PAIN OF SALVATION

Progressive Metal / Non-Metal • Sweden
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Pain of Salvation is a progressive rock band from Eskilstuna, Sweden. The band is centered around lead vocalist / guitarist / composer / writer Daniel Gildenlöw.

Trademarks include concept albums focusing on social, environmental, philosophical, and emotional issues as well as songs that incorporate complex rhythms and time changes but retain flowing melodies.

The band was formed by Daniel Gildenlöw in 1984 under the nick name Reality. The band used to participate in many music contests in their homeland of Sweden. The first EP, Hereafter, was recorded in 1996 under the monicker Pain of Salvation, which has been the name of the band since 1991. The Lineup of the band was the same for their first official full length album, Entropia(1997).

After the departure of Daniel Magdic for continuing disagreements with the others over committing to the increasing demands of the band, the band recorded One Hour By The Concrete
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PAIN OF SALVATION Discography

PAIN OF SALVATION albums / top albums

PAIN OF SALVATION Entropia album cover 4.25 | 60 ratings
Entropia
Progressive Metal 1997
PAIN OF SALVATION One Hour by the Concrete Lake album cover 4.16 | 58 ratings
One Hour by the Concrete Lake
Progressive Metal 1998
PAIN OF SALVATION The Perfect Element, Part 1 album cover 4.18 | 88 ratings
The Perfect Element, Part 1
Progressive Metal 2000
PAIN OF SALVATION Remedy Lane album cover 4.34 | 73 ratings
Remedy Lane
Progressive Metal 2002
PAIN OF SALVATION BE album cover 4.06 | 66 ratings
BE
Progressive Metal 2004
PAIN OF SALVATION Scarsick album cover 3.24 | 53 ratings
Scarsick
Progressive Metal 2007
PAIN OF SALVATION Road Salt One album cover 3.50 | 50 ratings
Road Salt One
Non-Metal 2010
PAIN OF SALVATION Road Salt Two album cover 3.50 | 29 ratings
Road Salt Two
Non-Metal 2011
PAIN OF SALVATION Falling Home album cover 2.89 | 9 ratings
Falling Home
Non-Metal 2014
PAIN OF SALVATION In The Passing Light Of Day album cover 4.31 | 12 ratings
In The Passing Light Of Day
Progressive Metal 2017
PAIN OF SALVATION Panther album cover 3.75 | 2 ratings
Panther
Progressive Metal 2020

PAIN OF SALVATION EPs & splits

PAIN OF SALVATION Linoleum album cover 3.12 | 13 ratings
Linoleum
Non-Metal 2009

PAIN OF SALVATION live albums

PAIN OF SALVATION 12:5 album cover 4.29 | 21 ratings
12:5
Non-Metal 2004
PAIN OF SALVATION Ending Themes: On the Two Deaths of Pain of Salvation album cover 4.44 | 9 ratings
Ending Themes: On the Two Deaths of Pain of Salvation
Progressive Metal 2009

PAIN OF SALVATION demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

PAIN OF SALVATION Hereafter album cover 5.00 | 2 ratings
Hereafter
Progressive Metal 1996
PAIN OF SALVATION The Painful Chronicles album cover 5.00 | 2 ratings
The Painful Chronicles
Progressive Metal 1999
PAIN OF SALVATION Fan Club CD 2006 album cover 5.00 | 2 ratings
Fan Club CD 2006
Progressive Metal 2006

PAIN OF SALVATION re-issues & compilations

PAIN OF SALVATION singles (1)

.. Album Cover
2.75 | 4 ratings
Ashes
Progressive Metal 2000

PAIN OF SALVATION movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
4.90 | 12 ratings
Be Live
Progressive Metal 2005
.. Album Cover
3.61 | 9 ratings
Ending Themes - On The Two Deaths Of Pain Of Salvation
Progressive Metal 2009

PAIN OF SALVATION Reviews

PAIN OF SALVATION The Perfect Element, Part 1

Album · 2000 · Progressive Metal
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The Perfect Element, Part I by Pain of Salvation is one of those progressive metal albums with a reputation: if you claim to like progressive music, this is an album you must hear. Well I heard it many years ago and having been completely disenchanted by the band's two prior records, The Perfect Element proved to be the final nail in the coffin in my journey through the work of Pain of Salvation. In fact I disliked the album so much I left the lowest possible rating I could on it, a rating that many have questioned me over since. It's surely getting close to a whole decade later if it hasn't already done so, and regard for the album remains high. People seem to genuinely not believe me when I say I don't like The Perfect Element. And I reached a point where I couldn't even justify the rating, having long reached the point where I couldn't remember a single thing about what it actually sounded like or even why I disliked it so much. Therefore I decided to venture back in to see if this supposed masterpiece could click this time around.

