Year : 2011
Genre : Progressive Rock
Label : InsideOut
Origin : Sweden
Rating : 9.3 / 10
Buy it now
Swedish progressive rock brigade Pain of Salvation brings you the classic kind of the genre with fluent elegance and as chiseled of super-tasty production values as they come. If Opeth's latest sounds like it was recorded in 1969, one could make the argument that this record also comes to you as the music of 1969, "only" with absolutely top of the heat production qualities, and this is not something this music review site Noise Shaft easily says.
This record is rendered in a crystal clear, immensely well researched and superbly focused fashion, and is beyond all doubts capable to produce an intensely intimate, tight/wide - as you prefer - listening experience. Pain of Salvation's latest contribution sounds lush, tender, and also properly crisp and gritty where things demand, showing constant, relentless focus to address its favorite moods with convince power that reigns pretty much beyond criticism in character. How much of-, and how many times you give what you can, is something of a different matter.
The one possible - and absolutely optional - qualm regarding this release also comes through as one of its central charms : the album does everything in such a tight and richly sounding fashion, that its various methodologies are becoming relatively repetitious by character when nearing the middle section of the spin. This, though, is only a similarity of character in the songs and methodologies, and, if someone would say that it is a totally acceptable-, or, in fact, beneficial attribute of a record, then this position should be respected. Read on to find out more about this release, which probably makes Timothy Leary a happy observer and a happy dancer. No, looks like he did not object.
While having a peaceful, observant stance towards the surrounding things at heart, Road Salt Two shows equal readiness to compliment the shadowy aspects of things, and these sequences reveal an elegant kind of strictly constrained sludge. This sludge does not seek to crush you into spirit pulp, it instead seeks to entertain, which is a very rare behavior from this musical direction, and also a true privilege to greet. The album never seeks to depress, quite the contrary : this spin sounds to be one positive outlook on perspectives, and reigns as a precise counter-pointing to Opeth's latest, - fellow countrymen, too - that which depicts a much more negativistic stance revealed in the body of the exact same genre of classic progressive rock.
Road Salt Two is practically packed with super-muscular songs that glorify the '70s with contemporary tools within a contemporary environment, and, you do not even need to be a fan of the genre itself to find yourself staggered by the honest brilliance this record is presented along. If you think that some elements of this LP probably sounds obsolete, you are as far from the truth as Satan is from spontaneous enlightenment, because, this spin is fresh as dew. Once again : the tracks on this release are especially dainty, and well constructed. There is a whole lot to gratefully soak your ear into, as the record features a truly playful variant of whatever it chooses to feature. The guitars are well defined AND very properly gentle at once, the bass is "funnily fat", sort of chubby, and still has luscious curves, and the drum work sounds like the drummer is right beside you with his set, and his playing is full of pleasant surprises, never seeking to / having to demand full efficiency from his gear in order to give you a superb time.
That little stringed instrument in the track called Healing Now, for example : the sonic experience is occurring right in front of you, with crystal clear instruments, that intentionally refrain from emerging to be intimidating as a sonic mass. The whole thing sounds like a proper-, and absolutely great bard-performance, only without the power metal fantasy cheese factor you would normally be afraid of as something you will likely have to painfully endure along the way. Or, the restrained, secretive anger in the track called Eleven : this is a nice example of sludge having a playful time as opposed of moving for the kill right away. A fun fact : this track has nothing to do with this track with the same title Eleven.
As for the similarities of patterns in this exquisite fabric, the album sounds to have a tad more of the over-emotional quasi-acapella singing for my personal taste when cultivating the troll reality tunnel for a second or two, and the same can be told about the superficially elegant jam sessions of the output. While these sequences unleash totally fine and sharply defined funk elements, it is not at all hard to notice that the band usually shows only restrained intent to stroll away from a groove they place an elegantly curved introductory butt on. You will soon find out that the butt itself is the attraction, most of the time - notice the hidden words of wisdom - as it won't go anywhere. The tasty jam sessions are extremely quick to reveal their ultimate-, at heart simplistic character, and they weigh in as a fine material to connect surrounding elements, but they show relatively little autonomous will to exist, let alone progress on their own terms.
These qualms though are pointing to only majorly minor - aua - semi-blemishes in the fine fabric of this lush and elegant accomplishment, and chances are that you won't find a single moment you would dismiss with a face serious if you are a proper fan of this style. As hinted, this record is an immediate benchmark as far as production values, because, Road Salt Two sounds flawless both for what it wants to do, and as a testament of a supremely diligently developed sonic experience, all for the love of lush music. An optimistic, muscular baby with skin as tight as the surface of a balloon filled with fresh water, and you want to hear this.
Rating : 9.3 / 10
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