Pain of Salvation – Road Salt Two


These are not really the words of Daniel Gildenlöw


Daniel Gildenlöw is driving down the road, minding his own business. A policeman flashes his lights, pulling the car over. The conversations is as follows:

Officer: Hello there, son, pretty nice to see you. I guess you’re wondering why I pulled you over. I just have one remark on my mind: You shouldn’t have driven that fast along that salted road.

Daniel Gildenlöw: I don’t see it as a problem, officer. I’ve been driving like this for the last two years on these same roads and nothing’s happened.

O: I know very well how long you’ve been driving for the past SIX years, smartass. Since that BE record, everything has become a lot more tense and apparently the culmination was brought to a head with your latest effort, Road Salt 2. Where do you think you are heading too?

DG: You know, officer, let me put it straight for you and I am sorry for my being direct, but I guess that I was bored with further exploring  progressive metal, a genre which became a sort of an exhaust valve for all those who wanted to express themselves in music. I just couldn’t bear it anymore, I had to change, I am the kind of person who always has to change and evolve and this is MY WAY to do it. It seems that many people do not accept it, or don’t want to accept it, or simply cannot or do not know how to do it.

O: So you decided to try to do something new by doing something that has already been done before?

DG: I don’t follow you, officer.

O: You tryin’ to deride me?

DG: Not at all, officer.


DG: In some way, I would agree with you, officer. But I didn’t want to reinvent anything here. This is an homage work and it’s about how I feel at the moment. I’ve been a fan of 70′s hard, progressive, psychedelic rock for years now and, I guess it could be expected for me to explore further within the music genres.

O: Then, is it why you tried to get commercial success with your appearance at the Eurovision song contest in Sweden? If you ask me, that whole situation was not well thought out. And obviously you didn’t have a song which was commercial enough, so I guess you played your “element of surprise“ card, no?

DG: Officer, I have to admit that your questions are getting more and more unpleasant. And for that, I might only add that the whole situation with our appearance at the Eurovision song contest has been already explained and I wouldn’t go that further anymore. Now, if you wouldn’t mind, I would like to continue driving.

O: Slowly, boy. We didn’t finish here yet, why hurry? I want we talk about second half of Road Salt. Comparing it to first part, because there isn’t really an evident change in the approach. The same raw energy, the same sound, the same flirting with psychedelia and hard rock, but a bluesy factor is much more emphasized on this new one.

DG: Well, I guess that it should be in some way different from the first part, but still to keep something that’s recognizable from these Road Salt records. I would say that the first part is more laid back and down-to-the ground record, while at the other side Road Salt 2 is meant as more straightforward and dark, more rocky, symphonic in parts as well as progressive, with those bluesy factors emphasized. Speaking of comparisons, this second part is structured a bit differently. Let me ask you, officer… How do you feel about this new album, where do you think it stands in our running opus?

O: Just to make things clear here, I am the one who asks questions, but this one could pass… Starting from your debut Entropia up to Remedy Lane, your band has been held the constant course, more or less. But having relesed BE, which I guess was both a pleasant and unpleasant hit for your fans, you brought some major changes in what Pain of Salvation was about. The maturity and bravery you showed by taking this step polarized many postive and negative critics at the same time and in my opinion BE was the watershed your career. Since that moment, after you broke the imagery which kept you guys chained, you were free to explore the vast and unknown. So, Scarsick deepened your hunger and obsession for more experimentation. The dust started to level on your back catalogue up to the already mentioned Remedy Lane record and after releasing Road Salt 1, it was clear that Pain of Salvation moved along, leaving the crowded, multilane highways for sandy roads. Considering both parts of the Road Salt albums as one huge work, in my opinion with these two records Pain of Salvation keeps walking the upward path. By structuring elements coming from different subgenres such folk, hard rock, psychedelia, progressive rock and grunge, your band turns eclecticism to controversy and vice versa. And that’s what people are blabbing about. Also, the parallelism in your stories which you successfully present through your lyrics became a good base for good music. So, by releasing Road Salt 2, it seems that you guys are ready to move on to new roads.

DG: Thank you, officer. I find a certain dose of optimism beyond your words.

O: Don’t flatter yourself, son. This old lad is far more into what Robert Plant, David Gilmour, Jimi Hendrix, and Klaus Meine have been doing for years.

DG: I have to say that mentioning all these giants makes me feel really self-confident. That means something, right?

O: Righto, son! Just be careful and don’t overthink it. I think we’re done here, it’s getting late. You should better go down that road, my friend. Thanks for clearing up some things for me.

DG: You are more than welcome, officer. Glad I could do it for you. Thanks for understanding and hope to see you some time soon, in more comfortable conditions.

O: Alright, boy! You have yourself a nice evening and a safe drive.


1. Road Salt Theme
2. Softly She Cries
3. Conditioned
4. Healing Now
5. To The Shoreline
6. Eleven
7. 1979
8. The Deeper Cut
9. Mortar Grind
10. Through The Distance
11. The Physics Of Gridlock
12. End Credits


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


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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.

1 Comment

  1. ikoz

    October 1, 2011 at 7:08 am

    great written review.loved it.
    i personaly think pos is going downhill in recent years.
    scarsick was their last great album.
    the road salt experience is pretty depressing in all terms of music aspects.
    pos is way much more han these
    i bought the rs1 & had to “put it to rest” after 10 spins on my cd—it was too painfull to hear the band crashes this way.
    it seems i will have to wait until dg decides to get back to his real music skills…
    the pain of salvation has never been so painfull :(

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