PAIN OF SALVATION — BE

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4.06 | 64 ratings | 9 reviews
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Album · 2004

Tracklist

1. Prologue: Animae Partus ("I Am") (1:48)
2. I. Animae Partus: Deus Nova (3:18)
3. I. Animae Partus: Imago (Homines Partus) (5:11)
4. I. Animae Partus: Pluvius Aestivus (5:00)
5. II. Machinassiah: Lilium Cruentus (Deus Nova) (5:28)
6. II. Machinassiah: Nauticus (Drifting) (4:58)
7. II. Machinassiah: Dea Pecuniae: I. Mister Money - II. Permanere - III. I Raise My Glass (10:09)
8. III. Machinageddon: Vocari Dei (3:50)
9. III. Machinageddon: Diffidentia (Breaching the Core) (7:36)
10. III. Machinageddon: Nihil Morari (6:21)
11. IV. Machinauticus: Latericius Valete (2:27)
12. IV. Machinauticus: Omni (2:37)
13. IV. Machinauticus: Iter Impius (6:21)
14. IV. Machinauticus: Martius/Nauticus II (6:41)
15. V. Deus Nova Mobile: Animae Partus II (4:08)

Total Time: 75:58

Line-up/Musicians

- Daniel Gildenlöw / lead vocals, acoustic guitar
- Frederik Hermannson / Grand piano, harpsichord
- Johan Langell / drums, percussion, vocals
- Kristoffer Gildenlöw / acoustic basses, cello
- Johan Hallgren / guitar, vocals

+ The Orchestra Of Eternity & Guests

About this release

Release date: October 12th, 2004
Label: InsideOut Music

Thanks to J-Man, diamondblack for the updates

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PAIN OF SALVATION BE reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

The Crow
After two masterpieces of prog-metal, The Perfect Element Pt.1 and Remedy Lane, Pain of Salvation released the most ambitious album of their career!

Which sadly was a big step back for them, dividing the opinion of fans and critics equally.

What I think of this BE? I consider this album a boring and disjointed attempt to create a concept bigger than life, which revolves around philosophy, religion, God, apocalypse and tons of other ideas inside Gildenlow's head at that time. I cannot say that Be is a bad album, but it's too irregular and full of disposable tracks to be a worthy follow up of their previous four records.

There are fifteen tracks here, and I would say that only four or five are really worthy of Pain of Salvation. The rest are a repetition of ideas, melodies, simple instrumentations and tons of voices and dialogues in service of the history, forgetting what a good and enjoyable album really is... Moreover, that makes the hearing of BE on its integrity an odyssey by itself.

Even the fine folk and orchestral elements cannot hide the lack of more consistent and hearable songs.

Best Tracks: Imago (fine primitive and folk melodies), Lilium Cruentus (very cinematic), Nihil Morari (one of the few songs which reminds to the true Pain of Salvation of previous albums), Iter Impius (incredible vocal performance by Gildenlow)

Conclusion: BE is an irregular, pompous and pretentious album where Pain of Salvation tried to make something different and ground-breaking forgetting almost all the trademarks which made them big in their first four albums. Gildenlow set the history above the music and the result is an album with lots of fillers, absurd tracks and just a few good moments.

Sadly, BE supposed the end of a glorious era for the band. And I think that they never really recovered themselves of the flop of this strange and messy album.

My rating: **
The Angry Scotsman
An intriguing album that is a major break from the band's old style.

Considered by some as the bands masterpiece, by some as the beginning of the end for the great band, by some just a weird, difficult work "BE" is a unique piece of music that at least warrants a few listens to try and grasp it.

While Pain of Salvation's first 4 albums were well written, not too technical, emotional and unpretentious classics of prog metal, "BE" is a dense, difficult and pretentious album that is very low on the metal.

Not that it's a bad thing. While proud of their superior music, prog fans have proven they can be as stubborn as any. Frankly, I applaud the band's radical change in direction, even if it's not the best executed, and certainly not the most accessible. Wouldn't we all end up mocking the band if they just made 8 albums of the same thing anyway?

No doubt this is a challenging album. Besides the big drop in heaviness, the whole album works together as one big piece instead of individual songs. Each song flows into the next, and often the songs themselves feature stops followed by huge changes, like the work has moved onto its next part and the "songs" are random lines thrown down randomly not really marking a new piece.

