Sunday, January 15, 2017

Pain of Salvation : "In the Passing Light of Day"

I loved "Scarsick" the album that served as my introduction to the band and think "Road Salt One" is brilliant. I haven't really been wow'ed by anything since, but gave their last album a passing listen if that. Prog rock in it's most conventional form is no longer my bread and butter like it used to be, I think because their idea of heavy and mine never align and the cheese filled wanking seem to be the mission of the day. That is not really the case with these guys, and while a ten minute song opening the album feels over indulgent to me the song is not half bad despite the heavy drama on the spoken word section. I think their song writing is more focused on "Tongue of God". This project's secret weapon remains Daniel Gildenlow 's incredible pipes that continue to make him one of the most under rated singers to step up to a microphone and on a song like "Meaningless" prove that where the other metal divas get it wrong is not trying to be operatic rather than letting the soul bleed through in the vocal booth.

The ballad "Silent Gold" is well done, but just doesn't resonate with me personally. There is a more Faith No More like rock vibe to " Full Throttle Tribe". It works of a tense groove and intense yet quirky vocals hopping along the syncopation. While they do this better than any other band this kind of thing stopped being my thing in the late 90s, but I can appreciate the talent behind this song. "Reasons" combined soul with the more proggy math to find the magic formula that shows what they do best. The way this song hits it is clear they are not oblivious that bands like their fellow Swedes in Meshuggah exist. They set the solo to "Angels of Broken Things" on fire and add more dynamic depth to the song, so if you are wondering when and how to use guitar solos reference this song.

Thanks to their understanding of dynamics, a song that starts off more middle of the road like "the Taming of a Beast" can really roar to life in a way that doesn't sound contrived. "If This is the End" feels like a more updated version of something that could have been on "Road Salt One" with a more Mr. Bungle like build. There is a very warm and organic feeling to the song. I brace myself for the 15 minute title track that closes the album, as I have developed a distaste for songs of this length so they better sell me on the fact that each minute is being used wisely. I like the darker tone established at the beginning. They don't go in the direction I expected with this , but it is still pretty fluid even up to the ten minute mark. As they passed the 11 minute mark I began to wonder how much longer they could keep it up without going back to the chorus again.They bring it back way down in the final three minutes. This is not their best album, but it is better than what most of the so called prog rock bands are putting out these days so I will give it a 9 for now. br />
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