Pain of Salvation
One Hour by the Concrete Lake


4.5
superb

Review

by e210013 USER (115 Reviews)
May 26th, 2016 | 33 replies


Release Date: 1999 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Two years later, they were back with another strong conceptual album. With their unique sound. Pain Of Salvation recaptures and revitalizes the spirit of the dark and heavy prog metal style.

“One Hour By The Concrete Lake” is the second studio album of Pain Of Salvation and was released in 1998. The line up on the album is Daniel Gildenlöw, Kristoffer Gildenlöw, Johan Hallgren, Fredrik Hermansson and Johan Langell.


“One Hour By The Concrete Lake” is perhaps the heaviest and darkest album of Pain Of Salvation. Their debut “Entropia”, had clearly its great moments, but nothing could have prepared the band's listeners to this follow up album. Creativity doesn't even is the best way to describe this album. It’s completely unique and leaves the listener never knowing what is coming next. You have to be careful with Pain Of Salvation, especially with this album, because they don’t sound like anything else you have ever heard before. You have to give them time. What do they sound like" Well, they sound like Pain Of Salvation. All their albums sound like Pain Of Salvation. This is the best I can say about them.

This is another conceptual album focused on the issues of the nuclear power and waste, displacement of indigenous peoples, the firearm industry and human discovery. The story is about a disillusioned man that works in the weapons industry and that begins to bring the morals and ethics of his occupation into question, falling into doubt about what he really is and what is he doing from day to day with the Big Machine. Will his actions are actually harmful" On the New Year’s Eve, when he backs home, he makes the decision of to discover just what affects his apparently harmless actions are having on the world in general. He sets off on a journey around the world, visiting far reaching places and becoming witness to terrible acts that go against everything he was once told and he believes. Civilizations ripped apart by war, lands left barren by environmental devastation, careless water consumption and much more things. In the last step of his journey, he arrives at a desolate shores of Lake Karachay, a place in the former Soviet Union, which was used to store nuclear waste for more than forty years and that was eventually covered by concrete to dampen the incredible amount of radiation that was present. The concrete began to split open after several years. Consequently, a person would only need to stand on the shore of the lake for a single hour before the radiation exposure reach such high levels that the person would die from physical injuries, in approximately two weeks. Horrified by his discoveries, the man returns to his home. Considering his situation, he realizes that he will never truly be able to distance himself from the Big Machine, because it’s his home and because the world is just a giant labyrinth of machines within more machines. Instead, he begins to understand that a machine is only made up of its wheels and he is nothing more than a wheel inside of other wheels. He decides to stay inside of his chosen machine in an attempt to change its direction.

Musically, the album is very deep and intricate, as usual on all Pain Of Salvation’s albums. The song structures are very well written and nothing is very repetitive on it. The songs usually go to very powerful to suddenly very soft, which is also usual. Pain Of Salvation has really some brilliant musicians. First of all, we have Daniel’s vocal range and his emotional singing. He goes from the softest and low most emotional vocals to the most aggressive. Actually, four or five band’s members sing which you will notice most of the time. There are a lot of vocal parts with subtle instrumentals. The guitars are powerful and beautiful at the same time and have some great riffs and complex solos. The keyboards are one of the most important things here, which are used very often, and the little piano parts make the album very enjoyable to listen. At the heavy parts, they’re usually in the background, and while they might not stand out to much, the songs would sound empty if they weren’t there, as if there was something missing. One of the best things about this album is how well all the instruments flow together, and all the band members play integral roles in the construction of each song, making of the album a whole.


Conclusion: “One Hour By The Concrete Lake” is considered the weakest of all Pain Of Salvation’s first five albums. It also seems to be the less favourite album to Daniel. I’m not sure if it’s true because, to my taste, it doesn’t disappoint on any level. It’s lyrically deep and emotionally intense and it’s musically rich and involved. I have to admire how Pain Of Salvation aren’t afraid to release albums that causes the listener to think, to replay tracks, to work at catching the whole of the song. Like “Entropia”, this is a very diverse and difficult album, to typify as it bridges, the little and usual cubbyholes, we like to use to categorize music. To say that Pain Of Salvation is like any other group would be to them an injustice and certainly an insult. Like Daniel said: “If you are looking for a band that sounds just like your favourite band, just forget about us. If you are looking for a band that will make you forget about your favourite band, we are there”. They’re simply their own and generously they have chosen to share simply their music with us. God bless them.


Music was my first love.
John Miles (Rebel)



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user ratings (286)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
TheCrocodile (4)
Gildenlow on recycling....