The first song Used starts off and by its conclusion there's only one thought in my mind: that I've made a massive mistake. But not because I was wrong about the album before. The mistake was putting myself through this again. Used may just be the worst song I've heard from a supposed 'progressive' metal band. If this is how the album opened it left me with little hope for the rest of it.

The next track is In the Flesh, which actually has some brief moments of promise and some better showcase of the band as musicians. Unfortunately it's also a very boring track overall, dragged out for over eight and a half minutes. But at least that's preferable to Ashes, which is once again a load of rubbish. Next up, Morning on Earth, is bearable I guess, but not exactly an exciting track. It was at this point in the album that I really considered just switching it off. However I was committed to this review by that point, so I had to solider on, hoping there would be something in the next two thirds to justify even a portion of the album's reputation.

Idioglossia finally started to offer some promise for The Perfect Element with a great progressive metal intro, the first of its kind on the album thus far (when you can only say that about a progressive metal album when you get to its fifth song you know the thing has serious problems). Sadly it's ruined by the time the vocals come in. The vocals aren't the only problem I have with this album, but they really don't help the situation either. Daniel Gildenlöw isn't a bad singer; he would later be part of the cast on Ayreon's 01011001 album and I never had an issue with his voice there, but on The Perfect Element his performance rarely works for me. He even tries rapping in some places, like in Used. I don't like rap in general and can rarely even tolerate it. In an album with a reputation as a progressive metal masterpiece it's the last thing I want or expect to hear. But I don't care for his vocals at all times on this album no matter what he's doing at the time. Idioglossia is, at least, the best song the album has served up by this point, but even so, I don't feel especially positive about it overall. If anything I feel an irrational anger at the album by this point. Well, perhaps not at the album itself or the band, but certainly at the reputation people have built up around it. Nothing heard so far in any way justifies the kind of regard the album has.

Finally we get Her Voices, which after a shaky start becomes the first really good song on the album. But it feels like a lot of effort to get here after the first five tracks. But it is at least more like the sort of instrumental prowess and creativity that I was always led to expect from the album. Unfortunately this sudden surge of everything finally coming together doesn't last and following track Dedication is just boring and any good will garnered by Her Voices is soon used up. King of Loss isn't much better, dragging its feet for about three minutes before some heavy guitars show up. I don't mind soft music, but I did come here for progressive metal. By this point in that I can't say that much actual progressive metal has been delivered. Some alternative metal (arguably nu metal), absolutely. And some softer stuff which I am completely unconvinced over the band's ability to deliver convincingly.

As we start the album's last chapter, Reconciliation is a decent song. It's shorter, proggy and effective. Not a track that will leave your jaw on the floor in a hurry, but it does prove Pain of Salvation a capable unit when they get their act together and stop pussyfooting around with elements that clearly aren't in their wheelhouse. Song for the Innocent is also of the same calibre, but being the shortest song so far at barely three minutes feels more like an interlude, which is what the penultimate Falling actually is, not even hitting two minutes. It's just some nice, inoffensive lead guitar backed by ambience, clearly setting the stage for what on paper looks geared up to be the album's crowning achievement, it's ten minute title track, The Perfect Element. So is it?

In a word: no. It's not bad either, but it is anticlimactic. A rather drawn out end to a drawn out and disjointed album that over the course of over seventy minutes has never once lived up to its reputation, produced a fair amount of dull material and a couple of bloody awful tracks. The second half is certainly stronger than the first (as would it always have been by virtue of not having Used as a part of it), but it's still not anything special. It at least sounds more maturely delivered, which given that the album is a concept album dealing with childhood and adolescence, is probably by design, but the whole concept idea and delivery really doesn't fly with me. Her Voices remains, by the end, the album's best and only solid track.

