Pain Of Salvation - Road Salt Two

Pain Of Salvation - Road Salt Two

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(CD, InsideOut Music, 2011)

Sometimes metalheads are reacting way different in what I believe similar situations. They can be very receptive to Progressive bands like PAIN OF SALVATION but are throwing rocks to QUEENSRŸCHE for gravely changing their style in every album. But, wait a minute is this what PAIN OF SALVATION are doing? Of course, there is no way out of such disputes and personally I am bored to death discussing why a band did or didn’t release a certain type of music. At least, we all agree than PAIN OF SALVATION have nothing to do with Metal and are totally dedicated in the Progressive Rock scene.

This album is the continuation to the previous part of “Salty Road” and according to the band’s mastermind Daniel Gildenlöw the music for both albums was written at the same period of time. Listening to those two releases no-stop gives the sense of completeness and after some maturing the listener follows this salty road and travels with the band. Part two follows the same compositional concept with the first one based on the most expressional vocals maintaining a 70s atmosphere with strong US classic Rock foundations making you forget that PAIN OF SALVATION hail from Sweden. The use of guitar distortion is rather limited (hence the absence of the Metal label) but also characteristic in the up-tempo tracks like “Softly She Cries”, “Conditioned” or in the psychedelic “Eleven” where I think I spotted some lurking SABBATH-esque references. Gildenlöw says this album is kind of darker than the previous one but I prefer to say that number one had more ‘happy’ tunes. But, this is clearly a personal view of this musical trip that PAIN OF SALVATION have once again created.

What I really liked listening to this album is the well established vintage sound and although I am not an expert I bet the Swedes did not use digital simulations but the old school instruments enhancing this oldie but goldie atmosphere. Take for example “Mortar Grind” and the hearty echo effects, the Hammond sounding keys and the trademark vocal lines that create this kaleidoscope of feelings PAIN OF SALVATION are famous of. If I were to choose one song from this album it would be the 8 minutes long “The Physics Of Gridlock” that is the heavier song being riff driven and on average up tempo. The drum work underlines the Progressive id of this band laying down some jazz references extending the audio spectrum presented by this band.

The last track entitled “End Credits” seems the swansong for this two album concept. I won’t argue that this is a Progressive Rock gem for many but I would also point out that PAIN OF SALVATION have little to do with Metal. Personally, I enjoyed throwing in the CD player the two parts and in fact I got lost during the listening session just like I do when I listen to a movie soundtrack creating pictures of my own that I think follow the audio storyline. On the other hand I am sure that I will not return to these two albums unless I am in that special movie mood and want something playing in the background... but this is just me talking...





01. Road Salt Theme
02. Softly She Cries
03. Conditioned
04. Healing Now
05. To The Shoreline
06. Eleven
07. 1979
08. The Deeper Cut
09. Mortar Grind
10. Through The Distance
11. The Physics Of Gridlock
12. End Credits


Daniel Gildenlöw - Vocals, Guitar
Johan Hallgren - Guitar, Vocals
Leo Margarit - Drums, Vocals
Fredrik Hermansson - Keyboards, Vocals