Pain of Salvation
Road Salt Two


4.5
superb

Review

by JungWooTie USER (10 Reviews)
September 30th, 2011 | 13 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Road Salt 2 just feels.....human.

So, two giant juggernauts within the Progressive Metal community have recently released, what they call, 70's Prog Rock albums. Opeth's "Heritage" hit the Metal masses to surprisingly mixed feeback-some loving it and some hating it (though I think the "hate" slightly edges out the "love".). I fall into the "hate "sect personally. I couldn't stand it. Nearly every single note from "Heritage" annoyed me in some way or another. It will certianly go down as one of humanity's most horrible crimes.

Well, we're not here to talk about that pile, we're here to talk about Pain of Salvation's newest addition to the family-Road Salt Part 2. I described the album above only to say this-maybe Opeth should have taken a few pointers from POS on how to release a great, so-called, 70's album.

Now, before we start, I must get it out in the open that I'm a HUGE POS fanboy. I own most of their albums and I enjoy most of their discography immensely, however, I would like to say that being a fanboy only serves to make me more critical of an artist's work, rather than forgiving. After careful listenings to Road Salt Part 2, I can safetly conclude that this wonderful album ranks among my favourites of their discography.

Road Salt 2 is a continuation of their previous album, Road Salt 1. Not much has changed in the sound department, but that's ok, we were already expecting that. It's still 70's Blues tinged Prog Rock being played here;however, don't let that fool you. Y'know, it's really not all that bluesish. Only three of the many tracks here can safetly be called bluesy, while the others borrow from all sorts of different influences. We can find Western, Metal and Circus Music among others. Yes, this has all been done before, but here it is done with exceptional class and maturity. The main problem that I can see though is that it's been done before and in the same way on POS's last album, which was released only one year ago, so why the Hell should we care?

True, the album has an extremely similar sound, but that kind of makes me enjoy it so much more. Road Salt One was a concept and Road Salt Two is the conclusion to the former, so of course, it's fitting that they have similar musical themes. I personally enjoy hearing all the little nods harkening back to the former album. The re-structured melodies. The intricate lyrics. It really makes me feel like I'm listening to a grand piece. You can listen to "Of Salt," for reference.

Speaking of which, in true POS form, this album is much darker than its' brother-musically and conceptually. Here, it feels as though our characters our breaking down and we're being pulled along for the ride. "Break, Darling, Break" is absoluetly sinister, and reminds me a bit of Devin Townsend's darkest works. The track is short and skitzo in its' nature. Here, we are given the same circus melody from "Under the Stars" but heavily out of tuned with very low guitars. Suddenly, Daniel will scream some rambling nonsense. The song clearly illustrates our characters' fragile minds, and the ugliness that is just festering inside of them, screaming to break free from their happy persona's.

"The Deepest Cut," and "Mortar Grind," are brilliantly written. The former isn't quite as dark but the lyrics are rather introspective and interesting. They got to me. The later posseses a great climax in the form of Daniel screaming the chorus but the abosolute stunner here is "To The Shoreline." A magical and romantic track, inocorporating the "Road Salt Theme" beautifully into it. It really does take me to a grey and empty beach with my former lover.

I guess that's really what Road Salt 2 has going for it-atmosphere. While I enjoyed Part 1, I did find it tedious at times and it never really pulled me in. Part 2 does just the opposite. It grabs me and pulls me further and further into it's dark and rainy world. It takes everything I liked about the former and adds gravy. No, it's not stale, but it feels so much fresher and inspired than the previous did. The Blues riffs are catchier (Conditioned,) the Prog parts are Proggier (The Physics of Gridlock) and the lyrics are more poetic and human. I feel I can relate to this album. Longing, introspection, conflict- the band covers so much of the human emotional spectrum. The atmosphere also creates different places. Road Salt Part 2 takes me to city streets, winding train tracks and darkened rooms, though the weather is always grey. The creativity just jumps from this album.

Now, the album is not without its' faults. "Softly, She Cries," doesn't do ANYTHING for me and "The Physics of Gridlock," while not bad, is disappointing and a tad bit pretentious (a French spoken word part?) though the Western tinge is quite captivating. It's a fitting closer, finding peace in giving up on everything, but it closes the story so quietly. The concept ends with a whisper and not a bang. I would have loved something in the form of "The Perfect Element," or "King of The Ruins," but alas, it was not to be.

The trick here is that there's something for everyone. It's modern enough to appeal to the casual listener, but POS didn't forsake their fans by completely removing all the stranger elements of their sound that made them so special to us. It feels like POS, yet so different, I don't know how they do it. The sounds, if allowed, can touch your very soul.

A no brainer.....get it!



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user ratings (153)
Chart.
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
Voivod STAFF (4)
Pain of Salvation complete their vintage rock interpretation of the Ying Yang complex....

scissorlocked (3)
A little more squalor...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Voivod
Staff Reviewer
September 30th 2011


6344 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Your review is inexcusably long, plus it is disjointed in terms of meaning per paragraph.

The first three paragraphs are pretty much irrelevant to the purpose of the review.

"A no brainer.....get it!" - what is that????

Plus, as a whole, it reads more like a 3.5/5 than a 4.5/5.

Of course the above is just my personal opinion.

I won't neg, but...

