- Daniel Gildenl÷w- lead vocals and guitars
- Fredrik Hermansson- keyboards and samplers
- Johan Langell- drums, percussion and vocals
- Kristoffer Gildenl÷w- bass and vocals
- Johan Hallgren- Guitars
'One Hour by the Concrete Lake' is the second album from Pain of Salvation and is a classic in the progressive metal genre. In my opinion, it is easily Pain of Salvation's most underrated album. It's full of classic POS songs.
The concept is one that I haven't fully figured out quite yet. I know it deals with a man searching for the right way of living. On his journey to find the right way of living he encounters things such as war, the environment, among many other things, I don't know what exactly all of the songs are about, yet.
The first track 'Spirit of the Land' is simply just a :43 intro to the album. That leads into one of my favorite POS songs, 'Inside'. The intro is absolutley fantastic, Hermansson's keyboard playing is top notch. This leads into more of a mystical keyboard line used in the verses. Gildenlow comes in stating "I was told the pain and hunger was not fault'. It's a great song for Gildenlow, he's at his best here. And that is really saying something if you've heard his voice before. Around the 4 minute mark the song takes a turn and it becomes eerie and soft. It's a perfect lead in to the next part which is probably my favorite part of the whole song. "Now I'm vein, numb this pain, why is it burning"" It's completely controlled by Gildenlow's vox and Hermansson's boards, just phenominal. Great song, tied for my favorite on the whole album.
Next is 'The Big Machine' featuring some low tuning and a heavy metal intro. The verses are pretty basic, spoken by Gildenlow. The choruses are awesome. It's hard to describe them. Them best way to describe is to say that it is almost like a native american chant. The second chorus is great, with Gildenlow's gigantic whale at the end. The song ends the same way it started, repeating the intro riff, just slower.
'New Year's Eve' starts out with a very nice bass intro from KG. The verses are pretty soft, yet kinda creepy. I just love the lyrics for this song, some of my favorite POS lyrics:
"Turning mirrors upside down
Won't make dust fall off the ground
Hiding wounds won't ease the pain
Sleep won't make you whole again"
Plus, they are amazingly sung by Gildenlow (another great song for him). Very good song, though it isn't the best on the albumm.
Next up is 'Handful of Nothing'. While it isn't close to the best song on the album it has it's moments. Specifically the intro where Langell's drums kick you in the face. The ending of the song is great as well, with more outstanding lyrics:
"Step by step hate controls every heart every soul
Every gun pointed at those we paint as Enemies
We provide what they need to let the game proceed
Stuck in machines somewhere we build the cross they bear
Arm to solve, kill to save... God I've felt how it smells!
"My land's my home" - we're blind!
I'm sick of the blood I find!
Step by step greed controls every heart every soul
Arm to kill, kill to live - God how could I believe... "
That leads into one of my favorite songs on the album, 'Water'. The intro makes it seem like this will really be a heavy song. But out of nowhere the heaviness stops and leads into some bautifully sung lines by Mr. Daniel Gildenlow. After the first part of the chorus they play the intro again which leads to make favorite part of the whole album:
"In this hot, desolate timeglass I met this man, wearing a worn old flyer's cap. Every day he had to dig 10 feet down for his daily ration of water - one poor gallon. And so he did - singing while doing it!
10 feet of sand for the thirst
But he gave me half of what he was given for a day
All for thirst and sanity use
While we use up hundred times more:
What do we do with it"
Pipes and bathtubs, sprinklers and fountains!
Freshwater used as a dump for oil and nuclear waste!
"Desert people turns humble" he said
They know what they have
But do they know what they lose when we flush""
I thought it was kinda weird when I first heard it, but I think it's pretty awesome now. 'Home' literally picks up where 'Water' picked up. The intro is just fantastic with some amazing drum work from Langell and great guitar work from Gilden and Hallgreen. Which leads into a slower verse beautifully sung by DG (a big trend on this album). The last few minutes of the song are the biggest highlight (other than the intro) with some more great guitar work from DG and Hallgreen.
Up next is the epic 'Black Hills'. Unlike a lot of the songs on the album it really doesn't have an upbeat sound at all in it. The intro is heavy and relentless, the verses are slow and mesmerizing, and the chorus is sung agreessivly. All of this leads into a classic POS moment-the interlude. Best part of the song, bar none. Absolutley classic proggressive rock/metal moment.
Next up is the ballad of the album 'Pilgrim'. It's done with acoustic guitars and it's another great song for DG. It doesn't change very much and it is one of the shortest songs on the album. And a good little song it is. Next up is another short one, 'Shore Serenity'. This isn't a ballad though. The first minute or so reminds me very much of 'Black Hills'. It's very dramatic, which is something that PoS does very well. Very good song, but not a highlight.
To conclude the album, 'Inside Out' comes in. It's tied with 'Inside' for my favorite song on the album. The begginning of the song is absolutley mindblowing. Hermansson's playing on the keys is FAST. The verses are extremely well sung by DG and are dramatic, much like the last song. The chorus is amazing, withstellar drumming from Langell. After the chorus the song takes a complete U-turn and goes completely light. Then we get and acoustic guitar solo, which is simply fantastic, great playing. We go back into the chorus and the album concludes with this climatic, epic, masterpiece.
(There's actually about 6 minuites of silence and an awkward at the end of Inside Out but I really don't consider that part of the song.)
Overall, I would say this is my second favorite PoS album behind 'The Perfect Element Part 1'. It gets a high reccomendation from me.