Rating:
N/A
Pain Of Salvation - Road Salt One
17 May 2010


01. What She Means To Me [limited edition bonus]
02. No Way
03. She Likes To Hide
04. Sisters
05. Of Dust
06. Tell Me You Don't Know
07. Sleeping Under The Stars
08. Darkness Of Mine
09. Linoleum
10. Curiosity
11. Where It Hurts
12. Road Salt
13. Innocence
14. Tip Toe Two [Japanese bonus]


If you expected this kind of album after the Linoleum EP, you're really good. If you expected this kind of album after Scarsick, what the hell are you doing reading this review anyway? There's a world open for you. You should be out getting a permanent position as a weather forecaster to improve their services or something. Had I had any particular expectations for this release, I think I would have been slightly disappointed. Or maybe not. I don't even know. However, trying to approach the first listen with a sort of a clean sheet is definitely a good idea. Something clicked for me that way.

This is definitely a Pain Of Salvation album. There's no denying that. But it's nowhere as harsh as Scarsick. Quite the opposite; it's mellow, it's longing. Scarsick took me a while to get used to whereas this one is a lot easier to digest. In a way it's also the weak spot of the album. You might just skim over it and leave it at that. At times it sounds as the slow and dark parts of BE which, you must admit, is not a bad thing. The band didn't treat us with those a lot on Scarsick.

Now however, the biggest surprise. Man, this album is bluesy! That was not exactly shocking but it did make me wide-eyed when I listened. Not that it's something that hasn't been done before. However, if you put it into band's context you can see quite a drift between the albums. Change. That's a word for it. Not leaps, not baby-steps either. Bold, self-confident steps on the path of change. I was told this album reminds ZZ Top's First Album quite a bit which, after making myself acquainted with it, is a statement not entirely untrue. Similarity of the covers might also not be accidental. It is something to give you an idea of the direction the band has taken. If it continues like that, Pain Of Salvation might end up all over the (progressive) rock and metal music spectrum.

It must be said that the album is not without a heavier section. Linoleum EP might have given off an impression that the album will be a rocking piece. In the end, it's only a small part of it. Maybe because of that, the heavier section is all the more cherished. And of course it must also be mentioned that there's the title track, "Road Salt," a song which Pain Of Salvation performed at the Melodifestivalen 2010, a Swedish round of the Eurovision Song Contest. A performance throughout which, if you've seen it, you were expecting hell of a lot more. And damn that early Pink Floyd-ish ending which sounds so good.

All in all the Road Salt One gives off a vintage vibe. I'm not sure how correct is the following comparison but I'm driven by the term old salt here, an old seaman who's seen his share in life, of sea and storms. Similarly, road salt kind of reminds me of an old biker who's been through a lot, and the album is like a bit of an anthem to his life. Music-wise, at least. The storyline is different. Some of you might find this album boring or uninteresting but I'm going to stick with an opinion that it's just different, less kicking probably but good nevertheless.


Band profile: Pain Of Salvation
Album: Road Salt One


 



Written on 20.07.2010 by
Ivor
I shoot people.

Sometimes, I also write about it.
More reviews by Ivor ››



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Fat & Sassy! - 20.07.2010 at 17:51  
So yeah, I guess I should be a weather forecaster (even though I think the change was even more blatantly obvious after listening to Linoleum). xD I think Scarsick was an obvious "transitioning" album for the band. They were experimenting, looking for a new, more focused style... and they've found it with this album. Great review, though. It sums up the album very nicely. I love this album.
Daniell - 20.07.2010 at 20:52  
I hold Pain of Salvation in great esteem, but this album is simply terrible. I disagree that this is definitely a Pain of Salvation album. It's definitely the worst they've ever released, a faint echo of their past glory. The biggest disappointment of the year so far.
nb - 20.07.2010 at 22:00  
This album is definitely different from everything they have done in the past, but maybe only in the heaviness
and high complexity of the songs. But the quality of the songwriting and the awesome vocal melodies that Daniel Gildenlow has come up in the past are present here to their fullest degree.
I think the album is really good, even though I would have preferred something a little bit heavier.
Ivor - 20.07.2010 at 22:08  
@Fat & Sassy: The change per se was blatantly obvious. It was plain that the band is searching for new grounds. However, even given Linoleum I didn't expect a result like this. It's not a matter of guessing whether they change or not, it's a matter of how they change.

@daniell_p: I kind of know what you are thinking about. I was having some of the thoughts at first but there is something to this album. And I stand by the thought that this is definitely a Pain of Salvation album. Actually for the reasons NB referred. It's got a PoS signature all over it, in a bit more subtle way.

@NB: Yeah, you are by far not the only one to have preferred it heavier. Many would.

I.
BloodTears - 23.07.2010 at 15:58  
I agree with Ivor, this is definitely a POS album, albeit more subtle or just in a different way. To be honest, POS are fascinating to me, and now even more after this release.

The reason why I like POS, most of all, is because of their songwriting excellence, and that was confirmed once again with this album.
4look4rd - 18.10.2010 at 17:34  
I was simply blown away by this album (itunes says that I've listened to every single song at least 17 times). The blues driven progressive rock is very well executed and I must say that this was a pleasant surprise. This album has thus far provided me with the opposite impression of Scarsick. I hated Scarsick when I first listened to it, but over the course of one year it grew on me and now I really enjoy that album. Salt Road was amazing during the first few listens, but it does get old much quicker than anyother album that they have released.
BlankFile - 03.04.2012 at 21:35  
A different release from the standard and usual POS. It really sounds like a blues band for sure. Quite a surprise indeed. No Way, Linoleum, Road Salt and Curiosity are the best tracks in this release for me.

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