a lot of the time, but can't get past the vocals.

Digging: Kenn Nardi - Dancing With the Past

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
August 10th 2010


6275 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanx man.

This was so easy to write, in contrast to my previous reviews. It kinda felt - with all analogies accounted for - like the transition Voivod went through from Rrroooaaarrr to Killing Technology.

lolololol


Willie
Moderator
August 10th 2010


16117 Comments


I'm surprised that you haven't tried to fill the holes in the Voivod discography yet. Most of those albums don't have any reviews.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
August 10th 2010


6275 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well, for one thing, one obscure band at a time lolololol

Depressive Age was/is within my top ten favorite bands of all time. Plus there is literally no content for them on the web so i started from DA, learning to put my thoughts together at the same time.

Most surprisingly, those reviews turned out pretty decent.

In the case of Voivod (and other bands i love), i deliberately waited to reach an acceptable level as a writer.

This review really hit that bell. Maybe it didn't.

One of my future targets is indeed Killing Technology and the other review-lacking Voivod records.

Especially the industrial era of Voivod is surprisingly underrated imho.

I just wait for all the pieces to fall in place. Not just for Killing Technology, but for several records.

Willie
Moderator
August 10th 2010


16117 Comments


What would you consider the "industrial era" of Voivod?

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
August 10th 2010


6275 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Phobos and Negatron

Both are masterpieces. They get my hair up in no time.

and in Dimension Hatross, in the song Tribal Convictions there are these noises at the beginning of metal pounding.

lostforwords
August 10th 2010


446 Comments


"specially the industrial era of Voivod is surprisingly underrated imho"

And again, agreed.
Although not so much "surprisingly",it seems they are more often considered as commercial releases (if I may use this term for a band like Voivod) than sub-par. And no one seems to like Forest's vocals


scissorlocked
August 17th 2010


3511 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Excellent review voivod!!!!You couldn't have put it better!!

The last two PoS releases were truly controversial,and this desperately wanted a good review

As for me I'm waiting for the winter to come in order to deeper explore this album.I think It will be a perfect soundtrack for the everyday university journeys!!!

you've shown great improvement with your writing skills,keep it up

Digging: Distance - Outer Limits

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
August 17th 2010


6275 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

you are right.

Winter is the right season to go deeper into this.

Dreamflight
December 27th 2010


1760 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Now that I finally got the album, I understand this review. Your last paragraph is so true, and yet, the essence of prog has been adulterated over these years, with some "so called prog" bands releasing the same album over and over.

This album is amazing, and one of 2010's best.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
April 3rd 2011


6275 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The official (censored version!!!) video for "Where it Hurts""

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGt1uBQv4Rc&feature=player_embedded

DoubtGin
April 3rd 2011


6752 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i expect naked women

DoubtGin
April 3rd 2011


6752 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Close enough.

I have to relisten to this, now.

Jethro42
June 17th 2011


12545 Comments


I love me some Pain of Salvation. I seriously have to listen to this. Good review dude.

Jethro42
July 31st 2011


12545 Comments


I still have to listen to this, seriously...



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