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Pain of Salvation is truly one of the most unusual bands that I have ever listened to. They have a sound that I like to describe as being like a cross between Dream Theater and Faith No More with a little Nevermore thrown in for good measure. This particular album is often seen as being the band's best and has become one of my personal favorites after it was recommended to me by an old college buddy.
Musically, this album really goes all over the place and lives up to its progressive reputation. The song structures are wild and complex in their dissonance, the instruments are performed with technical ease, and the vocals of singer/guitarist Daniel Gildenlow range from passionate to absolutely insane.
The songs themselves are also packed with a good deal of variety and range from somber mid-tempo tracks ("Ending Theme," "Undertow"), progressive mindfucks ("Fandango," "Rope Ends," "Chain Sling," "Beyond the Pale"), more upbeat songs ("A Trace of Blood," "Waking Every God"), love ballads ("This Heart of Mine (I Pledge)", "Second Love"), and a sweet acoustic instrumental ("Dryad of the Woods"). While it's all complex as hell, the songs portray the stories of the lyrics well and offer something for just about any kind of listener.
Speaking of lyrics, this is a concept album like every other Pain of Salvation release and revolves around themes of regret and remembering one's past. While the story is one that is hard to get around at times, the topics of each song are capable of effectively speaking to the listener on their own terms. Nearly every emotion is covered and the numerous topics covered include regret and reflection ("Ending Theme," "Waking Every God," "Beyond the Pale"), troubled relationships ("Fandango," "Chain Sling"), a tragic miscarriage ("A Trace of Blood"), love and happiness ("This Heart of Mine (I Pledge)," "Second Love"), ambition at the expense of loss ("Undertow"), and the attempted suicide of a loved one ("Rope Ends"). I'm pretty sure that if I ever get married, I'll be using the chorus of "This Heart of Mine" as part of my wedding vows and "Undertow" sounds like it'd be an interesting song to play at one's funeral.
All in all, this is one of my personal favorite albums and perhaps one of the strongest progressive works out there. I'd recommend it to anyone interested in hearing some strange, complex, and emotionally powerful music. You'll find something on here that speaks to you.
1) Complex but still memorable songwriting
2) Great song variety
3) Amazing vocals and technical instrumental work
4) Powerful lyrics
1) The album's actual storyline is a little hard to figure out at times
2) May be too complex for some listeners
"Ending Theme," "Fandango," "This Heart of Mine (I Pledge)," "Undertow," and "Beyond the Pale"
Though I don't consider 'Remedy Lane' as the best effort of this band, nor an excellent album, this is a real great album and it has some real Though I don't consider 'Remedy Lane' as the best effort of this band, nor an excellent album, this is a real great album and it has some real brilliant moments within that takes some time to comprehend. It's not an album for easy listening of course, it's a pretty complex one with it's Though I don't consider 'Remedy Lane' as the best effort of this band, nor an excellent album, this is a real great album and it has some real brilliant moments within that takes some time to comprehend. It's not an album for easy listening of course, it's a pretty complex one with it's wide variety of emotions and approaches, you can't judge it by several listenings. Even after more than ten listenings I felt different experiences that I didn't noticed earlier. Only when you get to the point wheneverything is integrated in your mind you can fully appreciate this album, and of course, enjoy it greatly.
As always (except their debut album) 'Remedy Lane' is a concept album. But this is a more personal one, dealing with different crisis in a relationship. It's becomes a bit cheesy at times with it's lyrics, but overall the lyrics are very deep written and connects perfectly with the music, helps to deliver the emotions behind it easily. The vocals are outstanding of course. If you never heard this band before, I can tell you that Gildenlow has very extensive vocal range, and he surely uses it well. He got the right voice, the technique and the emotions that needed to become a superior vocalist and to make you feel real emoitons. Think of any mood you can think of: sadness, happiness, disappointment, fear, rage, love, pain... he can put you there easily. There are so many different emotions here that are driven by the vocals and sounds so real and natural. This album is the exact opposite of one one dimensional music, it just varies so much without strain itself even a bit, it's just real emotive album.
