Released: 2000, Inside Out Music America
While surfing the net and daydreaming about a trip to Illinois for the ProgPowerUSA festival last month, I noticed that the final band scheduled to play on the last night was Pain of Salvation. My reaction was, “Who the hell is Pain of Salvation and why isn’t Symphony X the top dog on the ticket?” After doing a few Lycos searches to learn more about them, I figured I’d try out their latest release, The Perfect Element, Part I. In short, I think I hit the motherload.
The first time I listened to this CD I was kicking back on a lazy Saturday afternoon. 12 songs and 73 minutes later I was spent. Not so much because of the length of the album, but because of the diversity and complexity of the music. The Perfect Element is one helluva prog metal album ... and it’s a concept album to boot! As I listened I found myself thinking POS has similarities with a lot of different bands and styles, yet they have also ventured into uncharted waters to create a uniquely cutting edge progressive sound. They seem to draw inspiration from bands like Dream Theater, Dokken, Queensryche, Pink Floyd, Faith No More ... man I could go on. Daniel Gildenlöw, the voice and soul of the band, is EXTREMELY talented and has an incredibly diverse voice. Take a dash of James LaBrie and Russell Allen, throw in the range of a Geoff Tate and top it off with some Mike Patton. You get the picture.
Lyrically, The Perfect Element borders on poetic brilliance at times. Try the line from Used where Gildenlöw sings “I am crying unwept tears through this violence / I’ll die trying to break this thick crust of silence.” Good stuff. Or how about the desperation in lines like “Is this all I am? Is this all I'll be? THIS is not enough!” from King of Loss. Classic.
This album won’t be for everyone. If you like your music to be a non-stop onslaught of sheer metal brutality, you need to go elsewhere. However, if you want a peak at the direction prog metal may be heading in the next decade, you owe it to yourself to get this CD.
Official website: http://www.painofsalvation.com