PAIN OF SALVATION — 12:5 (review)

PAIN OF SALVATION — 12:5 album cover Live album · 2004 · Non-Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
The eighth wonder of the world,

Pain of Salvation probably won't go down in history as the most genius progressive rock band to ever grace this earth. That's a shame. 30 years of "progressive" music has existed merely to build up to this band. The initial listen leaves me with just one question clear in my mind: HOW DO THEY DO IT?!?!

I like Devin Townsend as much as the next guy, but Daniel Gildenlow just stomps all competition in the songwriting and the technical ability department. While eschewing the flashy shred licks that many advanced guitarists enjoy, PoS displays a finesse and subtlety not often found in progressive bands; you could listen to this a thousand times and find something new and exciting on the thousand-and-first round. Beautiful packaging, heartfelt, relaxing, and emotionally stimulating acoustic music, with little "quirks" thrown in here and there to keep a sense of levity, all combine to make this an early major success of 2004. I dare anyone not to become hopelessly addicted to the harpsichord on "Dryad of the Woods," or the mindbending juxtaposition of dark lyrics over bright music on "Ashes in Major" or the wonderful new arrangements of "Undertow" and "Oblivion Ocean."

We've all got tracks we would have liked to hear on this (I would have loved Pilgrim or The Perfect Element) but what PoS have done, they have done beyond belief. This album leaves me shaking, knowing that this is an unmatched experience. Once more: How do they do it???
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