Pain Of Salvation - Be

Year of Release: 2004
Label: InsideOut Music
Catalog Number: IOMCD 184/SPV 085 60992
Format: CD
Total Time: 75:53:00

This is The Dream Sequencer meets The Perfect Element meets Remedy Lane. Actually, it is dreamier than The Dream Sequencer, more perfect than The Perfect Element, and remedies what little is lacking in Remedy Lane. This is quite possibly their best release to date. The album is so darn ambitious, yet the the music never becomes overblown. Like a powerful slugger, they drill another homerun clear out of the park.

Be is based off concepts that have been swirling around the head of Daniel Gildenlöw since 1996. The material has been performed live before the creation of this disc. As a result, the material has been given time to ferment. The practice and preparation can be heard in the music.

The most interesting aspect of this album is the fact that each song is so different from the next. Some tracks are monologues over music while others are classical pieces. There are definitely heavier moments taken from their preceding albums and vibes that are completely new altogether. There are many instances of orchestra arrangements. They also use sound bytes that work seamlessly with the rest of the music. The clips aren't just there for the cool factor. They help tell a story, give comic relief at times, and often relay meaning.

The concept is clever. Be probes into human minds and even questions the thoughts and confusions of a divine being who watches over mankind. While the ideas are intriguing, the music is very engaging. Be is certainly essential to the Progressive Rock and Metal fan. Anyone looking for both philosophy and variety in their music will be happy with this release.

Be is a major milestone for this band. No longer can they be considered a band that put out one or two great albums. The masterpieces keep on coming and seemingly improve with time. With each subsequent album they create, Pain of Salvation reaches new plateaus.

Here is what one will come upon when they cross through the borders of Be:


"Animae Partus" ("I Am") - The album starts with convoluted philosophies coming from what appear to be several students. Ayreon would be proud of such an introduction. The monologues and segues situated throughout the album effectively support the theme.

Animae Partus (All In The Image Of?)

"Deus Nova" - The crunchy riff that is used will remind any Dream Theater fan of "The Great Debate" from the album Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence. An announcer rattles off the growth of the population throughout the ages. Towards the end, the first track is re-hashed with new philosophies. The crackling of an intergalactic storm can be heard beyond the heavens.

"Imago" - This is where the album starts to draw from earlier albums. It's a combination of The Perfect Element with Remedy Lane's "Fandango." We first encounter a Celtic theme that reoccurs throughout the album and the sinister-sounding storm returns once more.

"Pluvius Aestivus" - This song is actually a classical piece played mostly on a piano. In some ways, this is the most different of all the songs and yet it might be the best track on the album. The songwriting is impeccable and Frederik Hermansson's execution is very impressive. This could be a reminder of the sadness and restraint one feels when locked inside on a chilly day. The notes resonate like the pitter-patter of rain and the melody has bittersweet emotion. There is beauty in the science behind the downpour, the coordinated efforts of millions of the cloud's teeny-tiny tears. I'm sure a solo album from Frederik would be welcome by many.

Machinassiah (Of Gods & Slaves)

"Lilium Cruentus" - It is one of the grief-stricken ballads that Pain of Salvation effectively delivers with a blunt edge. This could undoubtedly be a song found on Remedy Lane.

"Nauticus" - "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" is resurrected from the past. The result is a song that is very sad and sullen. The music is somewhat similar to what's found on the soundtrack for the movie Oh Brother, Where Are Thou! Most of the way, it has the sound of a chain gang. An angelic chorus gives us slight reprieve. At the finish, it takes an abruptly sharp turn with a hilarious scene. The dialogue used is a bit of a surprise to hear on this album. The song is completely different than anything they've done before. It is the polar opposite of the earlier classical song "Pluvius Aestivus." The band demonstrates here that they have more range than one ever imagined.

"Dea Pecuniae" - Daniel and gang treat us to a Broadway production. For some reason, it reminds me of The Wiz starring Diana Ross. Kristoffer Gildenlöw's fretted bass and Johan Langell's drums give it a modern touch. Johan Hallgren's guitar solos are stunning. Cecilia Ringkvist and Blair Howatt's voices add a terrific touch and harmonize fabulously with Daniel's. Pain of Salvation continues to reach new ends of the spectrum.


