Looks like there will be no slowing down of quality releases in 2017…
Released on 13 January 2017 by InsideOut Music reviewed by Stephen Brophy
How many times do you come across a band you like and then there’s no surprise when you find out that they hail from Sweden? Here’s another. Pain Of Salvation initially started when mainman Daniel Gildenlöw, then just about to hit his teenage years, setup a band called Reality. Over the years leading up to the release of their debut album Entropia in 1997 there were a number of changes in personnel as the band developed their sound and solidified, and since then they had consistently strived to create something different and powerful with a blend of progressive rock, metal, electronic elements.
The latest release, their ninth studio album, is an excellent piece of work. There’s a lot of variation in the sound here, from heavier tracks like opener ‘On A Tuesday’ or the pummelling ‘Full Throttle Tribe’, the Metal riffs of ‘Reasons’ themes of isolation or desolation may be portrayed, but the balance can sway from aggression to subtlety in a moment with the introduction of an acoustic guitar, everything is so well put together. And although it stays mainly on the dark side of things both in mood and lyrically, it’s certainly not the type of album that brings you down. If anything there’s a lingering hope emanating from this.
Where each song carries its own depth, highlights of the album are the wonderful track ‘Meaningless’ which develops the sound to crescendo and brings you right back down to where you started. A big part of what makes it work is also the additional vocals of Ragnar Zolberg (Guitars/Vocals) who’s higher pitch marries perfectly with Daniel’s emotive delivery, this carries through so well on many of the finest songs. There’s a certain fragility to some of the compositions that is rarely allowed to be displayed through music in these cynical times, and it’s simply beautiful.
The oh so powerful ‘The Taming Of A Beast’ just doesn’t let up, grabbing you by the throat and demanding you listen more carefully to the more intricate passages. And then of course the closing title track ‘In The Passing Light Of Day’ which is an absolutely epic song, meandering and weaving a path through your mind. Very few tracks that are 15 minutes in length manage to hold the attention and still sound fresh like this one does, like a gentle memory being passed from the band to you. And as it becomes a little heavier and more passionate it never loses that feeling. Clearly a band with not only bags of ability but also skilful in how a song is portrayed to the listener, drawing you into their world, a very open and honest world or Daniels experiences and agonies.
This may be a crazy thing to say so early into this new year, but In The Passing Light Of Day is already in my Top 10 for the year, it’s that good. Any album that releases new nuances every time you spin it tends to stand the test of time, and this is definitely one of those types of releases. Well written, musically stunning and songs that tend to linger in the memory long after you’ve stopped listening to them – define them however you wish to, but this is just excellent music.
9.5 out of 10
- On A Tuesday
- Tongue Of God
- Silent Gold
- Full Throttle Tribe
- Angels Of Broken Things
- The Taming Of A Beast
- If The Is The End
- The Passing Light Of Day