• 8/10
    PAIN OF SALVATION - Scarsick - 8/10


InsideOut Music
Release date: January 19, 2007

User Review
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When 11-year old Daniel Gildenlöw got an idea for a band in 1984, he probably didn’t know the impact his idea would have on the Progressive Rock/Metal audience. Now, 10 years after the album debut, his idea is known to all as Pain Of Salvation, and the sixth studio album is out, Scarsick.

The Music

Pain Of Salvation has taken their inspirations, melted them, and poured them into a mold of their own. They have themselves become an institution after a decade of remarkable releases. Their latest effort is no different: it’s a rather intense and multifaceted experience. The album is impressively dynamic, both in tempo, mood, and sheer volume. It also conveys a message of frustration and anger, aimed at the modern, market-driven world, it seems. Some might find this just, while others might find it a tad pretentious.

There is almost an apocalyptic ambiance to this album, without becoming the usual introverted doomsday kind of experience often found in such moods. Pain Of Salvation gives hope as well as a brilliant “comic relief” in the highly unexpected outfit of the Zappa-ish “Disco Queen.” The conceptual, near theatrical approach found on Scarsick gives additional dimensions to the experience. And, when looking at songs individually, one is bound to appreciate songs like “Scarsick,” “Cribcaged,” “America,” or “Flame To The Moth.” Actually, all songs are potential highlights, depending on the circumstances.

The Band

Pain Of Salvation has a grand sound, much thanks to careful vocal and instrumental arrangements. Each voice and each instrument speak a voice of their own, yet with a structure that sometimes is borderline chaos, but always moving the music into the right direction. It’s easy to focus on Gildenlöw’s vocal capacity, but it’s the collective effort that really matters. The way these four (in studio, five on the road) bring their capabilities together, is simply astonishing. Whether it’s massive or shattered, hard or soft, they seem to have reached a level of total symbioses. Hats off!

The Verdict

There seems to be no end to what Pain Of Salvation is capable of doing. Scarsick is another jewel in their collection and is likely to be treasured by fans as well as anyone fond of a musical expression not necessarily contained within genre terms.


  • Frode Leirvik

    Frode was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Norway. His headbanging experience started when his brother-in-law gave him Deep Purple’s Fireball at the age of ten. Since then, he has also been a fan of and active in several other musical genres, resulting in a deep and profound interest in music. Some of his favorites, among all of those who have somehow managed to tap into the universal force of Progressive Music are (in no particular order): Thule, Dream Theater, King Crimson,Pink Floyd, Rush, Spock’s Beard, Jan Hammer and Jerry Goodman, Ekseption, Focus, The Beatles, Deep Purple and Frank Zappa.

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