Pain of Salvation
Scarsick


4.0
excellent

Review

by e210013 USER (82 Reviews)
August 14th, 2017 | 45 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The second part of two music conceptual pieces around the childhood and adolescence. This is another great release of the band that became their most controversial album.

“Scarsick” is the sixth studio album of Pain Of Salvation and was released in 2006. The line up on the album is Daniel Gildenlöw, Johan Hallgren, Fredrik Hermansson and Johan Langell.


When “The Perfect Element, Part 1” was released, Daniel Gildenlöw said that it would be released a second part of the project, “The Perfect Element, Part 2”. So, “Scarsick” is nothing more or nothing less than the second part of “The Perfect Element, Part 1”, despite be released with another name and be substantially different in terms of music.

The bass guitar work on this album is played by Daniel Gildenlow and not by his brother Kristoffer Gildenlow. The former bassist left the band in 2006 due to his marriage. Daniel asked him total dedication to the group, what it meant to live in Sweden. However, after his marriage, he began to live in the Netherlands, which prevented his continuity inside the band. This was also the last album to feature Johan Langell on drums. He decided to quit the band to spend more time with his family. His personal and difficult decision was received with surprise by both, fans and band’s members.

“Scarsick” is another conceptual album. It’s focused on issues like capitalism, materialism, consumerism, and the entire contemporary society as a whole. It continues the story of “He” from “The Perfect Element, Part 1”. “He” represents something metaphorically. “He” can be seen as America as a nation. Each track on “Scarsick” represents something literal, something that is happening or being through by “He”, and something figurative, something relating to culture, people beliefs, in short, with the American way of life, which is, the way of life of the Western civilization. Daniel said that the life of “He” is an allegory for all mankind and that in him we can see the problems of our society on a very intimate and personal scale. While “The Perfect Element Part 1” deals with the individual dysfunction in a certain psychological context, “Scarsick” deals with a sociological sense and explores the relationship between both contexts.

Musically, it seems to follow the same idea. The music is darker than on their previous albums. The use of rap style vocals on the first two tracks, the use of a disco music on a track and the limited piano throughout the album, give it a darker, different and unusual feel. In addition, the final two tracks have a mellower and depressing sound to them. It’s still much simpler than “The Perfect Element Part 1” or “Remedy Lane”, for instance. Despite be a progressive album, it takes the music to another level, and it’s not progressive in the way that is complex. Some of the progressive and metal fans hate it because it’s not complex enough and the hip-hop, disco and pop influences are simply just a bad attempt to be different. So, compared with “The Perfect Element Part 1”, “Scarsick” provides a much harsher and rough sound to the listener and can also certainly shock many of them. However, we mustn’t forget that we are talking about prog rock.

Pain Of Salvation is a very different and special band. His leader Daniel has a very well concrete plan for the band and he doesn’t stray from it, for any reason, even under the pressure of their fans and critics. We can never criticize Pain Of Salvation for not changing their direction, whether we like it or not. This is what happened with this album. It became one of the most controversial, misunderstood and underrated progressive rock album of the last years. Unfortunately, it joins to “Tales From Topographic Oceans” of Yes, probably the most underrated album in the history of the progressive rock music. “Scarsick” has probably the best lyrics of all band’s albums, and musically, despite being a very progressive and audacious album that explores various musical genres, it keeps its powerful sound with changes by abrupt passages between calm and heavy parts, what always has been one of the traditional images of the group.


Conclusion: “Scarsick” is definitely a very special and different album in all band’s discography. But, it doesn’t mean that this is a bad thing. If you find time and patience to listen to the album and understand it, you’ll probably agree that Pain Of Salvation is certainly a different group and surely one of the leaders of the prog metal genre. Daniel was very serious when he said that Pain Of Salvation is a very different group. And I’m going to cite him: “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.” With “Scarsick” Pain Of Salvation created another album for the ages, skilfully combining cerebral stimulation, musical experimentation, rich instrumentation, hooky songwritting, and above all, they proved that they aren’t afraid to innovate and they aren’t attached to the usual musical stereotypes of prog. I sincerely think we must be thankful to them, if they continue delivering such quality and innovative products. My final conclusion about “Scarsick” is that or you love or you hate it, and I know that many of you hate it for several reasons. However, probably the most important thing about “Scarsick” is that despite you like it or not, you can’t ignore it.


