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Pain Of Salvation - Road Salt One

Pain Of Salvation
Road Salt One
by Mike Novak at 30 May 2010, 11:05 AM

When reviewing PAIN OF SALVATION’s “Linoleum” EP that was released a few months ago, I stated that fans that were disgruntled from the band’s recent output shouldn’t give up just yet. The little taste that the EP gave us definitely showed promise. “Road Salt”, which was originally planned to be a double album, is now split up, with the second half due to be released at a later date.

PAIN OF SALVATION was formed all the way back in 1984, but their first album was not released until 1997. They have since been releasing albums regularly and built up a cult following, but, in America at least, success continues to elude them. Perhaps this is because they refused to tour America for a few years. I’m sure all of the hundreds of millions of Daniel Gildenlöw’s fans in America are breathing a collective sigh of relief now that he has lifted his “embargo” now that Obama is leading the nation and world into a utopian paradise.

Sarcasm aside, PAIN OF SALVATION has really delivered with this new album. The only song from the EP that is on “Road Salt One” is “Linoleum,” which, as expected, sounds better in the context of the album as opposed to an opening song. The consistency is admirable. While the 70’s rock sound (first mentioned in my review of the EP) is still there, “Remedy Lane” is also brought to mind because of the rich vocal melodies. The soulful wails (a laGreat Gig In The Sky”) are gone, but the vocals still display a depth and passion that few can match. I really wish that there were more guitar solos, since I enjoyed the lead work on past albums, but in all honesty the songs do not really suffer from their absence.

One of the great things about PAIN OF SALVATION is their ability incorporate various genres into their music, although doing so with disco and rap on “Scarsick” was one of that album’s many faults. Here, for example, we have a brilliant blues song “Tell Me You Don’t Know” as well as “Sleeping Under The Stars,” which shows an influence of traditional Italian music. It is a testament to the talent of Daniel Gildenlöw that, even this far into his career, he can still write great music without recycling ideas or melodies. Songs like “No Way,” “Sisters” and “Linoleum” are definite highlights, but this is an album that was meant to be listened to as a whole.

Are there any downsides? The title track (which apparently was entered into the Eurovision contest for some reason) is dull and feels out of place. Also, if you only buy the regular version of the album, some of the songs are shortened. In order to get an intro as well as full versions of the title track and “No Way,” you have to pay extra for the limited edition digipak version. Daniel Gildenlöw, despite all of his claims about hating capitalism, certainly doesn’t mind buying into it to make extra money.

Even so, this is still worth listening to. In all honesty, I felt that “No Way” is fine at its regular length and I would skip the title track anyway, so it’s probably not worth the rather significant price difference (in America, the limited edition costs 25-33% more) for approximately 4 additional minutes of music. However, the regular edition of the album is full of great music. This should win back some of the band’s fans that were alienated by the pretentiousness of “BE” or the mediocrity of “Scarsick” (it certainly won me over), and could perhaps gain some new fans in the process.

4 Star Rating

  1. No Way
  2. She Likes To Hide
  3. Sisters
  4. Of Dust
  5. Tell Me You Don't Know
  6. Sleeping Under The Stars
  7. Darkness Of Mine
  8. Linoleum
  9. Curiosity
  10. Where It Hurts
  11. Road Salt
  12. Innocence
Daniel  Gildenlöw - Vocals, Guitar, Bass
Johan Hallgren - Guitar, Vocals
Fredrik Hermansson - Keyboards
Léo Margarit - Drums
Record Label: Inside Out Music


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Edited 28 May 2023

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