Pain of Salvation – Road Salt One

Pain of Salvation’s new child, Road Salt One is surely one of those albums that has been received and still is receiving many divided opinions. I suppose it’s along way from being their best, but I still absolutely love it. Some people complained about Pain of Salvation’s mainman’s eccentric philosophizing more than the music itself, but afterall that’s not what we should care about. As a huge fan of Pain of Salvation during the years, I’ve learned to carry on with Daniel’s experimenting and getting into new stuff and new mood changes.

Passing that way from being synonymous act in progressive metal community to, I’ll quote, “a band which desperately tries to get into mainstream”, Pain of Salvation, or Daniel Gildenlow if you like, is a man who doesn’t make any kind of concessions, at least when we talk about music and it’s probably a key factor for surviving in music business.

I’m kinda astonished by fact that someone could expect another Remedy Lane or The Perfect Element I record and that someone still didn’t learn the lesson of Pain of Salvation further progress and experimentation, which actually started with their first album Entropia, and got emphasized with BE, back in 2004. What’s it that separates this album from its predecessors? The answer could be simple. It’s nothing and everything. The 70’s psychedelic edge that clearly shows off from Road Salt One is pretty much intentional thing and there are few reasons for that. One of them was Daniel’s idea to create “70’s on steroids” record. The other is its recording and production, which is “clear” to fit with the psychedelic statement from above.

But still, Pain of Salvation with this record doesn’t reject their entire epochal monument, built up on its multicolourness, this is cut of their career so far, just a logical sequence of circumstances. It’s funny that the same destiny has been received for latest albums of Porcupine Tree and Opeth, but the time has proved again to be a significant factor in the comprehension of an artistic expression. You can’t simply be sure of what this album brings, it’s an eclectic journey consisted of classic rocking in No Way, bluesy thread in She Likes to Hide, the all beauty Sisters carries, the BE-ish atmosphere in Of Dust, the simplicity shaped in Tell Me You Don’t Know, the hidden treasures of cabaretish Sleeping Under the Stars, lullabyish Darkness of Mine, the grunge bits of Linoleum, punk-rockish Curiosity, the darkness of Where It Hurts, the pureness in Road Salt and heaviness of Innocence, in that particular order.

The musicianship on this record is simply with no mistakes. The improvement is most evident in Daniel’s vocals, who this time pulled out his best of the best to make such a brilliant vocal harmonies and certainly should be considered as one of the best vocal performers out there in today’s scene. I would like to point out especially keyboards, which bring new dimension in Pain of Salvation structure, with the presence of some of the classiest 70’s sound.

Lyrically, Road Salt One is a conceptual work, but different from all previous records, as it deals with few parallel stories. I can’t be sure what Daniel has had on his mind while writing these stories on the album, you’ll have an opportunity to read his words in an interview we’ve been completing with him, so if he’s of good will, he will say his secrets about its expressions.

I guess that this review is protectionally disposed, but I have to underline that I’m not noone’s protector here nor I have any profit from this, but finding this album very good and worthy of giving a chance made me probably speaks in this direction.

To conclude, Road Salt One maybe is not their best release out to date, but for sure it’s worth of every spent penny, as it DOES have some very interesting, nice, classic, feel-free-to-describe-it-for-yourself work and it certainly belongs to HUGE and divers Pain of Salvation opus. Still remains to hear how the second part will sound, so we can have, hopefully, a positive image of salted roads.


01. No Way

02. She Likes to Hide

03. Sisters

04. Of Dust

05. Tell Me You Don’t Know

06. Sleeping Under the Stars

07. Darkness of Mine

08. Linoleum

09. Curiosity

10. Where it Hurts

11. Road Salt

12. Innocence


* Daniel Gildenlöw – vocals, guitar
* Johan Hallgren – guitar, vocals
* Leo Margarit – drums, vocals
* Fredrik Hermansson – keyboards, vocals


Pain of Salvation official website

Pain of Salvation @ MySpace

Nikola Savić is a prog enthusiast, blogger and author, in addition to being the founder of Prog Sphere, Progify, ProgLyrics and the ongoing Progstravaganza compilation series.

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