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PAIN OF SALVATION

Progressive Metal • Sweden


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Pain Of Salvation biography
Founded in Eskilstuna, Sweden in 1984 (as "Reality") - Changed name in 1991 - Still active as of 2017

Pain of Salvation is widely known as one of the fundamental progressive metal bands from the second generation, which came around the mid 90's, but the fact is that the band is one of the oldest progressive metal bands still active. The band was formed by guitarist, singer and composer Daniel Gildenl鰓 and friends in 1984, two years after Fates Warning, Three years after Queensrche and a year before Dream Theater, when Daniel was only 11 years old. At that time, the band was called Reality, but as Daniel got older he realized the band's name needed to changed, despite the band being basically the same. So, in 1991 the band officially changed from Reality to Pain of Salvation. Daniel, over the years, gave various different reasons for the change of name, but the common feature of all those explanations is the fact that the name symbolizes the balance between things of vital significance, such as good and bad, light and dark, life and death.

The band had numerous personnel changes, mostly during the Reality period and the early period of Pain of Salvation up until their second album. Since the release of One Hour by the Concrete Lake the band remained fairly stable, with only two important band member changes: when Kristoffer Gildenl鰓, Daniel's brother, left in 2006 due to being unable to attend to rehearsals because he lived in Denmark, and when Johan Langell, Pain of Salvation's drummer since 1989, left in 2007 in order to focus on his own family.

After having a reasonably stable lineup for some time, Pain of Salvation decided, in 1996, to search for a record deal with some record label, but first recruited the keyboardist Fredrik Hermansson to complete the band's intended sound. During the rest of 1996 they distributed various demo tapes in hope to get signed with any interesting label. In early 1997 the band started recording their debut album in Roasting House, a professional recording studio in Sweden, and in August of the same year Entropia was released in Asia by Avalon, a Japanese record label owned by the Japanese record company Marquee, with generally positive response feedback, eventually leading to another licensing deal, this time with Romanian label SC Rocris Discs still in late 1997.

Entropia can be easily considered as the band's most musically diverse release up to today, raging from mellow passages to crus...
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PAIN OF SALVATION discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

PAIN OF SALVATION top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.11 | 578 ratings
Entropia
1997
3.92 | 542 ratings
One Hour By The Concrete Lake
1998
4.23 | 1262 ratings
The Perfect Element - Part 1
2000
4.23 | 1197 ratings
Remedy Lane
2002
4.09 | 888 ratings
Be
2004
3.21 | 607 ratings
Scarsick
2007
3.32 | 500 ratings
Road Salt One
2010
3.51 | 414 ratings
Road Salt Two
2011
3.20 | 151 ratings
Falling Home
2014
3.89 | 354 ratings
In the Passing Light of Day
2017
3.84 | 146 ratings
Panther
2020

PAIN OF SALVATION Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.42 | 311 ratings
12:5
2004
4.14 | 132 ratings
The Second Death of Pain of Salvation
2009
4.31 | 48 ratings
Remedy Lane Re:Lived
2016

PAIN OF SALVATION Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.39 | 218 ratings
Be Live
2005
3.96 | 114 ratings
Ending Themes - On the Two Deaths of Pain of Salvation
2009

PAIN OF SALVATION Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.83 | 46 ratings
Remedy Lane Re:Visited (Re:Mixed & Re:Lived)
2016

PAIN OF SALVATION Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.49 | 26 ratings
The Painful Chronicles
1999
3.61 | 31 ratings
Ashes
2000
3.21 | 115 ratings
Linoleum
2009
4.86 | 28 ratings
Remedy Lane Re:Mixed
2016

PAIN OF SALVATION Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Panther by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.84 | 146 ratings

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Panther
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by Devolvator