Music was my first love.
John Miles (Rebel)



Recent reviews by this author
Yes Going for the OneYes Relayer
Yes Close to the EdgeYes Fragile
Yes The Yes AlbumMorse Code La Marche des Hommes
user ratings (316)
Chart.
3.4
great
other reviews of this album
Altmer (4)
...

scissorlocked (4)
Pain of Salvation show their new face,with the second part of the unforgettable"The Perfect Element"...

asheroth (2)
High expectations fail to be met with Pain of Salvation's new, simpler and ultimately disappointing ...



Comments:Add a Comment 
e210013
August 14th 2017


1723 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Here it's another review of POS. This is the perfect companion for my previous review, since, despite its name, it's the second part of the Perfect Element. It's the perfect companion not due to its quality, which is clearly inferior, but because it's part of the whole of the all conceptual piece. Anyway, I think it has its proper charme and quality.

Dissonant
August 14th 2017


164 Comments


Nice review. Gonna listen to these guys again at some point today.

e210013
August 14th 2017


1723 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks, man. It's nice to see some love for them here on Sputnik. I hope you enjoy your listen of a POS album, today, whatever it is.

Jethro42
August 14th 2017


15189 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

While Scarsick is not a bad album, it's probably my least favorite of their discog. Album shows signs of shortness of breath, so I'm not surprised they totally took another turn with the Salt Road series that are following. I even enjoy more Salt Road I over Scarsick. Like most of the people, I judge the quality of an album by the level of pleasure I have to listen to it. Scarsick is a good listen despite its flaws. I'm not a fan of the rap in ''Spitfall'', ''America'' gets on my nerve, ''Disco Queen'' doesnt do nothing to me, and ''Mrs Modern'' is bland.

The rest is pretty well done, but not perfect, except for my two favorites ''Cribcaged'' and ''Kindom of Loss''. The opener ''Scarsick'' is really great too. I sadly just cannot listen to the album without skipping some songs. And so to me it was a logical end of their typical style, and another chapter was about to be finished in their discog. And then Road Salt was born and welcome if you ask me.

Good review, bro. Posd.

ksoflas
August 14th 2017


1199 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review such as the album, pos'd of course.

Eveyone should take notice on how you can write catchy, modern, crossover prog metal with awesome lyrics about American's society decay.

e210013
August 14th 2017


1723 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@ Jethro

Here, we have some different opinion my friend. I can see why you and many other people dislike or at least like less of this work. But unlike you I don't have any problem with those tracks. I even can say that when I bought it, it was an album that I couldn't stop playing it, too.

I think that people in general didn't accepted very well those tracks. But I really think that there was a clear intention from Daniel to do that. After all, disco and rap are phenomens that appeared initially in America. So, I think it was his intention to show and provoke our consciousness with those tracks, showing the American way of life, after all, the way of almost we all live today. Besides, it wasn't very strange the inclusion of so varied styles on the band. POS always incorpaorated different music styles on their works. Maybe he has gone a bit further, in this case, maybe. Anyway, The album is much less cohesive, ballanced and good as are their previous albums, I agree. This is clearly their weakest album from their first six studio albums.

About Road Salt albums, I'm not so positive about them as you are, my friend. They never talked to my heart and soul in a very positive way, especially the first one of them. I was a little decepcioned with them in those days. Anyway I don't listen to them for many years. I intend to review both too, one day. So, when I decided to do that, I'm going to listen to them again, very carefully.

Thanks, bro.

ksoflas
August 14th 2017


1199 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm just disappointed that most of PoS fans didn't get it.

Maybe they prefer the abomination Road Salt series better.

e210013
August 14th 2017


1723 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks ksoflas. When I love something I always defend it with all my heart and soul.

ksoflas
August 14th 2017


1199 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Me too, right on my friend.

e210013
August 14th 2017


1723 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh, I can see that you dislike the Road Salt series ksoflas. I'm not a great fan too. But I need to check them again.

ksoflas
August 14th 2017


1199 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Waste of time imho, some good songs there but this isn't PoS.

Daniel should release them under his name.