'Of Two Beginnings' comes in slowly with soft vocals and some pleasant keyboards at the background, then it becomes ravenous and gains distortion and heat. It continues with sweeping vocals, sometimes delivered with double layered vocals which increases more emotion to the song. It ends up slowly after two minutes and a bit, and leads to the next song 'Ending Theme'. It begins with keyboards playing the chorus theme and then the guitar comes with quite solid solo. And so it settled down with clean guitar and continue to flow but stops and conitnue to the second verse, which is the same but has a bit more heat in the vocals and leading to the powerful short chorus. There is a lot of confusion in the song, a lot of questions and open tails, it's about someone who's looking for answers, who's prepare for a meeting, a lot of stress and confusion. Pretty simple song for this type of album, but very intense and flowing just great. 'Fandango' is kinda clumsy, especially when you compare it to the rest of the album. It has a main riff that repeats it self quite much that feels very uncomfortable and crude, most of the song built on that riff as the vocals, guitar and keyboards follows it in all the verses. The chorus is also quite long and hazy, and there is a spoken section with two voices, high and low, each one shouts different words at some kind of combination and it ends up sounding very sloppy.
'A Trace Of Blood' is an amazingly breathtaking song. So much emotion within the vocals and the instrumentation and it has a great structure which creates a wonderful atmosphere and flows perfectly. One of the highlights here, a must have song, you must listen to it if you think you have any idea how emotional prog sounds like. 'This Heart Of Mine' is a kinda cheesy love song, it isn't a real progressive song, it has two verses, chorus and little c-part. Not a bad track, but not at the same level with the rest of the songs. Another marvelous song is 'Dryad Of The Woods'. Chilling instrumental with topnotched clean guitar melodies. The keyboards are also flowing pretty well and increases a lot of heat, the drumming comes in with perfect timing and keeps on a great rhythm for the whole song. The lead guitar has a soft solo which keeps on beautiful mood and later there is another section which flows softly and slowly fades in and leaves you amazed. Wonderful instrumental piece, without any techinchal masturbation, just chilling atmosphere which keep on interest for the whole time.
All in all, it still has some weak tracks, though not many and they aren't necessarily bad tracks, maybe just lower than the high standard of the band. It isn't a perfect album but this is a great album with some unbelievable parts which will excite you and sweep you, you'll probably won't forget this album for a very long period. My advice, get this album. Don't ignore it because it is one of the best prog album from our current decade.
After listening to "The perfect element" I was a bit aprehensive about listening to "Remedy lane" since TPE was predominantly mellow in my opinion.... Not that Pain of Salvation is ultra heavy or ultra mellow or anything, but mellow guitar/piano parts tend to make me drowsy if there are too many of them.... Luckily this album seems to have stepped up the heaviness content a bit.... I'm also glad I got the Japanese pressing of this as the bonus track is one of their best and worth the price of the Japanese version alone....
"Trace of blood" (song 4) stands out almost instantly and has a grooviness to it which I like.... "Thorn Clown" (Bonus track) is one of the heaviest and most rhythmically complex on the whole album and to my ears could have fit right in place on the "Entropia" album.... Perhaps even "One hour by the concrete lake".... "Undertow" (song 7) reminds me of Pink Floyd or maybe even Porcupine tree at the beginning of the song.... "Rope Ends" (song 8) is another tune that starts out on a heavier note and maintains a fair amount of heaviness and some complexity throughout.... "Remedy lane" (song 11) starts off with a spacey new age kinda vibe which ontinues to the end....
This CD ends with "Beyond the pale" (song 14) which once again brings a little heaviness into the mix (in typical Pain of Salvation fashion) and plugs along for a good ten minutes alternating between mellower sections and heavier (not too heavy) sections.... This, Thorn Clown, and Rope Ends are probably my favorite on the disk but as a whole this disk is pretty cool....
From a straight up emotional connection stand-point, this is one of the best records ever made. No false bravado, no forced melancholy, no faux-gloomy suicidal claptrap. Remedy Lane is a chronicle of events in the life of Daniel Gildenlow, and as such his emotion and lyrical genius shines through in every song (save perhaps "Second Love"). I'm not sure Daniel is the singer some people think he is as his voice is often overly high-pitched without being forceful, but he certainly knows how to emote and alter his tone as the song demands. Furthermore, most of the rest of the group sing as well, and they help carry the load passably.