4 stars Actually "Pain of Symphony". How can you describe the emotions you hear? It's as if the crumbly potatoes have learned to roar like an old lion. Let's get serious now! They still have courage and good shape, despite the fact that the group is 31 years old! Oh gods, why do they still exist? After all, everything has already been written and played 15-20 years ago! However, there is something to listen to, although we understand the lack of novelty. But let's be honest: after all, people should do something if they still have energy and talent! And I have no moral right to criticize them for their habit of writing records. There is still a lot of anger and unbroken teeth in Daniel Gildenl鰓, but this anger is more theatrical than not. The voice has undoubtedly become quieter, and this fact is carefully hidden by expensive mixing. Among the shortcomings: the integrity of the songs is very lame, and sometimes there is a feeling that the musicians are trying to outmatch themselves, which is in vain. However, melodicism has never been a strong point of POS. There is a feeling as if Opeth of the early 2000s strongly "simulate" Gentle Giant, only with the addition of flamenco and synthesizers. Delighted with the sublime sadness of Daniel's voice and the still unforgotten feeling of flight, which is so vividly revealed in the composition titled "Wait". Although the drums still run chaotically and randomly (which POS has always had), this is their trademark, but this is for "big fans". In general, the melody of the song is original and seems to emerge from various musical moves together. "Keen To a Fault" is also pleasantly drawn into a whirlwind of sounds, where you can recognize the old battle vocal cry from Gildenl鰓, as if rushing from the heights. Together with the characteristic "behindhand" drums. This whole atmosphere is permeated with atypical acoustic guitars at the ready with a heavy component. And the alternative "smash-hit" titled "Panther", in which Dan deftly gets involved in heavy hip-hop, diluting it with something similar to the work of the Norwegian Gazpacho. Not to say that this is a successful opus, but it is easily recognized and listened to in one breath. It is not boring. Well, and the uncompromising "Species", where the young brutal Pain Of Salvation suddenly hits the ears, with powerful screens of depressing and falling overloads of guitars. Yes, the melody is absent in the album as a class, but there are no boring and mediocre tracks. They put everything on the line for the originality of the moves, realizing that they apparently had nothing more to bet on. Perhaps these old dogs are no longer so strong and evil, but they are too smart and resourceful to make it clear to the listeners. The technical side is perfect. If you are not afraid to constantly switch your consciousness from one move to another, then listen to this album in full. And not an ounce of fatigue, although this feeling is more likely the result of many hours of studio work, rather than a suddenly opened "second wind". Do you want the truth?! Pain Of Salvation's music is still complex, heavy and non-trivial, just like before! It's just that now the listeners need to find the edges of the musicians' talents themselves, and not receive it "on a silver platter", as in the 2000s. This may be the best Neo-Progressive album, but only if you want to.
 Panther by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.84 | 146 ratings

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Panther
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by dougmcauliffe

4 stars This has been my introduction to Pain Of Salvation and I have to say, I'm very impressed and pleased with what's delivered here and at the time of writing this review, this album is on my 2020 podium. I love this very outside the box take on progressive metal. While the music is still very technical, and metal, it doesn't forget to be progressive. I have to applaud some of the very interesting production techniques and heavy electronic elements used throughout. All the tracks here are very dynamic and generally super solid front to back, however, I think there's one track that really transcends into superb territory and that's the 13 minute closer "ICON." I find it highly emotional with some very pretty piano flourishes and a passionate vocal performance. There's a great contrast between soft and heavy and those heavier moments really hit. I also really enjoy some of the softer songs here such as WAIT, which uses vocal tuning effects in such a cool way while also packing a somewhat unconventional and offbeat hook. The opening track ACCELERATOR kicks into gear right off the bat hitting you with a sweet twisting polyrhythm, another great and exciting track. The only track I'm a little split on is the title track "Panther." There's things I really like about it, notably the hook and general latter half of the song, but the lyrics and kind of rapping delivery found in the verses towards the beginning of the song come off as a bit cheesy and dated to my ears. My only other complaint about this album would be that I think the production and mix could benefit from a little more clarity. I love some of the interesting soundscapes and techniques they put forth, but sometimes I feel the songs could benefit from some crunchier guitar and drum tones.

In conclusion, I've really been enjoying this album. It's one that immediately grabbed me and I continue to enjoy it more and more with each listen, a safe 4 stars from me.

 Panther by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.84 | 146 ratings

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Panther
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by JJLehto
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Perhaps the most jarring and unusual album yet from this band's eclectic discography, but it works.

Pain of Salvation is no stranger to making changes in musical direction and is seemingly undeterred by fan opinion, though I would argue all their post Remedy Lane output while eclectic is still rock based. Not all of these albums have been as successful as others the band deserves credit for going there. After a partial return to their original form with "In the Passing Light of Day" Pain of Salvation has done it again: they pulled the rug out from under us. "Panther" is their most unusual work yet however. Unlike all their prior rock based albums, "Panther" takes a turn in the electronic direction. Given this comes directly after the bands return to heavy, more aggressive metal that had so many long turned off fans almost excited again, this truly is a bold effort.