Indeed this appears to be the case. In true prog rock fashion the album is really broken into 5 movements, subdivided into the songs and sometimes the songs subdivided into smaller segments. "BE" deals with human existence, the environment and especially the subject of God. It's a grandiose story that rivals Tool in being labyrinth like and purposely impenetrable. Could continue on with this stuff but onto the music itself before I get too distracted.

"BE" is an extremely diverse prog rock album. There are moments of heaviness, but its largely a mellow prog rock outing with an orchestral feel. Violins, cellos, brass, woodwinds, and church organ are all found throughout. While at first listen "BE" sounds quite minimal, like background to whatever wackiness is going on, if you listen all the way through there are some pretty awesome riffs, melodies and all the staples of Pain of Salvation: off beat syncopation, abrupt changes, gentle movements and rock out thrashing, and of course Daniel's varied always perfect vocal style. Though quite a few times they are over the top and silly, sometimes painful and you have to accept it as part of the whole experience, or grin and bear it.

There is heavy use of spoken word samples like real people calling "Gods answering machine" to say anything they'd like, news stories of various tragedies, a woman orgasming, it's all over the place. Which can be said of the music as well, all over the place. Rockin prog metal, folk passages, church like music and Broadway musical you really have no idea what this album will throw at you.

So I really can't accurately describe this album, not in a way to do it justice, so you just have to listen yourself. It's important not to skip, even if you're going crazy to do so. Just listen from start to finish, and do so several times. At first it will be a mess, I know I couldn't even figure out what was happening, but with time the music itself will appear and it's a pretty solid display of prog rock. Overly serious and wacky, almost to the point of self parody? Seems that way, but just give it a few deep listens. Some parts really are quite beautiful, like the worldly folk piece "Imago" and "Vocari Dei" featuring the people calling "Gods answering machine" is one of the more moving things you'll hear.

I am not sure how to rate this, each person can react to an album like this so radically different, and even though I quite like it, "BE" can not be called a metal album. Which is difficult to rate overall for a metal site. So I'll say it's a pretty good album at it's core, but only each of us can truly decide for ourselves how we feel. Regardless, it's an experience like few others.

Three and a Half Stars, but rate for yourself!
Warthur
I seem to be entirely out of step with most people when it comes to Pain of Salvation - particularly Be, which I find incredibly irritating. Part of it is the daft, nonsensical attempt at metaphysics which the album is based on (apparently the band's conception of God is as someone with so much time on their hands they can't think up anything to do beyond smash themselves into a myriad different souls, torture themselves, kill themselves, and return to the whole... go figure), but most of it is the fact that the album plods along in the same obnoxious all flash and no sincerity vein as most of Pain of Salvation's albums. I don't mind progressive metal - there's a lot of progressive metal albums I love - but I wish people don't feel the need to be so progger than thou about it.
Conor Fynes
'Be' - Pain of Salvation (10/10)

This is quite simply one of the best albums ever made. Daniel Gildenlow has once again transcended the boundaries of his musical parameter and tackled a project which is nothing short of massive. Pain of Salvation has composed an album that is close to being perfect, and might as well be considered as such. 'Be' has a little bit of everything. There are folk-influenced pieces, a minimalistic (and very beautiful) classically styled piece, songs reminiscent of their 'Remedy Lane' effort, and even a song that wouldn't sound out of place on Broadway! The culmination of all of these magical elements is rendered even more splendid with the addition of a 9 piece Orchestra (The Orchestra of Eternity.) While other bands have used orchestras before (Metallica's 'S&M', Dream Theater's 'Score'), never before has there been such a perfect mixture between the rock based and symphonic based instruments. The orchestra is at the forefront of the action throughout the work, and compliments the music greatly.

I've always wondered what genre to truly consider this album. It's certainly not metal, despite the fact that many consider Pain of Salvation to be a progressive metal band. In fact, metal is the least represented genre on this album! That's not to say that there's less progression on this album however. Many have said that this record takes a long time to appreciate. While I can see where they're coming from (it's incredibly musically dense and unique) I personally fell in love with the music from first spin on. However, I would give a warning to those who aren't used to such avant-garde leanings.

