Pain of Salvation
Remedy Lane



by Distorted Vision USER (4 Reviews)
January 14th, 2005 | 211 replies

Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist

Pain Of Salvation - Remedy Lane

Daniel Gildenlow: vocals and guitar
Kristoffer Gildenlow: bass and vocals
Johan Hallgren: guitar and vocals
Johan Langell: drums and vocals
Fredrik Hermansson: keyboards

Remedy Lane is the fourth full length album from Swedish progressive group, Pain Of Salvation. Led by the multi-talented Daniel Gildenlow, this album marks another huge step for PoS to the point of being one of the leaders of the current progressive scene. Although having toured with Dream Theater and the like in the past, let me warn you now that this is not prog in the same over-the-top self-indulgent vein as Dream Theater or Symphony X, the 'prog' elements are much more subtle, with the band putting more emphasis on emotion than technical showcase. In fact, this band's style is probably closer to bands like Opeth and Katatonia, minus the death vocals though. That said, all instrumentalists here are more than capable of being technical when the situation calls for it - witness the strange-at-first contrasting rhythms between drums and voice on the chorus of Fandango - but don't let it get in the way of the flow of the songs.

Another thing to note is that this is a semi-autobiographical concept album. It is obvious from the lyrics that Daniel Gildenlow put his heart and soul into telling the world about these particular events in his life. The story centres on time he spent in Budapest, with various references throughout the album. I'm still not sure the whole concept of the album, but in some places it is obvious what is going on, and as such very striking - A Trace Of Blood is his reaction to losing his child to miscarriage, and it really expresses his pain and dismay. I'd also like to take this opportunity to say how impressed I am with Daniel; he is an incredible young talent and one of the most dynamic vocalists I have heard in a long time.

Anyway, onto the actual music on show here. The album opens with Of Two Beginnings, a nice introduction to the album, starting quiet but soon after everything comes crashing in, the vocals giving a good indication of what's too come. It's a dark track which broods along to the real start of the album, Ending Theme (notice the paradox?). This comes in strong with a simple melody, but soon quiets down to simple guitar as Daniel introduces the story. Later on there is a massive, memorable chorus, re-introducing that starting melody. Another aspect of this song is when Daniel goes into a sort of freestyle rhyme, instead of singing conventionally, and his voice sounds like that of a man with too much running through his head at once, frantically going over everything ('to be honest, I fear I just don't know'). Following Ending Theme comes Fandango, a dark song filled with odd rhythms, diminished melodies and Gildenlow singing like a man possessed, going through what sounds like changes of personality as the dark mood continues to change. Overall, it's a good progressive song, albeit quite strange, but it doesn't quite prepare you for the next song.

A Trace Of Blood for me is the jewel in this album's crown, a song of immense proportions and one of Pain Of Salvation's best ever. The intro puts a smile on my face every time, it's big and beautiful, but soon after we descend into Daniel's dark mind again. Again, the verses do go on for quite a while to portray all the lyrics that tell the story, but the wait is totally worth it for the chorus, another staggering show of the emotion in the subject matter ('I never knew your name but I will love you just the same . . . I never saw your face but now you're gone without a trace'). You really have to hear this song for yourself, very intense, emotional and just great. The intensity of this song is countered nicely with the next song, the ballad This Heart Of Mine. By all means a love song, less complex than the others but with evident beauty, and a great second section. It all builds to an emotional climax, then diminishes as it leads into the next song, Undertow. The whole song is based around a minor melody which conveys the emotion of despair, and the song builds up very gradually with more and more sound adding to the dark atmosphere.

Rope Ends starts off with a heavy, off-beat riff - in fact, it's one of the heaviest songs on the album. The lyrics deal with attempted suicide of a friend ('"Over!" she cries, through rope ends and silk ties'), and the song skips quickly between differing sections, with contrasting dynamics which convey a sense of urgency. This song also has a big, majestic chorus, and a funky sounding solo section. Definitely a highlight. After that song comes Chain Sling, another track which takes on a totally new theme. It starts with an Eastern-sounding melody, which Daniel sings along with note-for note. I tell you, this guy sings in so many different styles you could be mistaken for thinking it was more than one singer, and I consider this his best performance on the record. As Chain Sling progresses it begins to sound more 'woodsy', while still maintaining that Eastern flair. Dryad Of The Woods follows, a mellow instrumental which provides a nice break from the complexity. Melodies twist around each other before the song reaches its climax and fades out. Following this is another instrumental - yes I know, it seems illogical to me as well, to have two in a row. The song Remedy Lane is probably the worst track on the album, not that it's that bad but it simply doesn't fit that well. It's a synthesiser track mainly, with some drums, and just sounds like an eerie electronica track. Luckily it's short, so it doesn't hinder the flow that much.

Things get back on track with Waking Every God, a standard sounding PoS track with great bass playing from Daniel's brother Kristoffer. This is very much like some of their previous work, and is not as serious as some of the other songs on here. Still, it's a good solid track, with another great performance from Daniel. The penultimate track is another ballad, Second Love, written by Daniel when he was 16. Now some people love this and some people hate it, it's the most 'pop' sounding song they've done to date, and wouldn't be out of place on a Bon Jovi album. Nevertheless, I think it's great, and very catchy, and a nice moment's beauty before the big ending, Beyond The Pale. The longest track on the album is another atmospheric piece which weaves around, always going in a different direction to convey all the feelings wrapped up in this story. It flows between moments of beauty and aggression. I won't describe every twist and turn in the song, all I will say is it's a great album closer, bringing together everything that has been present in the album. It ends with the repeated line 'We will always be so much more human than we wish to be', and the album fades to black.