And so let's summarise:

The Perfect Element? What an ironically named album. I would really love to know what other people seem to hear in this, because I think it's one of the worst progressive metal albums I've ever heard, also barely deserving of the term being applied to it, at least in its first half. There are a few decent moments, enough that I objectively shouldn't retain my older 0.5 star rating on it (though objectively it is no more than two stars at most), but I feel that I ultimately must because even though The Perfect Element does have its moments, it's never excellent and upon its conclusion the things I dislike about it outweigh the things I didn't mind or liked so much that I'm left with only one feeling for it: I despise this album and while I do try to write the text of my reviews objectively and not come across as a raving lunatic, the score should be my opinion. And my opinion is that The Perfect Element is much less than the sum of its parts and the only good thing I feel to have come out of giving it another chance was the opportunity to write this review to refer people to when they ask why the fuck do I have a 0.5 on The Perfect Element. And in another ten years maybe I'll re-read this and remind myself to next time not to bother revisiting it. And I certainly have no intention of ever intentionally hearing a single note of its sequel Scarsick, or anything else by Pain of Salvation. We are clearly incompatible.

PAIN OF SALVATION Entropia

Album · 1997 · Progressive Metal
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siLLy puPPy
The roots of PAIN OF SALVATION actually date back to 1984 when founder Daniel Gildenlöw was only 11 years old and started his first band Reality when he met another future member guitarist Daniel Magdic who would play until after the debut album. In short, Reality won a Swedish talent contest with Gildenlöw scoring the best vocalist award. In 1990 he met drummer Johan Langell and bassist Gustaf Hielm and the following year changed the band name Reality to the more familiar PAIN OF SALVATION which would find international success with its innovative string of progressive metal albums. The band spent many years practicing before Hielm left the band and was replaced by Daniel’s brother Kristoffer Gildenlöw. The fifth member Fredrik Hermansson came into the picture of hearing the band’s demo “Hereafter” and scored the position as keyboardist. The band was perched to unleash its debut album ENTROPIA in 1997.

PAIN OF SALVATION hit the ground running with its debut that featured a fully developed concept about a family surviving and coping during a war. With emotional and heartfelt lyrics, the band made a name for itself not only for highly emotive storylines brought to life by the complex vocal harmonies reminiscent of The Beatles and Queen but made even more dramatic by lead singer Daniel Gildenlöw’s broad vocal range and sense of charisma. Added to that the music was on fire. Loosely based on the Dream Theater sound that emerged in the early 90s, PAIN OF SALVATION was a bit more diverse in its scope as it covered the spectrum of influences ranging from the pop rock of The Beatles, The Moody Blues and Lou Reed to jazz, classical, ethnic music, hip hop, soul and funk not to mention heavy metal from bands like Faith No More and other technically infused bands like Fates Warning and Queensryche.

Noted for the dramatic swings from calm to heavy passages and back all fortified with heavy syncopation and polyrhythms and unpredictable mood shifts between disparate genre styles, PAIN OF SALVATION quickly stood out from the pack and ENTROPIA, a name that is a fusion of the words “entropy” and “utopia,” clearly displays the band’s knack for creating a fully functional collage effect that displayed a completely unique style. This theatrical concept album is carved up into three chapters with each act offering a creative breath of fresh air in a genre that was quickly filling up with Dream Theater clones. With moments of straight on metal, others of technical jazz-fusion wizardry with warm and tender softer ballads reminiscent of modern progressive rock, ENTROPIA hits many notes with each track exuding a charm all its own with stellar instrumental interplay that offers an infinite supply of variations that find the instrumentation morphing into new creative displays of harmonic interplay.

ENTROPIA may be PAIN OF SALVATION’s heaviest album at least consistently so although there is plenty of softer passages that allow lighter less bombastic movements to muster lush motifs. The opening “! (Forward)” displays a ferocious metal introduction with jagged riff driven rhythms, intricate melodic interplays and the operatic vocal style of Daniel G. The contrast between heavy metal and soft piano balladries is seamless as are the harsh vocal outbursts with the clean sung vocal harmonics that zigzag around seemingly random yet all ties together perfectly! The beauty of PAIN OF SALVATION in general is completely represented in full form on ENTROPIA. While tackling extreme progressive technicalities, the music never strays from the vital emotional connection that links the sounds to the dramatic storyline which narrates the conceptual story that is something right out of the neo-prog playbook from the likes of Arena, IQ and Pendragon.