If the music itself wasn't enough to sell 'Be' off as a masterpiece, the concept of the album fortifies the album a hundredfold. This is one of the most epic, ambitious concept albums ever produced. 'Be' tries to answer the questions that mankind has posed ever since it's inauguration. Who is god, and does he exist? What does he want? This divine element is contrasted by a human plot, of the future 'richest man in the world' (named in the script as Mr. Money) attempting to seek immortality through cryogenics. When waking up, he finds himself in a world of desolation and emptiness (apparently after some sort of apocalypse) and realizes that his all of his money was, in the end totally meaningless. Summarizing this shouldn't spoil any of the enjoyment, as it is the way it is told that is worth so much praise.

Daniel Gildenlow is a musical genius, and if ever there was a perfect representation of the man's brilliance, this is it. 'Be' is not only one of the best progressive albums of all time, but one of the greatest pieces of music ever to be composed. A masterpiece, and possibly my favourite album ever.
Negoba
A Big Swing and a Miss for the Talented Swede

In a genre with its share of ambitious, pretentious, self-absorbed musical forays that go too far, this one runs headlong right off the cliff without even looking back. Pain of Salvation's bandleader / singer / multi-instrumentalist Daniel Gildenlow's creative talent is enmeshed in pushing the envelope further and further, and he's effectively ridden the edge to great effect many times. I would argue the "pushing too hard" begins as far back as Remedy Lane, and most agree that Scarsick is way past the line. In my opinion, this is the first album in the PoS discography where I felt like I wasted my money.

Be contains LONG spoken word sections throughout the album on subjects dealing with existence, religion, love, and the nature of being. And not allegorically, head on, attempting to juggle multiple immense subjects at once - it was doomed to fail. At times these musings run over ambient key pads, occasionally over prog-metal, and sometimes some simple guitar noodling. Even more occasionally, we get an entire SONG with actual lyrics and melody that relates to the instrumental music. To a greater degree than even the previous PoS concept albums, this is a rock opera, a soundtrack to what sounds like it was meant to be a stage production (Existence and Everything in It - the Musical). Several songs sound like big stage numbers, and the genre hopping here sounds more like Broadway than rock.

Some of the composed music on this album is really good, and in fact the album opens and ends quite well. The completely realized songs (Imago, Pluvius Aestivus, and Martius / Nauticus II) and many of the instrumental interludes are up there with the best of Pain of Salvation, and makes a fan like me wonder what could have been. Gildenlow has added a folky flavor in spots with acoustic instrumentation and melodic sense that really gives the album a freshness and contrast to previous work.

But after weathering several spoken word passages among some truly compelling music, we are given the very questionable Nauticus. Starting with a similated slave work song (White northern European not only trying to sound Black but writing a slave song??? That takes some stones) the piece then devolves into a spoken word scene between a narcissist and a woman he's picked up that is just painful on repeated listens. The piece is really an intro to the next track (all about narcissism), and it's all part of the story, I get it. But beginning at this spot and continuing for many subsequent songs, the brushstrokes are so broad, and the points so basic on a philosophical level, that only (young) teenagers are not already going to be past the lyrical content of the album.

There's enough here to earn the album two stars, but it's significantly inferior to Remedy Lane, which I initially (before hearing this album) gave the same mark for some faults in common and some of its own. Where I think most PoS fans should get Remedy Lane and render their own opinion, I feel like no one should buy this disc unless they've sampled it in its entirety first. Sadly, it could have been a masterpiece. But when you swing for the bleachers, you're going to have your share of strikeouts. Gildenlow swung for outer space on this one. The result is not surprising.

topofsm
ain of Salvation throws together the mysterious ideas of creation, the haunting prospect of the future of the Earth, and the death of the human race all together and throws it against the listener musically in a dark and solemn way. This is one of the most thoughtfully put together concept albums in all of prog and certainly prog metal. Themes are twisted around and serve to enhance the concept further than most, and the orchestra in the album adds much more emotion. Simple melodies and syncopated guitar chugging contrast in BE and make a beautiful and thought-provoking album.

