Pain of Salvation is a progressive rock band from Eskilstuna, Sweden. The band centres on lead vocalist, guitarist, composer, and writer Daniel Gildenlöw. Trademarks include concept albums focusing on social, environmental, philosophical, and emotional issues as well as songs that incorporate complex rhythms and time changes but retain flowing melodies. The band was formed by Gildenlöw in 1984 under the name Reality. The band used to participate in many music contests in their homeland of Sweden. Read more on Last.fm
I have been a fan and follower of PAIN OF SALVATION since 2007, in other words since the release of their 2007 album “Scarsick”, but that was not the first album I discovered. That one was “Remedy Lane”, and that album got me easily hooked, then I drifted back in time and discovered a rare diamond, “The Perfect Element, Part I”, then further back for more jewels like “Entropia” and “One Hour by the Concrete Lake”. Not to forget what came in 2005, the magical “BE”. I have followed the band’s releases ever since, and I have seen them live twice so far. After “Scarsick”, which was considered a disappointment to fans (not me), came the “Linoleum” EP with a change. The band decided to shift away from Metal and more into Rock, Grunge, and other stuff. So, the result was the double albums “Road Salt One” and “Road Salt Two”. The albums were released separately but were directly connected in style and themes. They were great in what they meant to be, but they were not concept nor Metal albums. Fans refused to accept the new POS but new people joined the Pain of Salvation fan club through the more accessible “Salty” music.
During that time, the band went through line up changes and fans were waiting for the next album, we didn’t know what it will be. What music is POS preparing? Will they follow the path of OPETH in keeping it lighter for the next three albums “Heritage”, “Pale Communion” and lately “Sorceress”? Maybe.
But, the band hit hard, and specifically the main man behind the magic, Daniel Gildenlow was unfortunately hit by one of the most vicious bacteria. A flesh eating bacteria which started on his lower back, digging towards the spine and in few hours taking Daniel to the “I am soon to be dead” mindset. With a strong will “Fuck what they say… I want to stay”, Daniel fought the pain in a hospital room for four months and survived. This whole experience left Daniel with many thoughts on life and death, on regrets and joys and on our existence and the instinct to survive, add to that fans urging him to write a concept album about it. Thus came “In the Passing Light of Day”, which tells the story of a near death experience through the genius of a man who lived through it. It comes from an experience just like “Remedy Lane”, so it will feed the fans’ hunger.
Cooperating with guitarist Ragnar Zolberg, Daniel created a story in voices of pain, anger and joy. It opens with a Heavy Metal riff on “On a Tuesday” and keeps going heavy with second track “Tongue of God”. While these are among the heaviest tracks on the album, other tracks have the more old POS feel, tracks like “Angels of Broken Things” and title track that comes at end “The Passing light of Day”.
The album is well balanced, well structured and gives you the best journey you could expect from Pain of Salvation. I ended up singing in my head every track from the album. Every track has something or somethings that your mind can’t let go of.
I would give it an 8.5/10.
This album is recommended to any fan of Prog Rock / Metal, concept albums on emotions and thoughts.