Very little of this is really metal though to be quite blunt about it. It's just plain prog and the few heavy riffs that sneak in aren't really arranged in a way that screams 'metal' at you. "Rope Ends", with it's schizoid unconventional riff is the only song that rocks from end to end, and it is written in such a way that it could just easily be called prog rock. In other words, Boris would hate this record.
I will say that I don't love this record, don't take it as dogma as some quite level-headed metalheads I know do. Often the music seems to take a backseat to the lyrics, and often is quite subdued. The recurring riffs where they appear are quite good, and there are some nice solos to be found ("Waking Every God" has a classic) but generally this is a prog that has overcome a fascination with playing all technical all the time. There are actually a few prog metal break downs the recall a darker Scenes from a Memory, but it actually feels a little out of place when a key/guitar run occurs in the middle of "Rope Ends". Hell, it's even lacking in traditional epics outside of sporadically crushing closer "Beyond the Pale", lengthy cuts barely passing seven minutes, the majority not even glancing in that direction. It makes sense though, because the events of Remedy Lane are anything but epic.
Daniel does seem to get around, because this album recounts an astounding number of tragedies involving women starting from the age of 10 (!), the man displaying an almost hyper-sexual need to be around females and more worrying, for being around females who are shrouded in disaster. From the tragic miscarriage of "A Trace of Blood" to the scarred untouchable love in "Ending Theme", everybody becomes removed from the protagonist in some way. The lyrics are occasionally a little more verbose than they need to be, but in general there is a real gift for memorable phrases (often repeated throughout the story) and getting across emotions like pain, sorrow, and uhhh... pain.
It should also be noted that there is plenty of extra poetry in the liners that is quite a bit of fun to muddle through and try to figure out what the hell is going on with the story.
To flip over to the scarred side of the coin (like Two Face!), there are some... odd writing choices musically. "Fandango" features a ridiculously bad break wherein two vocalists literally spit out the lyrics like a group of rappers over an over-fast beat, lyrics that are also a little over-analytical.
"ALL HIS (life) HE WAS (just) WISHING
(to) BE TOUCHED (but) TOO SCARED (of)
WHAT HE (de)SIRED
(while) ALL HER (life) SHE WAS (an) OBJECT
(of) GROWN MEN'S (de)SIRE (and) WISHED TO
(now) THEY MUST (try) TO WORK (their)
UNFORGOTTEN sexuality OUT! "
Imagine the capitalized bits being barked in a terrible harsh vocal while another guy in a high yelp says the lower case words in some sort of counter time combination. It's confusing and it sucks. And they do this a bunch of times throughout the album, though never as irritatingly. Another minor irritant is the repeated use of the phrase 'remedy lane', leading one to imagine some sort of unifying title track to climax the story. Instead we get a sort of synth-y overture 2/3 of the way through the album.
Let's not talk about "Second Love", a song that sounds like (and may've been) written by Daniel when he was roughly twelve.
However, there's gotta be a reason for me to like this thing besides the lyrics, and if nothing else Remedy Lane features one of my all-time favourite songs, "Chain Sling". I've listened to this album maybe ten times (more might cause clinical depression) but I've listened to "Chain Sling" maybe 100 times. It's that good. Beautiful Spanish style acoustic guitars, ridiculously catchy chorus, and a handful of brilliant vocal performances. It's really one of the best acoustic songs ever written in my book. Well, my internet review anyway.
Remedy Lane certainly operates on a number of levels, and presents a story that is worlds better than say, Scenes From a Memory. It's intellectual, classy, and thought-provoking. That doesn't mean it's always fun to listen to, but it certainly has its moments. And those moments are worth the world.
Stand-Outs: "Chain Sling", "Beyond the Pale", "Ending Theme"
Remedy lane is Pain of Salvation's fourth effort and third concept album. A lot of fans were disappointed at the beginning, because they were hoping for The Perfect Element part 2. But this album turned out to be breathtaking. It describes the sad events in Daniel Gildenlow's (singer/guitarist/songwriter) life. The thing that is so great about this album is that it is not in chronological order, which makes it really original and refreshing. The music is amazing with lots of atmosphere.