When I first listened to this album I was bewildered. It's light on the rock, heavy on the electronics. On some songs I was struggling to tell if guitar was even present! When it was there, it was often simply just another sound, a piece of the soundscape. The drums are fine, but that's it...just fine, certainly nothing spectacular. It was an electronic and Daniel driven effort. It was weird and jarring, but not terrible upon first listen. Daniel's vocals are superb, as would be expected. There were some cool riffs and melodies, and a few songs that really struck me even upon first listen.

After giving "Panther" some time and a few spins, I can say it's a pretty good album. The music is different, no doubt there, and it may take some getting used to but it's really quite solid. The soundscape that is created is quite rich, and don't be fooled by my use of electronic. This is not some energetic upbeat album you can dance to, no it's fairly ambient, I'd say even somber and dark. Some of the hard edge that we have come to expect and love from Pain of Salvation is very much here in my opinion. The instruments all work together in a wonderful way, Daniel is piercing and driving and his voice has not lost even an ounce of its beauty, power, or nuance.

"Accelerator" kicks off the album with a pretty driving drum rhythm throughout, "Unfuture" is one of the more standard Pain of Salvation style songs, "Wait" features some great keyboard and guitar melodies, interesting passages and sections as it traverses the song, "Keen to a Fault" is a brilliant song that is one of the more energetic and musically interesting on the album, and I think should appeal to most Pain of Salvation fans. "Panther" is an interesting song that sounds a lot like Linkin Park, filled with electronic flourishes and sounds that sound straight from well, Linkin Park, and even Daniel rapping though thankfully it seems he's improved from his attempts on "Scarsick" (granted that was a more tongue in cheek and satiric effort). There are some rockin drums and it's all interspaced with quite piano and Daniel sections. Many may shudder at seeing Linkin Park in a Pain of Salvation review but frankly, it's one of my favorite songs, possibly favorite, on the album. "Species" is a good, slow burn and the 13 minute finale "Icon" is a straight up prog rock epic. It ebbs and flows through its well crafted song structure and is filled with beauty and passion. After writing all this I realized I have covered most of the album. That's how "Panther" was for me. Listening, listening, not super sure then it was over and I realized wow, I enjoyed that.

Is "Panther" different? Yes. Does it reach the highs of the bands first four albums? No. Though come one fellow prog fans, we pat ourselves on the backs for our open mindedness and pride in deviating from the mean! I was quite perplexed, weirded out and immensely unsure about this album when I first heard it. That said, I quite like it. I would encourage all Pain of Salvation fans to give it a try, maybe a few, and keep an open mind. Like myself, you may be surprised! If you are a fan of just rock based music perhaps this will be a difficult listen, though I would consider myself a fan of rock based music and still was gripped enough from the first listen to keep going with it, I ask you to do the same. For those who simply can't get past the band's post Remedy Lane output and just itch for those days, then yeah this probably won't be worth the time. I for one am glad to see Pain of Salvation has not just avoided the trap of spinning their wheels for over a decade as happens to many bands, but manages to come up with new sounds and pulls them off.

THREE AND A HALF STARS

bump: Four Stars

 Panther by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.84 | 146 ratings

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Panther
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by alainPP

