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Pain of Salvation — The Perfect Element: Part I
(Inside Out Music IOMACD 2019, 2000, CD)

by Mike McLatchey, Published 2001-12-01

The Perfect Element: Part I Cover art

Pain of Salvation are one of the few bands that comes along every now and then and redefines their genre. I mean, I don’t even care much for this particular avenue of melodic prog-metal, the kind including the more commercial end of the spectrum such as Fates Warning and Dream Theater. But there is something wonderfully insolent about how a young band can combine such a wide variety of music under one umbrella. I can’t even call this prog-metal with a straight face. One tends to expect the barrage of distorted guitars and pounding double bass drums, but this is such a small element. Yes, they are accessible, and the accessibility has its moments that are not likely to appeal to those who don’t like any of the music in this general area. This is particularly true in ballads such as “Morning on Earth.” They do give up their fair share of battering riff heavy music, however. “Idioglossia” opens with a blazing riff that introduces a song that combines almost rap-like vocals with harmonic back-up vocals and more convoluted breaks — and they get away with it. What about a little trip down modal lane? Sure, they do that “Her Voices” — and they get away with it. A guitar/synth patch duo on “Failing”? Yep, that too. In summary, it is the band’s brash cheekiness that bugs me, like they are saying, “We can do this kind of music and actually excel at it.” You may not like prog-metal, but before you give up on it, check out a band that makes the style look irrelevant.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 23, 2000 releases

Related artist(s): Pain of Salvation

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