People will probably be turned off right away from the album because of the large focus on the concept of the album. The first two tracks couldn't really be called songs, since both are largely based on narration, and only the latter ("Deus Nova") has music, which while containing lots of rhythmically complex syncopations is compositionally somewhat simple due to lots of repetition. There are also a lot of softer tracks, a couple of which are instrumental, like "Pluvius Aestivus" and "Omni", which due to their placement in the album could make listeners familiar with songs more traditionally 'musical' (for lack of a better word) find the album boring. Even narrative tracks like "Vocari Dei" featuring people leaving messages for God on his answering machine are musically beautiful but aren't in a standard music format, so people expecting an album containing a standard collection of songs should change their expectations right away.

Of course, there are more standard songs on the album, though they even stand out due to their wide variety of influences. "Imago" for example is mainly comprised of folk-based melodic instruments over tribal drums, with a lone oboe carrying a main theme beautifully in some parts. "Nauticus" is akin to chants sung by negro slaves in pre-civil war Southern US. Then there's the lengthy "Dea Pecuniae", which is a bit like an over-the top broadway track played by Pain of Salvation. The wide variety of influences helps reinforce the concept dealing with humanity as a whole. Of course, there are standard Pain of Salvation songs like "Diffidentia" and "Lilium Cruentus" with slightly heavy melodic metal playing the main role musically.

The concept, as said before, is the main focus of the album, not necessarily the music. This is partially what makes Pain of Salvation's work here so interesting, since rarely is there a band that sacrifices their musical writing for getting the story across. The story, also as said before, is quite ominous. While it begins with a 'god' figure explaining his/her method of creation by making all of humanity as pieces of god. As it goes on, mankind starts becoming less innocent and more malevolent towards god, their planet, and each other. A fictional character that represents humanity as a whole battles with god, and humanity suffers for it. The planet, eventually being narrated from around fifty years in the future becomes a very inauspicous place, and the idea that this is actually where society is headed becomes an important message from the band.

Overall, this work is a masterpiece. Sometimes artists feel they can pull off a concept and tell a story only musically. While Pain of Salvation has been able to use music in the past, their storytelling and criticism of societal flaws using narration as a large instrument in the album is innovative. BE is simply superb, and progressive in all senses of the word.
arcane-beautiful
Ok, when it comes to comparing music to art (the Pitchfork method which leaves a lot of great bands with poor reviews on albums, basically because they don't sound like Radiohead?yawning every piece of music they can make (there first 3 albums were great, at least there was music present.)

But this album is art within itself, a conceptual piece of music that presents an amazing story about?life itself basically, instrumentation that is second to none, a late Romantic style orchestration which is incredibly beautiful and a stage show that put forward drama, music, dance and art. Like Banksy (the avante garde artist), this story really makes you think. Being an atheist, but a fond fanatic of occult and modern ideologies, this concept was incredibly interesting for me. If there is a God, is he as human as we are, & does he find out hard to love, to create, unlike the Christian ethos which make him out to be all wise & ever loving.

Out of my top 10 albums of all time, this one would certainly be one of them. Pain Of Salvation have changed with every album they make, not in a dramtic Bowie way, but in a more timbre like quality. This album is one in a million. It is amazing.

1. Animae Partus (I Am) - The intro, basically the thoughts of an early God.

2. Deus Nova - An amazing piece of music mixing polyrhythms with amazing piano triadics. The countdown like lyrics represents the course of reproduction throughout history.

3. Imago (Homines Partus) - An absolute gem. Mixing folk like instruments with an amazing oboe countermelody, and beautiful and amazing vocals from Daniel.

4. Pluvius Aestivus - An intermezzo really. Amazing piano work with some beautiful orchestration. Unlike anything this band have ever achieved.

5. Lilium Crentus - Classic Pain Of Salvation really. The riff in this song kicks serious ass.

6. Nauticus (Drifting) - Very beautiful and very calm.

7.Dea Pucuniae - This song sums up basically what The Wall did in less than 12 minutes rather than 2 discs. The narration at the start of the song makes me laugh every time. Full of innuendo and cheese, how could you not love it. This song is probably one of the greatest things this band have ever done. With amazing dramatics and vocal harmonies, gospel choirs and lyrics that describe hubris, it really is a conceptual masterpiece. Mr. Money is an amazing character as well, the most vain man in the planet, who tries to make himself a God, how can you not love that.

8. Vocari Dei - The messages that are presented in this song are very opposite, with many thanking God, and others telling him what a twat he is. It was very moving to see these 2 oppositions juxtaposed.

