ARTIST:

PAIN OF SALVATION

(SWEDEN)
TITLE:

ROAD SALT TWO

(2011)
LABEL:

INSIDEOUT MUSIC

GENRE:

PROGRESSIVE METAL

TAGS:
Opera-Rock
"Alter-ego of Road Salt One, this second part is a new stone that adds to the magnificent musical edifice built by one of the best bands of the beginning of the 21st century."
CORTO1809 (02.09.2011)  
4/5
(0) opinions from our readers (0) comment(s)

One year after the controversial "Road Salt One", the unpredictable Swedes from Pain Of Salvation are back as promised with the second part, "Road Salt Two". The 2010 album had surprised some of the band's fans and critics with its somewhat rough aspects, distancing it from the more sophisticated compositions to which the band had accustomed us. With a year's hindsight, we have to admit that the impression of simplicity left by this album was only a decoy: successive listenings allowed us to discover all the richness of the apparently frustrating tracks and the original reservations fell before the charm of an album whose biggest flaw was to hide it too well.

Why this long introduction on "Road Salt One"? Quite simply because Pain Of Salvation had originally planned to release a double album, this project having been upset by the cancellation of a tour and the bankruptcy of their label. Daniel Gildenlöw, who initially refused to do so, divided the songs written on the album into two different albums released a year apart. However, as the songs on "Road Salt Two" were the result of the same creative process as those on "Road Salt One", and thought of as a whole, it would be surprising if the result was very different from the previous production of the Swedes.

And indeed, even if "Road Salt One" is subtitled "Ivory" where "Road Salt Two" is called "Ebony", even if the cover of the 2010 record is white where the cover of the present production is black, we can't expect to find this contrast between the two albums again. How could Pain Of Salvation have made a blacker record than "Road Salt One"? The same ingredients were used to compose both albums, and that's good: a relatively raw sound, a predominance of guitars supported by a sometimes explosive drum and bass, dark, agonizing, tortured ambiences, often underlined by Fredrik Hermansson's discreet but efficient work on keyboards, melodies, or rather complex non-melodies, and a charismatic vocal that can haunt your nightmares. If no track clearly stands out as a potential hit, none of them is really lagging behind either. The whole shows a beautiful homogeneity, which doesn't mean that the record is uniform, far from it. There's a wide choice between the Zeppelin hard rock of 'Conditioned', the acoustic ballad of 'Healing Now', the emphatic 'To The Shoreline', the subtle '1979', the heavy and metallic 'Mortar Grind' or the almost progressive 'The Physics Of Gridlock' (where Daniel Gildenlöw splits up a half-sung, half-declared part in French). But, and that's the magic of Pain Of Salvation, all these tracks seem to be interdependent and the album only makes sense if you listen to it as a whole, as it was already the case for "The Perfect Element" or "Be".

Pain Of Salvation perfectly masters the art of nuance, and unrestrainedly uses subito piano and other sforzando instruments giving so much charm and relief to its music. Whatever the colour he wants to bring to it, he succeeds giving off a density and an emotion that few bands are able to provide over time. "Road Salt Two" is a new cornerstone in the magnificent musical edifice built by one of the best bands of the beginning of the 21st century.


More informations on http://www.painofsalvation.com/enter.htm





TRACK LISTING:
01. Road Salt Theme – 00:45
02. Softly She Cries – 04:15
03. Conditioned – 04:16
04. Healing Now – 04:29
05. To The Shoreline – 03:04
06. Eleven – 06:55
07. 1979 – 02:53
08. The Deeper Cut – 06:11
09. Mortar Grind – 05:47
10. Through The Distance – 02:56
11. The Physics Of Gridlock – 08:43
12. End Credits – 03:26

LINEUP:
Daniel Gildenlöw: Chant / Guitares
Fredrik Hermansson: Claviers / Choeurs
Johan Hallgren: Guitares / Choeurs
Léo Margarit: Batterie / Choeurs
   
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