Often a band will be tagged 'Progressive' just because they use time signature and tempo changes and sometimes it will affect the overall quality of the song, since it will just feel like a showcase of abilities. Pain Of Salvation does not fall in this pattern. Each drum part, keyboard melody and bass line are there for a purpose; there's no waste of music; everything just merges together perfectly like a pure symbiosis. As usual with PoS, what shines the most on this CD is yet again the stunning performance of Daniel Gildenlow on vocal. This guy is simply unbelievable. I don't know if the purpose of the band was to release their most emotional work to date, but if so, it was achieved flawlessly with the vocals.

So overall, I think this is a great album. Full of emotion but also packed will great music, this will appeal to fans of Dream Theater, Opeth, or anyone with a taste for something different. There's so much variation here, and (have I already mentioned this?) Daniel Gildenlow gives a knockout performance. These guys are ahead of the game in the prog-metal genre, always breaking the mould and truly progressing. I urge you to check these guys out, they deserve more recognition, and I hope this review wasn't too long for you.

Recommended - 4.5/5

user ratings (706)
other reviews of this album
e210013 (5)
This is another brilliant masterpiece from the band. It’s Daniel’s most personal album till then...

UnderTheNorthernScar (5)
A powerfully complex, emotive record that impacts the listener in a deeper, more personal way with e...

Altmer (4.5)
Prog essential....

Comments:Add a Comment 
Distorted Vision
August 4th 2004


Bump, it may not have that wide an appeal but c'mon.

August 4th 2004



I don't know Pain of Salvation..but it's a good review, so it deserves replies. I do recognise the name Gildenlow, though. I think Daniel sang on Spastic Ink's new album.

Distorted Vision
August 4th 2004



I don't know Pain of Salvation..but it's a good review, so it deserves replies. I do recognise the name Gildenlow, though. I think Daniel sang on Spastic Ink's new album.[/QUOTE]

You gots ta do what ya gota ta do. ;) Cheers though.

Yeah, Gildenlow's done quite a few things, most recently he sang on The Flower Kings' new album, plus Hammer Of The Gods with Mike Portnoy and Paul Gilbert. Talented fella, him.

Per Ardua Ad Astra
August 5th 2004


The only PoS album that i have is 12:5, and i enjoy it (yes, i know that the songs are all acoustic versions of their previous songs).
I've been looking to get into this album for awhile.
Nice review.

Distorted Vision
August 5th 2004


I haven't heard 12:5 yet actually, how do the songs on there compare to the electric versions?

Per Ardua Ad Astra
August 5th 2004


It's alot different, but still quite good. My favorite is probably "Dryad of the Woods"

August 6th 2004


[QUOTE=Distorted Vision]You gots ta do what ya gota ta do. ;) Cheers though.

Yeah, Gildenlow's done quite a few things, most recently he sang on The Flower Kings' new album, plus Hammer Of The Gods with Mike Portnoy and Paul Gilbert. Talented fella, him.[/QUOTE]

I saw Daniel play the Hammer Of The Gods show in Montreal, he was awesome. The only disappointing part of the evening was that he didn't hit that famous note in Immigration Song, which is odd, because he's more than capable of reaching that high. :upset:

I only own The Perfect Element right now, but I plan on buying the rest of their discography gradually after digesting each album properly.

Distorted Vision
August 6th 2004


Holy shit man, I would have loved to see that HotG show. Didn't they only play like 2 or 3 shows in all?

August 19th 2004


I only have Entropia, but I've also been meaning to pick this one up.

January 23rd 2005


Sounds good. Heard the name around, been meaning to check 'em out, sounds like my kind of thing.

January 24th 2005


I've heard a lot about this band, I should check em out sometime.

Dancin' Man
January 24th 2005


I've only got Entropia but this sounds equally good.

April 2nd 2005


I have Perfect Element pt 1 and Remedy Lane, and while PE is my favourite, this album is still a masterpiece. I know this has been said before, but Daniel is a musical genious.

April 14th 2005


I've heard ! (Forward) and Iter Impius, and damn, these folks are magical. Too bad they don't sell any of their records around here. Aah well.

April 14th 2005


dude can u guys hear or what this album sux 1/5

August 6th 2005


This is one of POS's classic albums. It's a must for anyone into progressive music.

August 21st 2005


Album Rating: 5.0

Great review.

I have all of their albums and they are all masterpieces.

October 1st 2005


Sounds interesting. I haven't heard the song but "Trace of Blood" has the most saddening lyrics ever, especially since it's about the real-life tragedy the songwriter and his wife went through (miscarriage).

October 1st 2005


Sounds good. Downloading...

February 4th 2006


Album Rating: 4.5

This album is great, and the review likewise.

Moses introduced me to this band, and they're definately one of the best bands I've discovered recently.

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