Ending theme - has a really dark mood, with soothing vocals from Daniel. It has a great sing-a-long chorus and an awesome talking part, which is a real challenge to learn.
A Trace of Blood - This is the best song on the album, it is about the miscarriage Daniel's wife had. It is a really sad song, with lots of mood changes. Daniel shows anger, frustration, sadness and despair in a fantastic way. The song just clocks over 8 minutes long and with all the time changes, it has a really epic feel.
This Heart of mine - This is a beautiful love song, one of the most sincere love songs i've ever heard. It definately comes from the heart without being cheesy. This song also has a special meaning for me.
Rope Ends - One of the best songs on the album, one of the few songs that is actually riff based. Starts out with a nice riff and great drumming, then leads into this awesome chorus, which will be stuck in your head forever.
Dryad of the woods - A beautiful crafted instrumental, a really uplifting song. The combination of acoustic guitar and piano makes it really impressive to listen to, great atmosphere.
Beyond the Pale - This song closes the album in style. It's an epic song just like the Perfect Element. It starts out with an odd riff which is really interesting, then the song goes through a lot of tempo and mood changes. Daniel's vocals really shines on this song, it is really impressive. The song ends with one of the greatest lines ever: 'We will always be so much more human than we wish to be'.
All in all this is an awesome album, actually every song is a highlight in it's own way. The songs flow so perfectly. A worthy successor to the Perfect Element, any prog fan should own this.
Although I haven't yet gotten into the earlier releases of this band, I find this one absolutely astonishing. To those not knowing what this is about, it is progressive rock/metal, as mentioned in the other release. I really can't compare this to any other band, their style is rather unique.
Daniel Gildenlöw has an amazing vocal range, at the same time being quite a guitar talent. Amazing songwriting ability as well.
The music isn't very riff-based, it just kind of .. flows. Nicely. Great arrangements. Lots of clean guitar. Elements of jazz. 100% emotional. Another thing that surprises me is the backing vocals. They're just so.. good? :D
Recommendable to everyone. Although it might be too soft for any "true" black- or deathmetal-worshipper, I think it's great.
Ending Theme - Great ballad-like song, actually includes rapping.
Rope Ends - Best song on here, in my opionion. Great chorus.
Dryad of the Woods - Reminds me of Pink Floyd's "Is there anybody out there", which probably says it all. Nice acoustic guitar solo.
Second Love - A ballad that is kind of cheesy, but still beautiful.
A Trace of Blood - Kind of Dream Theater-ish intro. Superb melodies.
Fandango - P.r.o.g.r.e.s.s.i.v.e.
Pain of Salvation is one of Sweden's reigning progressive bands and after listening to this CD I can see where they get this merit. My first experience with progressive rock/metal(not counting bands that have broken into the mainstream yet still retain prog sensibilities such as Pink Floyd) was with Dream Theater, an exceptional band, but one that is overhyped. IMO, Labrie's vocals pale in comparison to some other bands in the genre that I've heard. Gildenlow is a prime example. Just his voice alone has an omnipresence about it, causing you frequently to ignore the surrounding music and just focus on his singing--which has an alternatingly sinister yet beautiful quality. The concept of this CD is based on severe emotional problems affecting Gildenlow and his wife during the summer of 2001. These problems were fodder for Remedy Lane, a replacement to the darkly epic CD The Perfect Element Pt. I of a few years ago. Highlights of the CD include the rollicking piano in the chorus of Fandango, the relentless groove of Trace of Blood, the poignant brevity and lyrics of This Heart of Mine(I Pledge), the soaring chorus of Rope Ends, the Arabianesque ditty Chain Sling, and the haunting closer Beyond the Pale. I highly recommend this CD to anyone that's a fan of emotional progressive rock/metal but with a low tolerance for wankery, for this CD has few guitar solos, and the ones that are present are minimalistic and strictly adhere to the song structure.