Released: 2002, InsideOut Music
ENTROPIA was good, ONE HOUR BY THE CONCRETE LAKE was very good and THE PERFECT ELEMENT was excellent. This begs the question then ... what do Daniel Gildenlöw and company have to offer the world on their fourth venture? Well, I’m not ready to call this one groundbreaking yet, but it does kick some serious ass!
I stated in my review of THE PERFECT ELEMENT that frontman Daniel Gildenlöw is a man of extraordinary talent. His voice can capture and convey a spectrum of emotions, which is an element many prog bands seem to lose sight of in the quest for technical wizardry. Yet his voice is only a portion of the abundant talent he possesses. Gildenlöw played rhythm guitar on REMEDY LANE, as well as writing all the lyrics and almost all of the music. In addition, he did all of the excellent artwork and most of the photography found on the cover and throughout the booklet. Further attention to the liner notes reveals that he wrote some of the music in 1987, which would have made him about 14 years old! Simply amazing.
It’s really about the music though and this album doesn’t disappoint. Songs like "Ending Theme", "A Trace of Blood" and "Rope Ends" lay a strong foundation for what becomes the highlight of the disc, the epic final track "Beyond the Pale", which is a track I find even more intense each time I listen to it. Truly a great way to end an album. In addition to being an album full of great music, REMEDY LANE is a concept piece, making this the fourth time the band has gone the story-telling route. I won’t get into the details of the story because I’m still trying to figure them out myself. However, knowing that REMEDY LANE was written during a time when Gildenlöw was dealing with personal marital issues, it’s perfectly understandable that those circumstances led to some pretty dark, emotionally-charged music dealing with relationships. Though there are moments when the story gets a little bizarre in the telling (like when a woman hangs herself in the bathroom with her husband’s Winnie the Pooh tie in "Rope Ends"), I chalk such moments up as an overzealous attempt to be artsy and move on.
In the end, I find myself ready to hand the prog metal crown over to these guys. Frankly, Pain of Salvation have no peers. And while I’ll admit I haven’t heard the new Dream Theater album (and I’m in no real hurry to), I’ll be pleasantly surprised if another prog metal album comes out in 2002 that can compete with REMEDY LANE. Hell, it will take alot to find any album in any genre for that matter. REMEDY LANE is that good. If any of you sinners have put off checking out this band, it’s not too late to repent. Salvation can still be yours. Just get your shit together, empty all the money from your loose change jar into your pocket, and then run down to the store to buy this CD.
Official website: http://www.painofsalvation.com