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I have always been a fan of epic prog metal concept albums that spin a tale that will engulf you in an orgy of audio heaven and swirling lights in your head. Bands like Ayreon, Shadow Gallery, and on occasion, Dream Theater. One band sticks out among the group though, that transcends just plain prog metal into a story that will entertain and work that mind of yours. This band is Pain of Salvation, and they have been releasing album after album, each surpassing each other in one way or another. Scarsick is the evolution of their sound after three years of stewing ideas.
I had been awaiting this release ever since I found out they were recording a new album, so I was almost afraid to spin it. The album starts out with a kind of nu-metal song, and it started to crush my hopes of this album being the wave of sound that you can drown in. After the first track was over, it started with a more progressive sound, and got back to what they were good at doing.
Daniels vocals are amazing as always, with soaring high notes and fast pace rants and a sarcastic snide in his voice, which is what fans will love. I remember reading that this LP would be more band oriented than their past few releases, and this is pretty much true. Not as much keyboards or orchestras, more guitar solos and technical drumming. The only problem I had with the instruments was the bass. Daniel is an amazing singer and guitar player, but his bass playing will never match up to his brother. It’s good, but not amazing like in their past releases.
The lyrics are mostly anti-capitalism and political, and has Daniel letting out his frustration in the world around him, but it kind of comes off pretentious. It would have worked better if they were giving out the album for free. Since, if I understand this right, in the song Kingdom Of Loss, proclaims that Americans buy so much stuff to keep them happy. So, if any members of the band are reading this, I want you to send me Scarsick for free, since buying it would totally go against your message.
Overall, it’s a good album with a lot of interesting vocal melodies and instrumentals. Get this album if you can, but what ever you do, don’t buy it or you will be the capitalist the band preaches against.