4 stars PAIN OF SALVATION hit me in 2000 with "The Perfect Element" essential and unique at the time. I am not going to list the following CDs, the personal problems of the group but it is sure that this translates into the musical notes given since, in the released atmosphere, in the innovation always present as a source of inspiration and resilience. vis-?vis the vagaries of life. POS is this mythical group of progressive metal that challenges itself and tries to prove to you that beyond darkness there is indeed the light of life; POS is here dealing with whether or not to accept the difference in this sick world. POS has just released a huge album, don't wait until the end of this note to convince yourself. An electro-heavy, powerful track, synth-wave, a syncopated drums, a "current" sound, djent, a prog metal crucible to put in the bath. A folk entry then an animal rhythm, a song phrased rap, heavy and unhealthy limit undue, here is to drive the musical nail. A soaring intro, a voice mixed by auto-tune in the tradition of a LEPROUS or a HAKEN, a final with apocalyptic acceleration and its drums exploding the drums! an experimental title which reinforces the legendary creation of Daniel. A melodic, conventional title stamped POS with piano and voice forward to upset, it reminds me of the "12: 5" suddenly, rise which shortens the time with an almost pop end and a disturbed sound, melancholy of sidereal beauty to melt the still recalcitrant reader. A hypnotic riff, a keyboard with an obsessive repetitive loop, fusion between guitar and synth now for the most conventional title. A folkloric interlude on the banjo to rest from the effort of so many musical trends and off we go. An eponymous title with the label, here it is I found one of the links with the title of the album, unhealthy hip hop, archaic rhythm bordering on rap-metal, scratched chorus that upsets you and makes you look for an analogous chorus in your memory cluttered with their disco. The title where the emotion wins you with a standard title of the group leading you to a meditative regression and here you are listening to "Icon" dark with its melodic intro on the piano, then a crescendo, a Gilmourian atmosphere at 8 minutes that makes you to melt. Indus, electro-metal prog rock, oppression and sadness leading to melancholy but leaving hope as a backdrop to better bounce back, better enjoy life, uh music, sound with mixed raw, raw and charming voice of Daniel. This is what you will feel when you listen to "Panther" in apnea. POS has done POS here by taking into account the musical evolutions of the moment and by keeping its raw animal tribal identity, its syncopated rhythms based more on emotion than on technicality. POS has just released a centerpiece, but I'll leave it up to you to go buy it.
 Panther by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.84 | 146 ratings

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Panther
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by Einwahn

5 stars 'Panther' is studio album #11 in the 23 year recording history of classic prog metal band Pain of Salvation. They have two top-10 albums in our Prog Metal subgenre chart - 'Remedy Lane' (2002) and 'The Perfect Element' (2000). Their debut 'Entropia' (1997), and 'Be' (2004) are also in the top 25. These millennial albums are very progressive, full of complex, intense, imaginative and unpredictable music. Their albums of 2007-2011 are also very good, though less progressive and less highly rated on this site. Their leader Daniel Gildenl鰓, who is one of the finest and most charismatic vocalists in progressive rock, suffered a horrific bacterial disease in 2014. Although their previous albums had very human themes, they were not specifically personal (with rock-opera, existential or ethical conceptions). In contrast the two post-illness albums 'In the Passing Light of Day' (2017) and now 'Panther', have a new subject - Daniel Gildenl鰓. ITPLOD confronts his life-threatening experience, using a musical language not dissimilar to his classic albums, slightly less inspired but deservedly rated excellent on here.

But now we have 'Panther' and - WOW!! This is a Pain of Salvation that is musically transformed, not only from the previous band, but even from one track to another within this album. Gildenl鰓 has mentioned that he was randomly influenced by music his kids were bringing home, and one can recognise unexpected areas of popular music all over the place. The one stylistic character the 'Panther' tracks have in common is that the music is always in some way disjointed, in time signatures, musical layers or sections. All this may be an expression of the concept - in hospital Gildenl鰓 was diagnosed with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). The songs deal with an individual (the 'panther' in a dog's world) who is disconnected in personality from his peers, and (in themes to which many of us can relate) dismay at what his species is doing to the planet, and the endless bewilderment of life.

Does it work? That is up to every listener, but for myself I have not enjoyed a Pain of Salvation album so much ever. Easily my favourite album from them. I will speculate about one influence among the many - the finale 'Icon' has driving multi-layered riffs that surely come from their Swedish compatriots G鰏ta Berlings Saga. Anyone who enjoys 'Icon' should check out the new streaming-only album 'Artefacts - Live' by GBS and see if they agree with me.

Verdict: Einwahn's #1 album of 2020.

 Panther by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.84 | 146 ratings

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Panther
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by ssmarcus

4 stars Goosebumps, pure body rattling goosebumps is exactly what I felt upon hearing "Unfuture," the second track on Panther, Pain of Salvation's 11th studio record. Across 53 minutes, Daniel Gildenl鰓 and company employ menacing synths and somewhat muddied production to create an engrossing Blade Runner like dystopian vibe. You could be forgiven for at first thinking Panther constitutes a radical departure from the band's sound. But as the record wears on, the vintage dense and theatrical Pain of Salvation sound persists.

