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Pain Of Salvation (Sweden) – 1998 – "One Hour By the Concrete Lake"
(67 min, "Hellion")


******

Spiritof the Land 0:43 (D.Gildenlow)
Inside6:12 (D.&K.Gildenlow, Hermansson, D.Maglic)
The Big Machine 4:21 (D.Gildenlow, D.Maglic)
New Year’s Eve 5:37 (D.Gildenlow)
Handfulof Nothing 5:39 (=)
Water5:05 (D.Gildenlow, D.Maglic)
Home5:44 (D.Gildenlow)
BlackHills 6:32 (=)
Pilgrim3:17 (=)
ShoreSerenity 3:13 (=)
InsideOut 10:12 (D.Gildenlow, Hermansson)
Beyondthe Mirror 8:26 (D.Gildenlow)

Lyrics are actually the quotes from poems by D.Gildenlow, J.Renshaw, M.K.Ghandi, oths.

Line-up: Daniel Gildenlow – lead vocals, guitars Kristoffer Gildenlow – bass, vox Fredrik Hermansson - keyboards Johan Hallgren – guitars, vox Johan Langell – drums & percussion, vox

The Album.

Prologue. This is the second album by Pain Of Salvation, Swedish Prog- Metal band, originally released by Brazilian "Hellion" label. In 1999 POS signed "Inside Out", and this German label first of all has reissued their both first albums. The third one will be released during the second half of this month - firstly in Europe (on October 16), then in Asia (on Oct 18) and in the USA (on Halloween / my birthday - Oct 31).

The album. After the short instrumental mainly keyboard-based intro Spirit of the Land with quite a peaceful sound, to begin with Inside and to conclude with Inside Out (was this a door to the label of the same name?) the overall atmosphere of this conceptual work is very heavy, complex and philosophic in both meanings - musical and lyrical. Each song, including such short ones as Pilgrim and Shore Serenity, consists of cascades of extensive instrumental arrangements and very diverse singing. There are no any "incredible" solos to show virtuostic mastery, as each band member works only towards overall arrangements and their diversity, and this is the way of any really serious artists of Progressive Rock. It's obvious, anyway, that both guitarists work masterfully either on riffing or soloing, The same goes for the keyboardist and both men of the rhythm-section, and each of them plays his own solo, and all these solos in harmony create unique and complex arrangements throughout the whole album. Instrumental canvases on "One Hour By the Concrete Lake" are exceptionally original, and it is impossible to find here some analogies with Yes or Faith No More (especially with the latter - what nonsense!), as I've read in some descriptions of POS, nor with any other of ever existed / existing bands. This is, on the whole, quite sad music, though with a lot of varied shades, that in some ways is typical for most Swedish bands. Lead vocal is a kind of dramatic one, and Daniel shows diverse manners of singing within each separate song - with lots of emotions. Although, because the other band members are singing too, the overall vocal palette is as rich as the instrumental one, with shades from high picted falcetto to actually brutal.

Summary. In order for the lovers of Neo Prog-Metal to be forewarned, I'll say the next words that are nothing but a clear contradiction (again) to some descriptions of POS. The music of POS ISN'T accessible at all, its structures are more complex than those in Dream Theater, Fates Warning and the likes. It is necessary to listen to the music of POS many times to comprehend it properly. So, this is the music mainly for profound Prog- heads, like the same lovers of early Yes, etc. So, everyone of mature Progressive Rock listeners can be absolutely sure - it's a real pleasure to comprehend the music of this extraordinary band step by step. Also, as their music is free of any possible cliches, I personally consider POS one of just the few real Prog-Metal Giants in the history of Rock music.

VM. October 6, 2000


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