Digging: Aspherium - The Fall of Therenia

YouGotLucky
September 30th 2011


946 Comments


Negged

JungWooTie
September 30th 2011


39 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Meh, I like it. It's everything I wanted to say...how I wanted to say it.

I can write well when I want to, but that defeats the purpose. I write on here because I have no friends who share the same similar musical interests as me. It frustrates me, because I love Progressive Music and I wanted to talk about it to someone-to express my feelings about certain albums and in the way I would as if I were talking about it to a friend. The problem I have with websites is that you can't post reviews unless it's written like a formal and proper article, but that saps the enjoyment out of it.

It's also quite frustrating that I happen to dig Progressive, which consists of notoriously arrogant fans (sorry, but we are. I can't count how many times I've read "intelligent" in Prog forum posts. Look at my Marillion review comments.)

My reviews aren't offensively bad, but I'm sick of people just posting what their problems are with the writing. How about, you share your feelinds about the album, and we discuss it on here? Like a conversation? I'm quite aware that my reviews aren't exactly great, but that isn't my intention, and it never has been. I just want to discuss.



YouGotLucky
September 30th 2011


946 Comments


My reviews aren't offensively bad, but I'm sick of people just posting what their problems are with the writing. How about, you share your feelinds about the album, and we discuss it on here? Like a conversation? I'm quite aware that my reviews aren't exactly great, but that isn't my intention, and it never has been. I just want to discuss.


Don't write reviews then.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
September 30th 2011


6344 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@ JungWooTie

As far as my comments go, I didn't write them out of arrogance, i wrote them because i had a really hard time reading your review.

You are in full position to comment and share your points of view about progressive metal or any other music genre all you like in the comments thread.

However, when posting a review, you must first have in mind how to make you text easier to read for those willing to read it.

Don't get me wrong, I am not trying to tell you what to do, but there are certain rules that must be met when posting a text that will be read by native and non-native english speakers.

I myself am not a native english speaker, but rules are rules, whether we like it or not.

I would suggest that you read as many reviews as possible in here - especially from the staff - to get to learn how to present in writing, and in an organized way, your reviews about records and musicians.

JungWooTie
September 30th 2011


39 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Bah! Rules! Rules, rules, rules. I'm quite aware of how to present my writings. I'm a published writer and broadcasted radio speaker in REAL life, but doing all that shit is tedious-not enjoyable. I also find no enjoyment just from posting comments;catch 22, I hate going through all the labour of editing my reviews and shit for free. This is a hobby, and I'll be God damned if I'l let a few "rules" and arrogant tophat wearers keep me from enjoying my little hobby. My good writing is real life, my enjoyment is on the computer...writing like this.

Also, there are SO many people out there, I'm sure, that WANT to write on this website, they're just terrified of having their writings torn apart by the community. I'm here to say they can and don't be afraid. Everyone is entitled to this, regardless of talent., Leave the "rules" to the ones who are getting paid.

It feels like xenophobia or something. I picture a bunch of people in suits and tophats, eating at a restaurant, and some lonely traveller walks in, overhears that they are having a conversation that he/she is interested in, and attempts to join them. Upon doing so, he is met with criticism in regards to his/her clothing and manner of speaking.
"Ya douche bag, you can't sit with us, go over there."

I'm gunna sit with you anyways haha.

I don't think you're arrogant Voivod, I like you, I'm not gunna point fingers, but I know 'em when I see 'em. Strangely enough, that dumbass, nonsensical Marillion review I wrote was the one that got me the most attention, and I really like that review too!



Read my DT Terria review for....proper writing, as proof that I can do it when I feel like it (though it is just a mockery of Prog writings and I didn't even read it over a second time. Type what I want then click "submit")

"Ya douche bag, you can't sit with us, go over there."

I don't like it. Life's entertaining, lets just enjoy the circus. WHy get so worked up over nothing. A run on paragraph, a missing comma....fuck it, who cares? As long as it;s not over the top offensive. I enjoy personally enjoy reading reviews from people who sound like people, not machines with a dictionary beside em programmed to throw in every eloquent expression and musical term he/she can to pass as a fine writer.



scissorlocked
September 30th 2011


3511 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"The Physics of Gridlock" is maybe the best song here man


Digging: Low Roar - Low Roar

Jethro42
September 30th 2011


12638 Comments


^Wow I liked that song very much! Daniel chante même en Français. Génial!

greg84
Staff Reviewer
September 30th 2011


7464 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I like Softly She Cries, Eleven and Mortar Grind the most. The Physics of Gridlock is good too.

jrowa001
September 30th 2011


8750 Comments


wasnt necessary to talk about how you didnt like Heritage, also i have no clue how you can hate every note off of it.

JungWooTie
October 2nd 2011


39 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Heritage was terrible. I just wanted to mention it somewhere. I mean....really flipping hated it!

The physics of Gridlock wasn't a bad track at all. Just disappointing I suppose.

JungWooTie
October 2nd 2011


39 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

And what is he saying...I know he said mere, so he was either referring to a sea or a mother...something about atoning for life cuz like cuz Im you're mother or the sea...

I dunno, felt really pretentious.

Rhaegar23
November 14th 2011


8 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

What the hell is "King of the Ruins"? Iter Impius? That wasn't even a closer :S



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