All of the musicians on board are on fire. Daniel Gildenlöw and Daniel Magdic’s twin guitar attacks are highly symbiotic and the drums and keys exhibit advanced progginess as well. The flirtations with funk and trip hop at key moments offer unforeseen elements that pop up now and again and overall the album is chock full of a youthful energy that delivers the album with a fiery passion absent in so many bands who fail to ignite a level of excitement that PAIN OF SALVATION generates. While not as lauded as the band’s following “The Perfect Element I” or “Remedy Lane,” personally i find this debut to be one of the best progressive metal albums around and just as compelling as those two. A masterful debut that showed not only the top notch musicianship but a keen sense of songwriting skills that allowed a wealth of styles and sounds to come to life. Outstanding debut!

PAIN OF SALVATION Linoleum

EP · 2009 · Non-Metal
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The Crow
Prior to the release of Road Salt One and Two, Pain of salvation released this EP called Linoleum as an aperitif

It contains one song of Road Salt One (the fine Linoleum), one of Road Salt Two (the repetitive and disjointed Mortar Grind) and four tracks which were not included in these discs.

Sadly, If You Wait is a short blues-rock track with no interest. Gone is better but the production is too raw (just like the Road Salt albums) and it is boring and repetitive in the long term.

Bonus Track B is a curiosity just for fans, and finally Yellow Raven is a very dramatic version of an Uli John Roth song which is not enough to make this EP interesting if you are not a die-hard fan of the Road Salt era of this band.

My rating: **

PAIN OF SALVATION Road Salt Two

Album · 2011 · Non-Metal
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The Crow
Road Salt One was a strange album... Not pleasant for old fans of the band while having also a difficult style to find a new public, very much 70's oriented and with a rather dry production.

This second part is an exploration further in this direction, but luckily it also contains more links to the past in the form of some symphonic elements (Road Salt Theme, End Credits, To the Shoreline), a bit more of prog (The Physics of Gridlock, although I find the end of this song rather boring), an homage to the sound of their album 12:5 (Healing Now) and a better singing from Gildenlow.

Nevertheless, they continued to explore this strange 70's oriented rock (Conditioned, Eleven, Mortar Grind') which makes them sound like some kind of revival band of this decade like Ocean Color Scene or the more modern Greta Van Fleet. Not bad, but just not my cup of tea and definitely not what I expect from a band like Pain of Salvation.

However, like I said this album contains more pleasant moments than the previous one and is also a bit better in terms of songwriting.

Best Tracks: To the Shoreline (beautiful orchestral melodies for the best track of the album), 1979 (beautiful lyrics and good songwriting) and The Deeper Cut (a song which retrieves the old style of the band from the 90's and 00's)

Conclusion: Road Salt Two is better than Road Salt One in general terms and although it does not get back the old prog-metal style of the band, Gildenlow was able to replicate part of the incredible atmosphere of the first (and best) four albums of the band with a pair of really good tracks.

Sadly, despite being the best album of the band since Remedy Lane, this record also felt in no man's land being not adequate for metal fans and not really satisfying for prog-rock lovers, making Pain of Salvation to travel further into oblivion.

My rating: ***

PAIN OF SALVATION Road Salt One

Album · 2010 · Non-Metal
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The Crow
After the confusing and too experimental BE and the directly horrendous Scarsick, Pain of Salvation (or Daniel Gildenlow) returned to a better path with Road Salt One!

But fans of the older material of the band be aware, this is not a return to their roots. Some trademarks of Pain of Salvation are here, like some syncopated rhythms, a pair of polyphonic vocals and a bit o prog (No Way, Innocence), but the album is mainly blues-rock influenced by acts like Link Wray or Robin Trower with some experiments like cabaret music (Sleeping Under the Stars) and a pair of ballads (Sisters, Road Salt)

And another curious fact that this album has is some different singing of Daniel. I don't know if this man lost his voice or he just uses it differently here... But I think he shouts too much. It's even a bit unpleasant sometimes.

Nevertheless, the album has enough good moments to be considered a return to form for the band after some obscure years following the release of the grandiloquent (and maybe best work of the band) Remedy Lane.

Best Tracks: No Way (cool blues melody with a surprising instrumental interlude), Sisters (pure Pain of Salvation magic, melancholic and touching), Darkness of Mine (dark, like its title), Linoleum (will please old fans of the band) and Road Salt (truly beautiful singing here and great lyrics)

Conclusion: Road Salt One supposed a return to form for a band which lost its way with BE and Scarsick. Nevertheless, die-hard fans of the old Pain of Salvation albums will maybe also dislike this one, because it's not prog, and it's not metal.