As with any POS album, the lyrics present us with a well-developed and thematically significant story. The opening track "Accelerator," which seemingly starts us off at the end of the story, has our protagonist, a quick minded misfit, facing down the measured and stoic establishment and challenging its narrative of how the world around them all has begun to go up in flames. The album proceeds to detail how it is we came to this point. I highly recommend reading Daniel's interview at Metal Injection for more insights

 Panther by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.84 | 146 ratings

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Panther
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by uribreitman

3 stars The glory days of 1997-2004 are definitely gone for Pain of Salvation. Yes, 2017's "In the Passing Light of Day" was a nice effort (almost a return-to-form) but 2020's "Panther" feels like an electronic solo album by Daniel Gildenlow.

Most songs are "songs" in the traditional sense - they come and go with no big surprises. The "band" is not a "band", it's the home studio of Mister Gildenlow. Lyrics are all Daniel's. Compositions are also his. i don't hear anybody but Daniel in the vocals. The keyboard parts are almost non-existent.

Not even the 13-minute closer, "Icon", is able to revive this sleepy panther. Not that expectations were really high. Fans of POS have experienced many disappointments with their prog-metal cult band. 2007's Scarsick has divided the camp, throwing many prog-heads overboard and losing touch with POS for a complete decade.

Now Daniel is back with something which cannot be described as an ensemble. It is clear that Daniel does not work with people anymore - he just works with himself. So the verdict is clear: Panther can be easily skipped. Musically it's thin and almost mediocre. Gildenlow has thrown rock-and-roll out the window, and he's overemphasizing the importance of his lyrics.

Panther's a very long cry from masterpieces such as Remedy Lane and/or The Perfect Element. We can safely move on to younger, bolder groups.

 Panther by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.84 | 146 ratings

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Panther
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by lukretio

5 stars Albums like Panther are the reason why I love progressive rock and metal music. Albums that, the first time you spin them, leave you confused and disoriented, unsure whether you have just listened to a masterpiece you do not yet fully understand, or to an album you'll end up loathing. And so you immediately embark on a second listening session, and then another one, and one more after that. And, with each new spin, the album grows on you, the music unfolds layer after layer and starts speaking to you, and you get closer and closer to the realization that, yes, this is a masterpiece, one of those albums you'll be returning to time and again for years to come, because it is just that good.

Panther is studio album number 11 in the career of Pain of Salvation and is a masterpiece of modern progressive metal. With emphasis on "modern", because Panther is an album that bears little resemblance to the traditional prog metal sound that Pain of Salvation contributed to define back in the 90s, together with bands like Dream Theater, Symphony X and Fates Warning. Rather, Panther is an album based on sounds borrowed from genres that are far away from metal, such as electronica, trip hop and rap, that are then meticulously weaved in into Pain of Salvation's trademark sound to create a new, fascinating hybrid. The band is not new to this type of boundary-pushing, genre-bending experiments ? as testified by albums like Scarsick and the two Road Salts. But Panther, with its heavy focus on electronic influences, is perhaps a bigger step away from the band's prog metal roots than any of their previous albums, falling into an uncharted territory at the border between metal, electronic music and alternative rock, not unlike Leprous's latest album Pitfalls.

If you have listened to either of the two singles taken from Panther ("Accelerator" and "Restless Boy"), then you know what I am talking about ? because these songs are very representative of the sound you will find on the album. You will NOT find many intricate guitar riffs on Panther, or lengthy technical solos, or other traditional trademarks of progressive metal music. What you will find instead are songs that are based on simple, hypnotic piano and guitar loops, syncopated drum patterns, electronic samples and futuristic synthesizer sounds, creating complex and ever-shifting polyrhythmic soundscapes that counterpoint Daniel Gildenl鰓's beautiful, mellow vocal lines. The contrast between soothing and expansive melodies and eerie electronic undertones is a constant theme of the album. It creates an immersive, sinister atmosphere that gives the album a unique, cohesive identity that fits perfectly with its vaguely dystopian subject matter about a parallel future world populated by "dogs", who can fit with society's norms and expectations, and "panthers" who cannot.

