Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Pain of Salvation - Road Salt One (2010)

Many complain in the progressive metal genre that originality is hard to come by. Much like the traditional, thrash or death genres, the heavyweights of progressive established themselves early (Dream Theater). Sweden’s Pain of Salvation are one of those bands leading with fresh sounds in mind as Road Salt One continues their dynamic album impact. Twelve songs that explore the shades of furious rhythmic abandon against the lighter, calm psychedelic keyboards and airy vocals, Road Salt One isn’t as instantaneous Remedy Lane. More concrete late 60’s to early 70’s sonic influence comes in with the stripped-down “Tell Me You Don’t Know,” the guitar solo weaving a tapestry of Hendrix, Page and Clapton. Then Pain of Salvation take you on a twisted carnival trip with “Sleeping Under the Stars,” as the piano and organ strains getting your body to sway to and fro, the acoustic guitar riff taking you on the banks of the best Italian rivers while the dual vocals convey Peter Gabriel when at his Genesis peak. This genre works at its best when delivering music that the listener doesn’t expect, along with unpredictability flowing freely. Favorites include the riff/rhythm syncopation interplay within “Linoleum” and the slower but free flow atmospheric guitar jam “Innocence.” Passionate, inspirational, an album that may confuse some and enrapture others, Road Salt One proves there’s still plenty of life in these progressive musicians flowing from concept to execution.