Pain of Salvation
Road Salt Two


3.0
good

Review

by scissorlocked USER (35 Reviews)
September 27th, 2011 | 16 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A little more squalor

" ... all creation comes from an urge to understand oneself, and time is just a place through which we move in order to be able to perceive change."

Gildenlow's ontological interpretation from the concept notes of "Be" seems to be echoing still. Through all these years, Pain of Salvation embraced mutability as the driving force behind their music. Depending more on the ever changing mood or the latest interests of their mastermind, the band tried many different things while at the same time kept its consistency. The arrival of the new decade, found them far from their highly poignant and progressive past, anchoring to new (shallow") waters with a more straightforward rock attitude. This constant unsettledness raised the question: Has their tendency to change become a duty or is it still a natural initiative" Now, a year after Road Salt One the question still remains unanswered.

Not a step farther from its twin brother, Road Salt Two continues the legacy of the new-born, hard-rocking and pretty looking Swedish progsters through the grounds of groovy and nostalgic hard rock. It has all the elements that made Road Salt One what it is: raw guitar sound, excessive use of mellotron and 70's reminiscent keys, conventional song structures, dark and sometimes mellow lyricism. Yeah, nothing seems to have changed, and that's not something to worry about, 'cause Road Salt's Two predecessor was a good and enjoyable album. Having kept the unique recorded-live-from-the basement-like production, the band tries to take flight with no further additions to their sound, depending mainly on the songwriting. We get the usual mid-tempo pieces like "Softly She Cries" or the riff-driven ones like "Conditioned". Then we have the melodic, yet angry "Mortar Grind" and the blues'y "Eleven" to add some diversity and edge. We also get the usual screaming outbursts and the mellotron carpets, featured in most of the songs, which as in the case of Road Salt One never managed to become memorable pieces.

The album's main flaw is its uncertain character. Gildenlow's mind seems to have been baffled about the direction he wanted to follow. Road Salt Two is not the groovy, catchy and quirky album that quickly catches your attention. It's neither the deep, demanding and poignant one, that will keep you home at midnights with a hot cup of coffee and the booklet on your hands. Its music feels unsettled and diffident at times, flirting both with its angry and emotive nature, finding its ultimate manifestation to neither. However, glimpses of the band's true capabilities can still be heard in songs like "The Physics of Gridlock" where riffs and melodies brilliantly entwine with Daniel's singing to a big and strange crescendo, or in the softer pieces like the optimistic and beautifully arranged "To The Shoreline".

Having a handful of brilliant LPs behind it, Road Salt Two is doomed to be labeled, together with Road Salt One, as the band's most inconsistent work - a judgement only relevant to the band's high standards. It is an album of some few highlights, that never goes bad though. Infused with an aura of plain sadness, mellow grief and anger, it slightly exposes PoS's squalid, new face. Whether this face is one of progress or not, is clearly another question.



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user ratings (196)
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....

JungWooTie (4.5)
Road Salt 2 just feels.....human....


Comments:Add a Comment 
scissorlocked
September 27th 2011


3527 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

kinda disappointed about the album



it has its' moments though

Digging: Rob Mazurek Octet - Skull Sessions

greg84
Emeritus
September 27th 2011


7587 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hmm. Good review, but where's the stream man?



Edit: Needs some serious editing in terms of grammar, spelling/punctuation.

Digging: BROCKHAMPTON - SATURATION III

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
September 27th 2011


7637 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think it's already out in Europe and sooner than the US...



September the 26th is the exact European release date.









Exceptionally written, have a pos.









I have some minor suggestions to make:



anchoring to new (shallow?) waters



"anchoring to new harbors", would be more fitting



This constant unsettledness raised the question: whether their tendency to change has become more like a duty than a reminder



raised the question: Has their tendency to change become a duty or is it still a natural initiative?



Road Salt Two is doomed to be labeled, together with Road Salt One, as the band's most inconsistent work - a clearly unfair judgement



In the previous paragraph you substantiate the exact opposite, that Road Salt Two is inconsistent, because you write stuff like:



"The album's main flaw is it's uncertain character"



"Its' music feels unsettled and diffident at times, flirting both with its' angry and emotive nature, finding its' ultimate manifestation to neither"







I heard the album three times, i think it is a solid 3.5, I am not sure, though, whether it is going to climb further.



The only certain thing is that it is somewhat harder to digest than its predecessor.

Dreamflight
September 27th 2011


1760 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Another excellent review from scissorlocked, congrats.



Since it's more of the same, I won't spend my money on this like I did with RS1. But I will download it for sure. :P

AsoTamaki
September 27th 2011


2525 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Oh, this is out already, huh?



Road Salt One was enjoyable for what it was, but I'm not sure I need a part two if there's no progression in terms of the style or general sound. I'll probably hold off until later in the year when the influx of good, new releases slows down.

Jethro42
September 27th 2011


15141 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'm a PoS fan but I stopped at Scarsick and only heard couple of decent tracks on Road Salt I. I wonder if the departure of the powerful and versatile drummer Johan Langell has something to do with their bad times.

Excellent review scissor, buddy.

scissorlocked
September 27th 2011


3527 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

everyone, thanks for the feedback!!



generally, i was a little harsh with the rating, but AI believe that bands as PoS need stronger criticism



and Voivod, as for the contradiction I understand what you're saying man- I wanted to show that the album is generally weak mostly if compared to their previous works. I'll make that clearer

Parallels
September 27th 2011


8858 Comments


Great review scissorlocked. I haven't listened to Pain of Salvation since 'BE' and boy was that some odd prog.

scissorlocked
September 28th 2011


3527 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

thanks man



'Be' was pretty odd, but once you start getting it , it's really an amazing album

YouGotLucky
September 30th 2011


960 Comments


Release Date: 10/11/2011


Leak? Stream?

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
September 30th 2011


7637 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It is already out in Europe.



September the 26th is the exact European release date.

Yazz_Flute
December 25th 2011


18938 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Really isn't any better than Road Salt I unfortunately...

Yazz_Flute
December 25th 2011


18938 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Wait this is pretty good actually maybe I was just in a shitty mood last night.

CakeWithCream
December 25th 2011


1043 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i love both Road Salt albums

Yazz_Flute
December 25th 2011


18938 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

They're not bad; Daniel really shines on them. I just find they pale in comparison to each of their six previous albums. I grew to really love Scarsick over the past few years.

ksoflas
January 16th 2017


1187 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Awesome writing. Hard pos.



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