There is plenty of surprises and highlights throughout the album, with every song a potential hit. "Accelerator" is a fantastic opener, moving back and forth between delicate parts with only Daniel's voice, and sections built on glitchy keyboard lines and djenty rhythmic riffs, before exploding in a maelstrom of vocal effects in the final chorus. The other single, "Restless Boy", sounds like a ballad written by a melancholic supercomputer, where the use of vocoder and electronic effects bring to mind Daft Punk. But the surprises are just behind the corner, as the track suddenly takes a heavier turn in the second half, with some frantic percussive vocals and guitars that again have a djent flavour.

On "Wait" the band move into slightly more traditional territory, with Daniel's gentle vocal lines soaring over a beautiful piano loop that reminds me of Kevin Moore and his electro-ambient project Chroma Key. The dark electronic undertones are still present, though, and come to the fore later in the track, as the vocals become slightly processed and a computerized loop replaces the initial piano loop. A similar trick is used on the more energetic "Keen to a Fault", where a synthesizer and an acoustic guitar swap the same loop repeatedly throughout the track. "Fur" is a brief instrumental that surprises with a hymn-like melody played on what sounds like a processed banjo. The title-track is a monster of a curveball that is bound to divide fans. It starts with tribal electronic beats and rapped vocals (think of "Spitfall" from Scarsick, but much less metal) and it then transitions to a beautiful calm part with only Daniel's voice accompanied by piano that gradually evolves into a full-blown chorus with the addition of distorted guitars, drums and electronic effects to reach a wonderful climax.

The 13+ minutes of "Icon" conclude the album and are packed with more ideas than many bands can come up with over an entire album. The song plays again on the contrast between menacing sections with dissonant guitars and processed vocals and parts that are more delicate, where the instruments quiet down and make room for Daniel's emotional vocals, reminding me of some of the softer moments on the Road Salt albums. I love the fact that the different parts of the song continuously bleed into one another, as when, on the quieter verse, a dissonant guitar suddenly appears behind Daniel's soothing voice. The song also contains a great guitar solo (one of the very few present on the album), very expressive and full of pathos. It is a perfect conclusion to a magnificent album.

Pain of Salvation are a band known for pushing boundaries and striving to produce albums that are not mere copies of their previous releases. With Panther, Pain of Salvation have managed to completely re-invent themselves, bringing in new sounds and many diverse influences, and meshing them with their unique sense of dynamics and instantly recognizable melodic style. It is probably their most daring sonic experiment to date ? even more so than their 2006's genre-blurring (and fan-dividing) album Scarsick ?, and there are good chances that a portion of the band's fanbase might be caught off guard by the strange blend of electronica and metal that shapes the nine songs of Panther. My advice, however, is not to give up on this album too soon, because Panther is definitely a grower that requires a lot of active listening to be fully appreciated. I promise that you won't regret the time investment, because with Panther Pain of Salvation have managed to write one of the best, most creative and refreshing albums of their entire career.

(Originally written for The Metal Observer)

 Panther by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.84 | 146 ratings

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Panther
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by javajeff

4 stars Panther has excellent musicianship, fantastic vocals, and solid songwriting. Another Pain Of Salvation release is a good thing since the band has blown me away on previous releases. Fans of the group will find great music on Panther since it does fall in line with their other progressive metal releases, but the muddied production takes some time to get used to. It will have the challenge to measure up to previous masterpieces over the years, and I will need repeat listens to feel where it fits in with the other releases. Remedy Lane, Be, or The Perfect Element - Part 1 are the three masterpieces, and Panther does a good job competing in quality. The first single is Restless Boy, and that may be the most unique track on the album as well as one of the shortest. The longest track, Icon, is a very fitting ending that utilizes the bags of tricks from previous releases. Panther is different enough to be interesting, and similar enough to continue the excellence that Pain of Salvation has created over the years. It is a fantastic release that does not disappoint the progressive metal fans.
 The Second Death of Pain of Salvation by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Live, 2009
4.14 | 132 ratings

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The Second Death of Pain of Salvation
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Review N?363

In 2001, after the release of 'The Perfect Element Part 1', Pain of Salvation was the headliner of the Prog Power in USA. They were also the headliner of Dream Theater Fan Club Convention, receiving great reviews, including Mike Portnoy, the Dream Theater's drummer, who said that he was the number one fan of the group. They also realised other several shows and participated in several live festivals such as the Dynamo Open Air, the US Powermad and the Prog Power Europe, in Netherlands, as headliners. Daniel Gildenlow participated, as a musician stage playing guitar, keyboards and backing vocals on Transatlantic's live album 'Live In Europe'. After that, Portnoy invited Daniel and Pain of Salvation to open the future Dream Theater's European live tour. In 2008, Arjen Anthony Lucassen, the Ayreon's mastermind, invited Daniel to be as one of the seventeen singers on his rock opera '01011001', which was to be released in the same year.

