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Pain Of Salvation - 2002 Remedy Lane



ARTIST: Pain Of Salvation
ALBUM: Remedy Lane
LABEL: Inside Out
SERIAL: IOMCD 092
YEAR: 2002
CD REISSUE: 2009, Inside Out, 0501310

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Daniel Gildenlow - vocals, guitars * Johan Hallgren - guitars, vocals * Fredrik Hermansson - keyboards * Kristoffer Gildenlow - bass, vocals * Johan Langell - drums, vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Of Two Beginnings * 02 Ending Theme * 03 Fandango * 04 A Trace Of Blood * 05 This Heart Of Mine (I Pledge) * 06 Undertow * 07 Rope Ends * 08 Chain Sling * 09 Dryad Of The Woods * 10 Remedy Lane * 11 Waking Every God * 12 Second Love * 13 Beyond The Pale

WEBLINKS: www.painofsalvation.com


Background
Welcome, my friends, to 'Remedy Lane', album number four from Swedish progressive metallers Pain Of Salvation. Firstly, it needs to be said that this is quite intense. So some of you who decide to venture here may not make it back alive! The band's frontman and head-honcho, Daniel Gildenlow, has been playing in bands for some time now, though I'm guessing that his first band Reality (from the mid-1980's) sounded nothing like this.


The Songs
'Beginnings', which gets this album underway, is quite scary. Its intense wall of sound creates a claustrophobic atmosphere, comparable to some of the stuff from Devin Townsend's 'Infinity' CD from a couple of years ago. 'Fandango' has a title that suggests a real party atmosphere.. Don't be fooled! The arrangement is really kooky - think of some of the more 'out-there' vocal arrangements by Spock's Beard but played on instruments. Hmm! Very odd indeed - I think Dweezil Zappa would have a field day with this one. For the epic eight-minute 'Trace of Blood', comparisons with the freaky genius Devin Townsend once again come to the fore. The track opens with a big rolling piano intro that kind of reminds me of Meatloaf's 'Bat Out Of Hell'. Then a riff comes in which has the rhythmic qualities of Devin Townsend, before turning more 'traditionally' prog-metal in a Vanden Plas vein. The high-point here is the chorus that comes with a cool multi-tracked vocal. A ballad, 'Heart of Mine', is well placed at almost a third of the way into the album, as it provides a break from the more intense material. The lull does not last for long though, as following this it's a return to darker, edgier stuff once again. 'Chain Song' has an Arabic feel to its vocal arrangement (interesting), while the title cut is a keyboard based instrumental with an odd slant - the sound is more 'dark-wave' than the more traditional poly-moog 'sound of prog'. The best track, though, in my opinion, has to be 'Making Every God', which is Queensryche-esque but much sharper around the edges. Try not to cut yourself, folks!


In Summary
This release is so much to take on board. With a running time over an hour, I'd recommend listening to it in two sittings. Some of you will be foolhardy enough to attempt it in one go, though, I'm sure! To be completely honest, although I enjoyed a few songs on this CD, I found some of it a little too challenging. I can't help but feel some of you will feel the same, as this is probably borderline material for a melodic rock site. However, the open-minded among you may want to give this a listen and should do so by all means - especially those of you who like bands at the heavier end of the scale like Eldritch and Symphony X. Catch Pain Of Salvation on tour supporting Dream Theater now.


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