9. Diffidentia (Breaching The Core) - A very emotional song with amazing clashing riffs and amazing orchestration. The end bit is incredibly beautiful, and is probably one of the most beautiful things I have ever heard.

10. Nihil Morari - A quite heavy piece that fits with the apocalyptic lyrics. This song pictures an almost Armageddon like feel to the song. This basically is the end of humanity. How scary is that?

11. Latericius Valete - A quite ominous song with some nice fugal vocals. Nice harmonies created by baritone style voices.

12. Omni - Some nice organ work and some very emotional vocals from Daniel.

13. Iter Impius - This song details the work that sin has spread on humanity and how it has effected man. So you need quite a dark tone to uplift the song.

14.Martius/Nauticus II - I was watching the live performance of this song on You Tube. All be it an amazing song and an absolute epic way to end an album, I was wondering just one thing. If Daniel is standing in a pool of water with a microphone in hand, if he drops it? he's done for. This song is absolute amazing. Bringing back the folk elements with the orchestra at the end to make an absolute hair raising moment of calamity.

15. Animae Partus II - "I am", then silence. Wow, ominous?effective.

CONLSUION: This album really is a piece of art. One of the greatest pieces of music I have ever heard one of the greatest visual stage shows I have ever seen, from one of the greatest bands of all time?.can you get any better than that. No!
J-Man
Pain of Salvation's Third Consecutive Masterpiece!

Every now and again, an album comes around that is so different from anything previously released. An album that pushes the boundaries of a genre, doing something so ambitious that it will get criticized from people not willing to hear a band take a new direction.

BE is Pain of Salvation's attempt to make the most unique progressive metal album I have ever heard. And they most certainly do not fail. The unique blend of Pain of Salvation's already original prog metal formula, folk music, classical, and orchestrations work perfectly on this ambitious concept piece. If you're just looking for the average prog metal album, this is not it. You must go into BE with an open mind and you won't be disappointed.

Another thing that make BE so excellent in my opinion is that this is a very concept-driven piece. Every other Pain of Salvation album is also a concept album, but this focuses much more on lyrics than any of their previous efforts. Any one song on this album isn't a masterpiece on its own, but in the concept of the album, everything flows together perfectly. If you're looking for a really accessible album, you might not want to turn to BE either, simply because in its conceptual nature you won't "get it" at first listen.

THE MUSIC:

"Animae Partus (I Am)"- This incredible journey of an album opens up with a dark spoken word passage. It contains some excellent lines that accurately set the dark mood of the album.

"Deus Nova"- The second song opens with a very dark piano, low string, and woodwind melody. It contains some nice harmonies, and it actually sounds a little avant. Soon an odd rhythm enters with spoken word stating the world population at different times. In the background is one of the main musical themes to the album. This is followed by the same speakers in the previous track.

"Imago (Homines Partus)"- An Arabic sounding acoustic guitar and flute riff opens up the third track, and the first real song on the album. The riff is very dark and moody. Pain of Salvation proves that they don't need metal to create powerful music. The chorus is absolutely beautiful, and is later reprised in the album. The instrumentation here is absolutely perfect.

"Pluvius Aestivus"- This is a very classical inspired piano piece. It has other orchestral instruments. It is a truly beautiful instrumental, and it builds wonderfully without you even realizing it. Every time I try to focus when listening to this song I soon get lost and my mind drifts in all of its beauty. Words obviously fail, but this is one of the best instrumentals of its type I've ever heard.

"Lilium Cruentus (Deus Nova)"- A light guitar melody serves as a short opener, but soon an excellent woodwind melody serves excellent contrast with the guitar riff. A syncopated riff soon enters and sets a darker tone. Both of these themes are used later in the song. This is a very powerful song, and I absolutely love the woodwinds here. I just can't get enough of the melody! Another great song.

"Nauticus (Drifting)"- This song is very bluesy. It contains an acoustic guitar and baritone vocals. It has some nice harmonies in parts, and the main section is very good. This isn't a song you won't to focus too hard on. Just let it's repetitiveness slowly pull you away. Near the end there is a humor-tinged spoken word section between a man and a woman.