Jethro42
August 14th 2017


15189 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I confess the Road Salt series have pretty much nothing to do with Pain of Salvation, but maybe Daniel felt that their metal path came to an impasse and wanted to kill the repetitiveness... maybe. But we still can find the talent Daniel has to compose enticing songs. Like all the fans, I hoped Road Salt would finish at II to satisfy the prog metal fanbase and kinda returning to their roots like they did. Road Salt demonstrate that Daniel can go further than only prog metal. I love the original and dirty bluesy sound of these two albums. Would be better as Daniel's solo albums that's for sure.



Edit; @ksoflas, I can partially agree with you as you can see.

ksoflas
August 14th 2017


1199 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's obvious that we are on the same page Jethro.

Daniel as a composer has Be under his belt so he doesn't have to prove anything to anyone imho.

Jethro42
August 14th 2017


15189 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yes, I agree. Be might be their album I came to enjoy the most.The Perfect Element and Remedy Lane are close followers oc. Be is darker and has more strong moments as a whole, and it flows very well despite its experimental nature. It took me time to realize it though.

Divaman
August 14th 2017


1805 Comments


Good job, e. I'm completely unfamiliar with this band.

Digging: When We Land - Introvert's Plight

e210013
August 15th 2017


1723 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I agree with both, ksoflas and Jethro. Daniel at that moment didn't have to prove anything to anyone, especially after "Be". "Be" is the most challenging thing he has ever made and with it he has abble to proved that he can go for the music path he more wants.

About Road Salt series, it would be very hard be made under his name because POS is Daniel and Daniel is POS. Perhaps my problem with those albums are because they are too much bluesy influenced and I'm not a great fan of blues, in general, for stranger that it seems.



e210013
August 15th 2017


1723 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks Diva. It's not so strange that you aren't very familiar with these band. According to your ratings, it seems that you aren't a great fan of metal, in general. Still, if you have some curiosity in trying prog metal in general, we can say that POS is a great place to starting. You can try in a first place "Remedy Lane" or "The Perfect Element, Part 1, which are without any doubt two of the best albums ever made, in the genre.

Anyway, my four next reviews will be in this genre with two other great bands and albums. Maybe some of those albums are even a much easy listening for those who aren't very used to with this genre of music.

Jethro42
August 15th 2017


15189 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@Diva, I agree with the recs of e21. The Perfect Element contains a lot of calm passages, and I think you could be seduced by the quality of the melodies found there, even if you're not exactly into metal. Same for Remedy Lane, but I'd start with Perfect Element first.



@e21, sorry, I didn't reply to the first comment you wrote to me. I really like your statement about the America's way of life's theme found through Scarsick, so it's logical the band approached the rap and disco which came from America. Also when you talk about the variety of styles found in their music, you're so right, and that's what's doing their strenght. They're touching every kind of emotions and Daniel has an incredible range of voice, and it's so powerful! They can be very mellow, mid-pace or up tempo (sometimes all in the same song), and they're always so melodic it's hard to ignore them. Also did you know that among others, Daniel has taken his inspiration in the opera rock Jesus Christ Superstar (by Andrew Lloyd Webber) which always was a big influence on him musically.

Cheers!



e210013
August 15th 2017


1723 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

No problem Jethro.

I 100% agree with your comment. And you're perfectly right with the voice of Daniel. The man is a great singer capable of several different types of voices. And he is abble to use it with the different tempos used on POS albums. We can say that both are absolutelly perfect as if both were part of the same coin, the two sides of it. That is really amazing.

About the influence of Daniel about "Jesus Christ Superstar", I really didn'y know that. Thanks for the information, pal. However, that isn't a complete surprise for me, because it came to my mind something I have wrote before. If you take another look to my review of their live album 12:05, I have mentioned that after "Remedy Lane”, the group engaged in the Swedish assembly of the musical piece “Jesus Christ Superstar”, and were being responsible for implementing of the songs.

Cheers, too.

Jethro42
August 15th 2017


15189 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I just saw that you're talking about Jesus Christ Superstar in your other review. Damn, you have good memory, my friend. If you listen to that opera rock, you can feel and detect some approach and sections that are similar to some Pain of Savation at some point, metal non-included of course. But it's never rip off, don't be afraid. Just some similarities at places in the style, melodies and atmospheres, but it's quite subtle.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy