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Pain Of Salvation
May 2004
Released: 2004, InsideOut Music
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Waspman

There’s not much that needs to be said by way of introduction to Pain of Salvation. Easily one of the most respected bands in metal today, their brand of innovative prog-metal has captured the ears of many a metalhead in the past few years. I, however, have not been on of those metalheads. For whatever reason, the band has slipped under my radar with not even a single note of theirs reaching me. They just fell into that category of “a band I’d really like to check out one day” and never made it any farther with me.

With that in mind, I wasn’t exactly ecstatic to receive their new live album in the mail. I have a love/hate relationship with live albums, and they are generally not the format with which I like to be introduced to a band. Couple that with the fact that this is an acoustic album, and things were not looking up. However, once the first melodies of “Brickwork Pt.1” flowed from my speakers, I was hooked. The first section of “Brickworks” (tracks 1 – 5) was just the tip of the iceberg with their beautiful dueling acoustics and vocal harmonies giving way to the more fleshed out acoustic-prog of “Winning a War”. It’s this middle section of the album (all of the non-“Brickwork” songs) that is the most captivating, as the band spans their entire catalogue in a mere six songs. True, the whole album is taken from their back catalogue, but the “Brickwork” songs are strung together, making them seem like two very long songs, rather than 10 distinct ones.

“Chainsling”, “Reconciliation”, and “Brickwork Pt. 8”, are all fantastic representations of PoS, and the interplay between the band and Daniel Gildenlow’s excellent vocals. While I’ll refrain from calling this the “Daniel Gildenlow Show”, he is clearly the highlight of the band, though they are all amazing musicians.

The album is indeed great but I can only imagine how much more impressive these songs are in full-on heavy metal mode. Plus there are a couple of moments on the album when things start to drag just a little bit, making the entire package a little less than perfect. Needless to say though, if you are a fan of Pain of Salvation, you should not hesitate to pick up this album and here some fantastic renditions of the band’s music. For me this album is just the starting point needed to get me to explore the rest of their albums.
Track Listing

1)Brickwork Pt. 1
2)Brickwork Pt. 2
3)Brickwork Pt. 3
4)Brickwork Pt. 4
5)Brickwork Pt. 5
6)Winning a War
8)Dryad of the Woods
9)Oblivion Ocean
12)Brickwork Pt. 6
13)Brickwork Pt. 7
14)Brickwork Pt. 8
15)Brickwork Pt. 9
16)Brickwork Pt. 10


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

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» In The Passing Light Of Day
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Next review: » Pain Of Salvation - BE
Previous review: » Pain Confessor - TURMOIL

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