"Dae Pecuniae"- This song continues where the previous left off. It has a very funky main riff, with a nice electric piano melody. It is very catchy and has a light and moody feeling throughout the song. It has some nice progressions from section to section. It actually reminds me a little bit of Paul McCartney at times.

"Vocari Dei"- This song mostly builds off of the same melodies and riffs and spoken word. This is very classically influenced, and again I love the oboe. I think the woodwinds are a good amount of why I think so highly of this album.

"Diffidentia (Breaching The Core)"- This opens up with repeated piano chords, and this contains some of the most metal on this entire album. A heavy riff contrasts the piano chords. This sounds like a pretty standard Pain of Salvation song off of previous albums. A light emotional piano and guitar melody soon enters, and Daniel Gildenlow has an excellent vocal melody. It goes back to the previous section, but near the end it goes back to that lovely piano melody. The rest of the song builds off of that perfectly.

"Nihil Morari"- An ominous low guitar and string melody starts the tenth song off. This has some excellent metal sections with beautiful orchestral melodies. This also has a reprise of the second song on the album near the end. The ending is absolutely perfect.

"Latericius Valete"- This song is entirely instrumental, and it never once tires. The main instruments are acoustic guitars and piano, but near the end there is an oboe and strings. When the song is at it's climax drums are present, and it gives the song a very powerful feeling.

"Omni"- This song starts with a relatively dark organ melody, but it turns very emotional when Daniel's vocals enter. The entire song is just his vocals and the church organ,yet somehow it's one of the most powerful and emotional songs on the album. This really shows what an excellent vocalist Daniel Gildenlow is.

"Iter Impius"- An ominous piano melody opens up this song. This is another excellent vocal performance from Daniel Gildenlow. The song builds mostly off of the same chord progression, and this is a beautiful song, and is a perfect way to prelude the perfect closing song that soon follows.

"Martius/Nauticus II"- A march like drum beat follows the complex harpsichord melody. A beautiful vocal, string, and woodwind melody naturally contrasts the drum and harpsichord beat. Soon, a tribal guitar and flute melody enters that is the same as in the third track. Another tribal riff with a great drum beat enters until we have a lighthearted (what sounds like) a banjo melody. This is the same beautiful chorus used earlier in the third song. This is the perfect way to end such an epic album, and it just builds beautifully. It creates an indescribable feeling, and that feeling is what makes a great concept album. A heavy percussion section ends the song.

"Animae Partus"- This isn't really a "song", but more so of a way to sum up the concept. After you hear one of the speakers say "I AM", it is followed by silence. At the very end there is a short dialogue, and then this epic album is over.

Conclusion:

This album is as close to perfect as you can get. I still think The Perfect Element, Pt. 1 may be my favorite Pain of Salvation album, but this album is still one of the greatest I've heard, and in my top 10 albums ever released easily. This is a great way to begin listening to Pain of Salvation, and it is worth hearing for any fan. If you're looking for metal, you're not going to find too much of that here. If you're looking for one of the greatest concept albums ever released- you're going to find that here.

5 stars.

(Originally written for ProgArchives.com)

Members reviews

mlkpad14
Pain of Salvation was founded in 1984, by the eleven years old Daniel Gildenlöw, in Eskilstuna, Sweden. Every album released thus far has been a concept album; from Remedy Lane (2002) to The Perfect Element, Part I (2000) and In the Passing Light of Day (2017), the band has released a multitude of albums in the progressive metal genre. However, their most ambitious effort to date - that is BE (2004) - transcends any genre. It is not only a great musical experience but a major crack at ideology and philosophy. To be blunt, BE is Pain of Salvation's masterpiece, but it is also a very challenging and rewarding album.

This review will first describe the musical journey, and it will also analyze all of the themes included.

--

"Animae Partus ("I Am")" sounds like it belongs in the soundtrack for "The Tell-Tale Heart" by Edgar Allen Poe. It introduces the album with menacing bass notes and ominous breathing. In the background, snippets of gospel-like and harmonic vocals can be heard propelling the song forward, but first and foremost are spoken word vocals that are not uncommon in post-rock. All of it makes for a very haunting two minutes.

Next, "Deus Nova (Fabricatio)" first makes use of The Orchestra of Eternity, which is truly an integral part of the album. A minute in the instrumentation becomes heavier; grand, progressive keyboards, guitar soloing, and nu metal rap vocals make up the majority of the track, but towards the end, the "Animae Partus ("I Am")" feeling returns, and the spoken words can be heard echoing.

