If you look up term ‘progressive’, one of the definition you will find is “in favour of new ideas, modern methods and change”. Translating this into music means that progressive music isn’t solely about how complex songs can be and how many layers are build into a tune. The reason why I start this review that way is, because Swedish Pain Of Salvation is often referred to as being a Progressive Metal band and listening to their newest longplayer ‘PANTHER’ actually confirms it with 100%
The flip side of progression is, while being exciting, also brings always new things with it, for the good and the bad. ‘PANTHER’ for example brings many new elements to Pain Of Salvation’s sound to shine, when investing time and bringing the willingness to follow the route the guys take with their new record.
The main evolvement on ‘PANTHER’ is the much stronger addition of electro-elements, manifested in songs like ‘RESTLESS BOY’. The tune is a calmer and atmospheric songs, basically build on synth and vocals. Some shorter outburst act as a dynamic counterpart to the generally calm and electric expression.
Synth and electro play also a dominate role in the opener ‘ACCELERATOR’ and the song seems to be the perfect bridge from ‘In the Passing Light of Day’ to ‘PANTHER’. ‘ACCELERATOR’ brings it together. The soulful side of Pain Of Salvation is reflected with songs like ‘WAIT’, followed by ‘KEEN TO A FAULT’ that brings back more the known when it comes to Pain Of Salvation.
The grande finale is named ‘ICON’ and it’s a piano that leads it off. The song’s a 13 minutes masterpiece that shows why Pain Of Salvation belongs to the influential bands in this genre. Instead of solely playing music the band paints sonic pictures and ‘ICON’ is a well-made one. Gentle, fragile, powerful and dynamic, all can be found back in this song that again spreads a darker vibe. ‘ICON’ is an ending, evertone can make one’s peace with.
‘PANTHER’ is a truly progressive album and the fact that it will lead to discussions shows, that the band evolves and doesn’t stand still. Daniel Gildenlöw and band mates are masters when it comes to adding new aspects to their music without losing the roots. ‘PANTHER’, that is Pain Of Salvation and still different, a stretch not many bands can do.
KEEN TO A FAULT
Label: InsideOut Music
Genre: Progressive Rock/Metal
Release Date EU: August 28th, 2020