“Scarsick” by Pain Of Salvation

Artist: Pain Of Salvation
Title: “Scarsick”
Label: InsideOut Music
Release Date: 1/22/2007
Genre: Progressive Metal
Rating: 4/5

I never followed PoS before this release so I admit in advance that their new CD would be as much a mystery to me in both band and overall sound. I had only come to the release with the understanding that the mastermind behind it all, Daniel Gildenlow, was a very politically minded and controversial individual. He does not have any fear when it comes to lining out just how sick he is with society around him. As a musical release the new album “Scarsick” is definitely complex and intriguing, it is technical and melodic, yet at the same time unpredictable on many of its tracks as it adventures into a numerous styles. I had read that he falls into the Progressive side but there are so many Metal and Power riffs presented here that this particular album might be the cause of this labeling being debated going forward. He begins with an almost Rap like track that brought to mind Rage Against The Machine with a little Faith No More by the lyrical mannerisms, and when “Spitfall” began I thought I was listening to a new track by Linkin Park. It is quite an interesting start and the commentary on the release cites that this album is the culmination of work he had done in the past. Perhaps it will be easier to grab and be understood by those who followed the group from the beginning because believe me the surprises do not end here. “Cribcaged” starts off with a babies cry and comes off as a gentle ballad until he begins ranting and raving with “F-U’s” for just about everyone and everything he can get out of his system during the length of the song.

Are you shocked yet? Well don’t be, because Gildenlow isn’t finished and he certainly saved up enough rancor for the song “America” which follows next and is the number that most people will remember from the CD. He is clearly not a fan of these great United States and in this song; he explains why as repeatedly he comments snidely with remarks like “you could have been great America”, and “I’m sick of America”. Surely, this will be one of the most controversial songs on the recording and in the bands overall catalog. “Disco Queen” is a strange one that at times will have you bopping about as he sings about the prostitution of oneself. Diverse enough for you, well there are still another five tracks to hear. The members of Pain Of Salvation outside of Gildenlow are Fredrik Hermansson (keyboards), Johan Langell (drums/vocals) and Johan Hallgren (guitar/vocals). Top notch and quality musicians to say the least no matter what end of the political spectrum they fall into. Songs that made me forget about the earlier Anti-American sentiment were “Mrs. Modern Mother Mary” since I loved the guitar groove and way the time signature flowed. This is the shortest number on the release and reminded me of Saigon Kick, boy these dudes are reminding me of so many bands on this one. Progressively speaking, there is not much to be disappointed in.

Overall, this is a killer piece of music that was well thought out even if some of his reasoning is called into question. Some of the songs are epic in length running between eight and ten minutes but there is so much going on in them that it’s hardly boring. I found it to be a deep release that needed more than a couple of listens for me to actually catch him. I think he might have some issue with “America” though because the tune is so flaming and while everyone is entitled to their own opinion, these opinions can also come with levels of reprisal. Hey Gildenlow, America is the land of the free you know, and freedom of choice is part of that. Many might choose not to support your music for such a number going forward and it’s hard to expect a loving audience waiting in a region that you seem to have a lot of contempt for. Good luck in winning them over with this on your shoulder.

Track Listing:
1. Scarsick
2. Spitfall
3. Cribcaged
4. America
5. Disco Queen
6. Kingdom Of Loss
7. Mrs. Modern Mother Mary
8. Idiocracy
9. Flame To The Moth
10. Enter Rain

Official Website: www.painofsalvation.com

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