"Imago (Homines Partus)" is not unlike "Songs from the Wood", by Jethro Tull. It is obviously folk-influenced, what with the acoustic guitar and flute playing that is dominant throughout. However, "Imago (Homines Partus)" also features a lot of contrast, which gives it the defining Pain of Salvation sound first established in The Perfect Element, Part One. The ending sound effects create the image of a forest: branches rustling, wind blowing, and pond cracking.

"Pluvius Aestivus" again makes brilliant usage of The Orchestra of Eternity. The piece is piano-driven, and it would not be out of place on Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake. Nobody would have ever expected something like this to appear on a Pain of Salvation album, but Gildenlöw is highly well-rounded.

"Lilium Cruentus" has an epic feel, so that in many ways it sounds like a twisted version of a ballad. There is more going on here than there appears to be: the soft parts sound repressed, but so do the rapping and screaming parts; albeit forceful and angry they are definitely curbed. The significance here is that this drives the album forward, and it foreshadows some sort of breakdown later on in the album.

"Nauticus (drifting)" comes out preachy and features more gospel. It is even more repressed, as if further elevating that future epic. At the end, there is some humorous spoken word music (think Frank Zappa).

If the theatrical "Dea Pecuniae" was performed on Broadway, it would probably alienate a lot of fans; however, Mike Patton would certainly approve of the vibe. A little over three minutes in, Gildenlöw's guitar solo is most unexpected, but Cecilia Ringkvist comes in strong on vocals, eliminating any doubts. Guitar harmonics are also responsible for the strong and successful development that makes the song, and eventually everything comes together - the shattering of a glass, screaming, and then this spoken word outro, leading right into the next song.

"Vocari Dei (Sordes Aetas - Mess Age)" is pure post-rock; piano and subtle sound effects carry the spoken words. Godspeed You! Black Emperor's Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven is a clear inspiration - Pain of Salvation's distant contemporary. Amongst the typical English language, "Vocari Dei" uses Japanese, Dutch, and Greek to its advantage.

"Diffidentia" - headbangers, it's metal! Now, at last, we get a typical Pain of Salvation song: driving and heavy guitar, complex time signatures and subdivisions, gentler choruses, and brilliant dynamics. With the release of BE, many were disappointed that there was still no trace of The Perfect Element, Part II - they should have listened to the whole record first! What is so impressive about "Diffidentia" is that the orchestra is, even now, and undeniable part of the music!

"Nihil Morari (Homines Fabula Finis)" opens up with a repetitive rhythm on the fretless bass (reminiscent of Tool). It continues to use prog metal and nu metal as its biggest influences, and it also links back to "Deus Nova (Fabricatio)". On top of all of that, the piece screams Serj Tankian at times - all of that, of course, being pretty awesome!

"Latericius Valete" has somewhat of a symphonic feel and is somewhat of a guitar and cello duo. Together, "Latericius Valete" and "Omni (Permanere?)" sum up all different parts of the album, providing temporary closure. "Omni (Permanere?)" has the trademark prog sound popularized by Genesis and Gentle Giant - guitar arpeggios fit in very well with the orchestra, indeed.

Finally, "Iter Impius" could not be placed better in the album. Easily the best track off of the album, "Iter Impius" is six minutes of pure emotional bliss. It is almost a continuation of "Dea Pecuniae" except the ballad is more straightforward and heartfelt. Here, like throughout Remedy Lane, Gildenlöw's vocals are in full form, and nobody has a vocal range like he does! Sometimes, piano and vocals is the best way to go!

"Martius/Nauticus II" is a return to the folk style of "Imago (Homines Partus)", and it basically concludes the album. That is, "Animae Partus II" has some drumming and thumping, but otherwise, it is four minutes of silence (at the end, a family can be heard laughing and enjoying themselves).

Additionally, each part seems to begin and end on either an epic or silent note, which is cool to say the least.