It's another experiment of Gildenlow with new sounds for the band in the form of blues, soul, cabaret and country. It's not overall excellent, but good enough to be considered a worthy addition to the band's discography.

My rating: ***

PAIN OF SALVATION Movies Reviews

PAIN OF SALVATION Ending Themes - On The Two Deaths Of Pain Of Salvation

Movie · 2009 · Progressive Metal
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AtomicCrimsonRush
A great concert, and a documentary DVD packaged like a TV series: 'a groundbreaking parallel story, mixing Days of Our Lives, Lord of the Rings and Some Kind of Monster.' Clever packaging conceals what this really is, one DVD centres on the touring behind the scenes in painstaking detail, and we learn many useless but amusing things such as their fetish for toy racing cars and Monty Python DVD box sets. The documentary is at times conveyed by the band in their native tongue so subtitles are essential and thankfully available. The doco may not endure repeated viewings but its nice to meet their cute little fan club members and see their delight as they meet the band. It is essential viewing if you want to get through the quiz that has to be completed correctly in order to unlock a swag of special features. You will eventually get the questions right as they do not change and you can write down the answers by a process of elimination. You have to put up with an obnoxious ugly face telling you what a loser you are until you do of course, but it's worth it. You get a special code when you get them all right saving you the hassle of redoing the annoying quiz. But if you put in the code wrong you are sent to 'hell', complete with burning flames and evil laughter, and you have to work your way back to the title menu to get out of it. Nasty touch I must say and quite disconcerting. The features are great particularly the demo versions of 'Scarsick' tracks, deleted scenes, and some nice footage of the band, bootlegs and photo sessions are included.

This is all incidental I guess, as the main drawcard is the actual concert which is well filmed at the famed Paradiso in Amsterdam, where other prog bands have been captured on DVD such as Riverside (on ADHD special edition). The performance does not rely on flashy lights or smoke, rather it is all about the music and this is some of POS best material from their highly celebrated albums such as 'One Hour by the Concrete Lake', 'Entropia' and 'Remedy Lane'.

The sound quality is excellent and the audience reactions are well interspersed among the band crunching out one belter after another. Hildegaard has longer hair now and looks more at home with the metal when he bangs his head. Certainly the set list is not flawless, for instance 'Fandango' and 'Beyond the Pale' are missing, and there is a great focus on 'Scarsick' album, however there is enough here to satiate the appetite of most fans.

The crowd pleasers are here such as 'America', 'Nightmist', '! (Foreword)' and the fabulous infectious 'Disco Queen' that the crowd adore and its easy to see why. I love all these but the darker side of the band is impossible to ignore and may not be for all tastes. The expletive heavy 'Cribcaged' is offensive enough and I must admit I hate it when bands think they need to drop the F bomb repeatedly to hammer home a point. So Robert De Niro's cigarette and Al Pacino posters annoy the band; OK, I get it, but why do they have to degrade themselves to this type of material. It's a pity really, as the band are better than this. Look at the way they deliver 'Chain Sling' and their dark version of 'Hallelujah' to see my point. The 'Hallelujah' version is better than the original Cohen IMHO, it is that good, and the crowd sing along loudly in adoration.

The quiet melodic POS is here too on suicidal unfriendly ballads such as 'Undertow' from 'Remedy Lane' and the bittersweet 'Brickworks 1'. It is all very dark and moody and intense. Each track is sung with passion and the time sig changes of the music are admirable. The booklet gives little away, although the oppressive lyrics are here, and the storyline attached is as bogus as the rest of the packaging conveying some story of yet another motor vehicle accident, another one! This is becoming standard prog fair for concept albums these days.

The fake reviews on the so called TV series are amusing, a TV series that is cited as 'a groundbreaking parallel story, mixing Days of Our Lives, Lord of the Rings and Some Kind of Monster.' Work that out! The track listing is identical to the double CD release but its way better to watch the band in full flight as these tracks are pounded out. This is a bit of a hit and miss affair for me; some of the tracks are not as good as other PoS material particularly there is too much emphasis on 'Scarsick', whereas i think 'Remedy Lane' buries it, in fact all their other albums have far more to offer in terms of prog metal, but the energy is tangible, the crowd love it and the music is infectious. 3 stars.

PAIN OF SALVATION Shouts

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more than 2 years ago
I really love this band early albums !!!!!!!

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