What I want to mean with everything I wrote before is that Daniel was a much appreciated musician and that Pain Of Salvation was one of the most respected bands in progressive music and was also one of the most original, innovative, progressive, unexpected and controversial of all. So, it was with great expectation when I got this live album from them.

'The Second Death Of Pain Of Salvation' is the second live album of Pain Of Salvation and was released in 2009, in a double disc format. The album features the full concert video from the Paradiso show recorded in 2 March 2007 in Holland. The concert was also released on a DVD version. So, you can buy the video version instead the audio version.

'The Second Dead Of Pain Of Salvation' is the only album with the participation of the new bassist of the band Simon Andersson, who replaced the original bassist Kristoffer Gildenlow, in those times. It was also the last album featuring Johan Langell, the original drummer of the group, who was replaced by their new French drummer, Leo Margarit.

The album has sixteen tracks with eight tracks on each CD. The band decided to revisit all their six studio albums, at the time, with live versions of some tracks from those albums. There are also two tracks that don't belong to those albums, at least, in their original format. So, from 'Entropia' we have two tracks, 'Nightmist' and '! (Forward)'. From 'One Hour By The Concrete Lake' we have two track, 'Handful Of Nothing' and 'New Years Eve'. From 'The Perfect Element Part 1' we have two tracks, 'Ashes' and 'Used'. From 'Remedy Lane' we have two tracks, 'Undertow' and 'Chain Sling'. From 'Be' we have only one track, 'Diffidentia'. From 'Scarsick' we have five tracks, 'Scarsick', 'America', 'Flame To The Moth', 'Disco Queen' and 'Cribcaged'. Apart all these tracks, the band decided to include another track, 'Brickworks 1 (Parts II-IV)'. It was originally recorded on their live album '12:5'. The band also included another track, 'Hallelujah'. This was totally unexpected because this isn't a Pain Of Salvation's song. This is a live version from a song originally composed, recorded and released by Leonard Cohen on his album 'Various Positions'.

The live performance and the music are pretty perfect. The overall effect is that here we have the band on fire. There is a heavy leaning towards 'Scarsick'. But I guess this isn't surprising since this was the 'Scarsick' live tour. However, elsewhere this is a real 'best-of' run through their career to date. Highlights are the vocal performance from Daniel, which at times really does take your breath away. The guitar inter-play between he and Hallgren is also fantastic as is the energy they create working the stage and crowd in unison. The intricate vocal harmonies, drum work and the various atmospheres created by the use of keys and piano are also given a full platform. All the performances here are solid and entertaining. The more midpaced songs work better as the band has more room to mess with the arrangements. The faster songs on the other hand occasionally feel rushed and more frantic. Of particular note, as always with this band, are Daniel's vocals, which expand from the original melodies and into new exciting territory. The backing vocals are also solid, leading me to suspect studio overdubs, but the end result is quite a pleasure to listen to.

Conclusion: 'The Second Dead Of Pain Of Salvation' is a fantastic live album very well performed, very well representative of the repertoire of the band with songs from all of their studio albums until then, and it has also a very good, interesting and surprising live version from 'Hallelujah', of Cohen, which curiously became the most beautiful moment of the concert with a healthy communion between the band and fans. I would say that 'The Second Dead Of Pain Of Salvation' is a must have for all fans of the group, as there is only one 'new' song here, the Cohen's cover song. It certainly doesn't divide their more traditional fan base because it works much better than some of Pain Of Salvation's more recent previous attempts, especially 'Scarsick'. So, 'The Second Dead Of Pain Of Salvation' is, in my humble opinion, one of the best live albums in the lats decade, is an album not to be missed, and is also for those who aren't familiar with the band's music, a good way of presenting the group's music and its evolution, until that moment.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

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