ROH (5)
...



Comments:Add a Comment 
e210013
May 26th 2016


2498 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Your comments are very well received, as usual.

smaugman
May 26th 2016


5022 Comments


great review as usual, pos. some awkward phrasing here and there, but that's okay. tbh I think you should significantly trim down the paragraph describing the concept, but that's only me

e210013
May 26th 2016


2498 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks, man. Perhaps you're right. In this case it probably is a little bit extensive. The problem is that I think the concept is very important in a conceptual album, especially in the case of pain Of Salvation. Anyway, thanks for your comment.

TheIntruder
May 26th 2016


417 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I agree with smaugman. Another great review as usual. Have a pos.

About the size of the paragraph about the concept, it's perhaps a little too big than it should be. Anyway, I like the explanations you usually do about the concepts. In general I don't pay much attention to the lyrics of the albums. I'm a little lazy. It's much easier to listen to the music. So, they're very important to me.

Contine doing your great job man.

bloc
May 26th 2016


56947 Comments


"One Hour by the Concrete Lake"

So....a parking lot???

Digging: Ultravox - Vienna

e210013
May 26th 2016


2498 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks a lot, Intruder.

About you be lazy about the lyrics, I think you must change your attitude. In almost the cases with prog albums, especially in the conceptual albums, they're fundamental. In some cases we can even say that they're worth 50% of the all work.

TheIntruder
May 26th 2016


417 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You are right man. I'm going to try change that.

In relation to both first albums of Pain of Salvation, you might be right. Perhaps both are equal in terms of quality. However, I prefer the first one. I think it's a better album.

e210013
May 26th 2016


2498 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I can understand what do you mean. Perhaps you're right and perhaps I'm in the minority. Their debut is probably a better album to listen. However, I continue thinking that I like of both in the same way. So, I can't rate them in a different way.

TheIntruder
May 26th 2016


417 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@ block

"So....a parking lot???"

Almost, man.

e210013
May 26th 2016


2498 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, and a good one.

Ocean of Noise
May 26th 2016


10665 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Amazing band. Great album too, though it's not one I've listened to in a long time.

Digging: Circa Survive - Juturna

e210013
May 26th 2016


2498 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, usually is an album a bit forgotten from them. Perhaps it's now time to you listen to it again.

ksoflas
May 26th 2016


1275 Comments


The last paragraph is spot on, pos'd.

ksoflas
May 26th 2016


1275 Comments


The fact that this album is the worst from their first five offerings highlights how iconic PoS are.

e210013
May 26th 2016


2498 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Absolutely agree. Thanks, man.

Ocean of Noise
May 26th 2016


10665 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I wouldn't exactly describe this band as "iconic", though they are really, really good.

Jethro42
May 26th 2016


15943 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I bumped this album up to a 4 when you made your Entropia review. Re-listening to One Hour by the Concrete Lake, I realized it's an album that gives a better impression when listened from start to finish, without skipping anything. I think I prefer Entropia though (also 4'd), cos I think it's more diversified.

''Inside'', ''Inside Out'' and the inseparable trio ''New Year's Eve'', ''Handful of Nothing'' and ''Water'' are all 5 worthy. All the other songs have also their strong points. Rare are the songs that have low points. Finally, album is better than I thought.

I agree with smaugman about the trimming to give to the paragraph describing the concept, cos it could discourage the reader on the run.

Also a minor thing at the 4th paragraph;

''The keyboards are one of the most important things here, which are used very often, and the little piano parts make the album very enjoyable to listen. The keyboards are really a very important part in the music.''

It sounds quite a bit redundant when you talk about the keyboards twice rather than once.

I enjoyed reading your review, buddy. And it gives to a newbie or a revisitor the willing to listen to it.

TheCrocodile
May 26th 2016


2925 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah Inside Out is one of their best songs

e210013
May 26th 2016


2498 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@ Jethro

I always thought this is an underrated album in their discography. If we have patience and an open mind the final result is a better album than we thought at a first sight. Anyway, your preference by "Entropia" is perfectly normal.

About the fourth paragraph, only now I saw that. Thanks man. I'm going to correct it.

The final idea about my review was precisely give to a newbie or a revisitor the willing to listen to it. It was because of that I was so exhaustive about the concept, try to interest the reader about the story. But it seems that I overdid a bit.

Thanks dude, for your comments and sugestions.

e210013
May 26th 2016


2498 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@ Crocodile

I agree with you. "Inside Out" is really one of their best songs. However, as a conceptual album I prefer to see it as a whole.

Thanks buddy.



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