"Vocari Dei" - This track is mostly a string of prayers. It is very clever, as each one sounds as if it were a message left on an answering machine. [And, in fact, they were -ed.] One caller even refers to a previous prayer as a previous call. Along with the voices, there are brisk and nimble instrumentals. For the final few callers, the absence of the music makes a profound impression and forces the listener to pay attention. It's a hike up rocks, in and out of forests, and through meadowlands. It gives us just enough of each element before hitting us with another. While this mix of music and monologues may turn off some people looking for song after song, the concept is quite brilliant and keeps the pace moving right along.

"Diffidentia" - This is Nu Metal cleverly combined with another Broadway-like chorus line. It is interesting how they jump back into the grunge from the lighter parts. It is an apology mixed with angst. You can feel the torment. When Daniel is singing, it is like he is holding back and biting his tongue. He has definitely lost his temper. The bile swirls around in his throat as he spits out every word. His character is lost and fading, but still willing to make compromises. He wavers between unconditional faith, impatiently grasping for answers, and completely giving up the cause. For those who like this song, check out Daniel's singing on "Vampire View" off The Flower King's album Adam & Eve.

"Nihil Morari" - Like the earlier "Imago," this one uses a melody similar to "Fandango" while the vocals are more along the lines of "The Perfect Element." It is accompanied by a piano sure to put you in a trance. A muted horn section gives it depth. The song picks up the pace in a hurry. Eventually it leads us to a flurry of overlapping news flashes that are intelligently integrated into the music.

Machinauticus (Of The Ones With No Home)

"Latericius Valete" - This segue leads us into the next realm of the album. It is a short acoustic instrumental accompanied by a piano. Some wind instruments shortly join in and are soon followed by a string section.

"Omni" - Newsflashes compete with an organ for the listener's attention. "Omni" is omimous before its spirit is raised to towering heights.

"Iter Impius" - This is a pleasant ballad. Daniel's vocals are superb in this song and make a good case to have him star in one of the major musicals.

"Martius/Nauticus II" - The last song on the album takes many of the previous passages and ties them all together. Each is presented with a subtle twist. It is light at times, dark at others. The beat starts like a march, turns into a ballad, and then leaves us with some primordial banging of the drums. It is a culmination of what the album is all about and a fine finish to such an accomplished album.

Deus Nova Mobile (?And A God Is Born)

"Animae Partus II" - The final track is a single voice speaking over a heartbeat. Without sharing a spoiler, be sure to let the last track make its way to the end, because the final few seconds are worth the wait. This album is a tangled web of ideas that are not easily absorbed. Be will wrap your mind up into a knot, but after several listens, it will start to make sense and slowly grow on the psyche.

Released in North America by InsideOut Music America (IOMACD 2094)

Animae Partus / Deus Nova / Imago / Pluvius Aestivus / Lilium Cruentus / Nauticus / Dea Pecuniae / Vocari Dei / Diffidentia / Nihil Morari / Latertius Valette / Omni / Iter Impius / Matius/Nauticus II / Animae Partus II

Daniel Gildenlöw - lead vocals, acoustic guitar
Frederik Hermannson - grand piano, harpsichord
Johan Langell - drums, percussion, vocals
Kristoffer Gildenlöw - acoustic basses, cello
Johan Hallgren - guitar, vocals

Entropia (1998)
One Hour By The Concrete Lake (1999)
The Perfect Element (2000)
Remedy Lane (2002)
12:5 (2004)
Be (2004)
The Orchestration Of Eternity - Be (original stage production)
Scarsick (2007)
Linoleum (EP) (2009)
Ending Themes (On The Two Deaths Of Pain Of Salvation) (2009)
Road Salt One (2010)
Road Salt Two (2011)
Falling Home (2014)
The Passing Light Of Day (2016)

Be - Live DVD (DVD) (2005)
Ending Themes (On The Two Deaths Of Pain Of Salvation) (DVD) (2009)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin SE

Added: October 24th 2004
Reviewer: Joshua "Prawg Dawg" Turner
Artist website:
Hits: 959
Language: english


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