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1. Used 2. In the Flash 3. Ashes 4. Morning On Earth 5. Ideoglossia 6. Her Voices 7. Dedication 8. King of Loss 9. Reconsiliation 10. Song For the Innocent 11. Falling 12. The Perfect Element
To begin with, before reading this review on "The Perfect Element" I would highly recommend that you read the detailed review on Pain Of Salvation's previous album-masterpiece - as there's quite a significant difference between two these CDs - from a band who so far I still haven't stopped considering as one of the most promising new Progressive Metal acts. It is obvious that, unlike "One Hour By the Concrete Lake", a really original, truly progressive and almost visually dark album, the new one is a 'child' of mixed blood. Not a 'child' of a picture of health itself, but rather a blend of 'creative blood' with 'commercial'. The POS guys must have known very well what is a role of the "Inside Out" label in question of the 'conquest' of America before signing it. "Inside Out" is among the very first European Prog-labels to reach the American audience and to become Transatlantic Companies. "Inside Out America" was established thanks to significant help from their mighty "metallic" compatriots "Century Media" / "CM USA", that presses and distributes the "IOA" production in the New World. Like once Mr. Columbus, in order to squeeze fat profits out of America, so "Inside Out" has prepared the most gaudy and at the same time simplest things in stock for the locals, as the company's list of performers consists mainly of the most commercially successful progressive bands today (really, "IO Music" is presently the only real Neo-Prog label among others). But since there are lots of profound prog-heads in both Americas nowadays, I doubt that a Neo-strategy like this to conquer the American progressive continGent is always poised for success. Back to the POS new album, I was really disappointed by the band's newly-found approach to creation. Presented as dark and powerful, truly progressive, "The Perfect Element" in reality doesn't totally live up to this description. Much more bright and accessible than "One Hour By the Concrete Lake", the music on their new album is not at all the 'dark saga' we heard the first time. And, the main thing, "The Perfect Element" is not really all that original an album as its predecessor and anyone might notice that it sounds a lot like Queensryche (circa 1986-1990) - one of the most popular and commercially successful US Progressive Rock bands. Yes, I've just rated "The Perfect Element" as a very good album because despite all disappointing things mentioned above Pain Of Salvation is still able to deliver something wonderful even with already familiar structures and their musicianship is second to none. Most prog-metal aficionados will undoubtedly love this album, but to me, its derivative and accessible nature is not quite my cup of tea and the titletrack is the only one I really like here.
VM. February 25, 2001
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