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Pain Of Salvation - Be (CD)

Pain Of Salvation
by Thodoris Pantazopoulos at 10 October 2004, 10:01 PM

I'm not afraid, I'm not afraid of you! We're just the same me and you. The same me and you. (Walk with me!) I see myself in you…''…As we walk through the ashes you whisper my name. Who's the one with the sickest mind…now? - Try to remember how many times you've sang along those lyrics, how many of your life's cloudy days you've spent listening to those lyrics-soul deposal of Daniel Gildenlow? Think of his heartbreaking interpretation, the tragic, dramatic tone of his voice that haunted the most solitary places of your heart, of your soul. Pain Of Salvation have given musical entity to human pain, loss, grief, lamentation and other sedulously hidden emotions. To categorize them just like another band would be foolish and ignorant to their gracious attainment. To shrug them off would be decremental for all those who consider themselves as adores of qualitative music. This band can't pass unnoticed, it's phenomenal…
What if back in 1997 they released what the writer of this review considers as one of top 20 debuts of all time, Entropia? What if it was dozens of scales superior to 99% of the material other progressive bands have shown? Apparently, this wasn't enough for Daniel Gildenlow and co. Thankfully for us and righteously for them (towards their unfair and hotheaded characterization as a one-shot band), only one year later they brought to life another masterpiece, One Hour By The Concrete Lake. Something started happening…something was changing. More and more people became aware of the Swedish act that came from nowhere and fluttered all over the most assuming and why not, cranky, field of the hard sound. The best was yet to come though…
In the year 2000, they shook the world. No, not only those who were there and aware of the band's abilities. You see, The Perfect Element Pt 1 was, is and will be an album that challenges everyone. It challenges with it's beauty, it's lyricism, with the cruelty of despair, of indignation. A challenge out of interest, as no one could resist responding, couldn't resist being a captive of it's perpetual, tragic charm.
Pain Of Salvation had reached the top too early. In only 3 years they'd achieved what others have not in a lifetime career. After 3 amazing albums, they continued this atypical run with the equally impressive Remedy Lane (2002), though Perfect Element's memories were still fresh. The more dedicated fans of the band had traced some signs of repeatability. Pain Of Salvation's intense and characteristic musical style could be their personal gravestone. Remedy Lane was a fantastic album but not as good as its predecessor. But how easy is it to repeat the ultimately perfect? Pain Of Salvation had to move on, to break the tights themselves had worthy set.
Finally, what is progress? In what way could a band progress, that until now it's name was indissoluble affined with this word? Be was indeed one of 2004's most anticipated albums, but why what for? Because of its concept? Because it brings upon it the Pain Of Salvation logo? Was it because of the intense suspicions of a shocking musical surprise? Every reason of expectation is justified; though in the end only one of them proves to be successful. Be is already in stores, so I assume that the guess isn't that difficult for the ones who've purchased the album.
I won't parley with the album's concept; I have serious suspicions that after all the illimitable growth and size of this issue it substantially condemned them to release for the very first time a non-solid album. How on earth is it possible to present in a 80 minute length CD the meaning of existence, the origins of God's creatures and the diachronically of civilizations' achievements? No matter how much talented Mr. Gildenlow is, (and he is a wonder kid for sure) when someone launches such a project it is mathematically certain that in the end he'll face the vanity that drove him in this clumsy dead-end.
To make myself clear: The album's severalty, always according to the band's music profile, didn't bother me. Neither was I burnt up by the almost COMPLETE disappearance of the electric guitar sound. And if there's one God damn reason I worship this music, that ain't the acoustic guitars. I mention all these just to spell out once and for all that Be is a weak album for whatever it stands to be as a musical entity, not because it's far more different than anything Pain Of Salvation has done until now. Changes are welcome when they're done for good, isn't that so? Well, no matter how much well-intentioned you might be towards it, no matter how desperately you've long awaited another masterpiece from the magic quintet, you could not possibly disregard the fact that something's going wrong here…
The piano parts rather comprise the strongest moments of the album; as many as those were anyway. Pleasant and atmospheric should the guitar's role be called, I even enjoyed some sampled phrases I found in the album. That's all. The moment you so patiently wait for the guitars to freak out and Daniel to eradicate his vocal chords and offer shaking performance, simply won't come. Hypotonicity, minimalism and a general calmness that not only doesn't equalize with euphoria but it also brings you a step closer to Morpheus' affectionate embrace. Where's Daniel's extraordinary voice? Where is the band's robotic-accuracy performance? I think that Pain Of Salvation in their try to present something new and heretic, in a manner of speaking, were lost somewhere in the middle and buried deep down under all those elements that made them so unique and significant.
Pain Of Salvation (or should I say Daniel?) failed. I don't know why and it doesn't matter anyway. I won't stupidly forejudge the band's artistic death because all bands (and especially the great ones) are entitled to have their bad moments from the moment that they've offered us so much. I love Pain Of Salvation and I always will. This time though, as another Hamlet, I'll proudly raise my voice towards the eternal dilemma; Not to Be!

3 Star Rating

Animae Partus (I Am)
Deus Nova
Pluvius Aestivus
Lilium Cruentus
Dea Pecuniae
Vocari Dei
Nihil Morari
Latericius Valete
Iter Impius
Martius/Nauticus II
Animae Partus II
Daniel Gildenlow - Vocals & Guitars
Johan Hallgren - Vocals & Guitars
Kristoffer Gildenlow - Bass & Vocals
Fredrik Hermansson - Keyboards
Johan Langell - Drums
Record Label: Inside Out Music


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