My top 5: 1. Iter Impius 2. Dea Pecuniae 3. Imago (Homines Partus) 4. Diffidentia 5. Nihil Morari (Homines Fabula Finis)

--

2017 interview on Pain of Salvation (Daniel Gildenlöw):

"My biggest problem is that I don't believe in God, which makes everything very difficult. But, I still feel the need to address God. That's the weird thing. I've always felt that the notion of God is really important. Divinity for mankind and sort of God life being is a very strong and important concept for mankind, so it's impossible not to be fascinated and deal with it.

I talk to God every once in a while. I always start with "sorry for not believing in you". There you go... You know, for the odd chance that he or she actually exists... It's not therefore that I don't believe in them (laughs). Things can exist even if you don't believe in them. It's not that I'm saying that it's impossible that there is some sort of God; I just don't believe in it.

I tried to make that thought experiment in "BE", that if there is a God, by default that God must be on a level of existence that we cannot grasp or understand. That doesn't necessarily mean that it's something exceptionally bizarre..."

On BE:

"Chinassiah is a word puzzle, as so many other titles and phrases on the album. It derives from the combination of China (for fragility and beauty, but also man made) and Messiah (for savior but also the notion of something in which we, humanity, put our faith for salvation)."

The Latin errors are on purpose, and each of the puzzles can be translated into English.

"Animae Partus ("I Am")" can be translated to mean "A God Is Born ("I Am")". It describes how Animae, the album's representation of God, first appears out of nothing. It ends on the haunting line, "And I will spend the rest of forever; Trying to figure out who I am."

"Deus Nova (Fabricatio)", meaning "New God", describes how people first populated the Earth. Animae looks down upon the people and states, "I think they will teach me something."

"Imago (Homines Partus)", or "Imago (Man Is Born)" , is more on the birth of man, which, in the album, is represented by Imago. The lyrics describe the moralities of Imago, and the "Breathe and BE" qualities of Imago,

"Pluvius Aestivus" means "Summer Rain". It is strictly instrumental, but it most likely represents "longing for the things we could not be" from Imago. Man is beautiful, yet far from perfect overall; for every champion, there is a rotten egg too.

"Lilium Cruentus", "Blood Stained Lily", is about death, and it is about all those that truly do not deserve to pass on. (leftovers from Rope Ends?)

"Nauticus (drifting)" is about the fictional space probe, Nauticus. According to BE, it is the most intelligent space probe to have ever been created, and it drifts throughout space, searching for answers to "save Earth from itself". Additionally, "Nauticus" is latin for "Sailor"; Nauticus embarks on a journey throughout space.

At the end of "Nauticus (drifting)", Mr. Money is first introduced along with his girlfriend. He jokes about letting her drive the expensive car; in other words, Mr. Money represents "greed" and one who is pretentious (not Daniel Gildenlöw; he is not pretentious!).

"Dea Pecuniae" can be translated to mean "Goddess of Money". The first part, "Mr. Money", is about how Mr. Money decides he loves money, more than any women; he does not care about making relationships, and rather, he decides to be "cold" and "mean". "Permanere" and "I Raise My Glass" play on the same concept.

"Vocari Dei", "Message to God", is about how powerful faith is. Many are uncertain that Animae exists, or they believe he is no longer there; however, they still pray to him or her - against everything that Mr. Money stands for.

"Diffidentia", "Mistrust", is one big theory revolving around everything that brought about the destruction of Animae - at first, Imago screams of hope, but at the end Imago states, "We failed."

"Nihil Morari (Homines Fabula Finis)" means "Nothing Remains (The Story of Man Comes To An End)". Imago apologizes for all of its sins - "Abuse", "Rape", stealing, and the loss of "thanks" - that finally cause Imago to implode on itself. "Latericius Valete", or "If You Are Strong, Be Strong", and "Omni (Permanere?)", or "Everything", further stress this concept.

"Iter Impius", meaning "Wicked Path", describes how Mr. Money finally wakes up. He has spent all of his money on cryogenics, and asked not be awaken until he be made immortal. How that he is immortal, he is very happy; he does not care when he discovers the absence of Imago.

At the end, Nauticus finally succeeds in his journey and contributes the "BE" that society needs to survive. This is in "Martius/Nauticus II"; in "Animae Partus II", Animae comes back, bringing a brand new Imago with him.

What happens to Mr. Money is uncertain. The above review is just my interpretation of one of the best albums ever.

--

Live on, Pain of Salvation! (but seriously, I love every album they have released!)

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