Pain Of Salvation - Entropia

Year of Release: 1999
Label: InsideOut Music America
Catalog Number: IOMACD 2009
Format: CD
Total Time: 64:59:00

Pain Of Salvation recently toured with Arena. And while that match up might seem to be a bit odd, as the former is perceived as a progressive metal band, the latter as a neo-progressive band (admittedly with a harder edge), the match up seems almost perfect. There were a few moments here on Entropia where I did think of Arena - before I learned of their joint touring plans. Pain Of Salvation have a level of intensity that is at once heavily dramatic and as driving as some of the darker metal bands. Daniel Gildenl?w has a great command of dynamics, going from smooth to growly - a combination of Geoff Tate (Queensryche) and James Hetfield (Metallica), though the comparisons are more so the dynamics than tone.

Pain of Salvation are, like many prog metal bands, musicians with a mission. The word entropia is derived from entropy, which the dictionary defines as "a measure of the energy unavailable for useful work in a system." [1] And so, entropia implies a world where this is a perpetual state, much as utopia and dystopia are used to describe a world that is perfect and totally awry, respectively. What is this unavailable energy? War provides the backdrop to most of the tracks, but it is more the causalities of war - the ones who aren't on the battlefield, but are left to pick up the pieces, left to bury the dead, or those who return to nothing. The unavailable energy is a withdrawing child who longs for the father that was sent off to war ("Winning A War"); the dispirited, ignored, homeless man that could have otherwise been productive in society, perhaps even a saviour ("People Passing By"); the son killed in war ("Oblivion Ocean"); the distancing and isolation that technology brings, where we no longer speak to people in person but via phone, fax, email ("Stress"); all the energy that is spent on hate due to spiritual ideology, leaves little for love (of all varieties) ("Revival")... and so on.

There is so much going on with this album, so many shadings and meanings. There is one line in "To The End" that I want to highlight, because it asks what I think is a rather profound question: "If you knew the number of the steps you would ever take, bitter I wonder: would you run or cease to walk?" I don't know if this is purely from Gildenl?w or is lifted from some other source, but that doesn't matter. It is an intriguing question. One theme underlying the song is, essentially, live each day one at time. It isn't quite clear whether the "she" of the song took her own life or it was taken from her, but since life is a fragile thing in either case, that is only a matter of degree.

This is a concept album in that the setting for all the tracks is Entropia. But, it also could be seen as a narrative concept album, where we trace the life of the young boy of "Winning The War" through the remainder of his life, and the things that he encounters. A case could be made for either, and this removes nothing about the impact of the album.

The production on Entropia is great. There is a sense of depth, where each instrument is separate contributing to whole rather than a morass of sound - that is, the dynamics are spectacular. It is this kind of production, that includes the spatial, which serves to draw you into the music. This allows the music to expand, like a 3D image ... actually more like a 360 degree 3D image. The interaction between Johan Langell on drums, Daniel Gildenl&oml;w and Daniel Magdic on guitar, Kristoffer Gildenl?w on bass and Fredrik Hermansson is terrific - it's a breathing thing. You'd have to guess that they played live in the studio together, though that is probably not the case.

Pain Of Salvation are a band to be reckoned with no matter what genre it is.

Also released by InsideOut Music (Europe) (IOMCD 040)

! (Foreword) (6:11) / Welcome To Entropia (1:22) / Winning A War (6:33) / People Passing By (9:07) / Oblivion Ocean (4:43) / Stress (5:01) / Revival (7:39) / Void Of Her (1:46) / To The End (4:57) / Circles (0:55) / Nightmist (6:49) / Plains Of Dawn (7:23) / Leaving Entropia (Epilogue) (2:31)

Japanese edition includes bonus track (btn

Johan Langell - drums and vocals
Daniel Gildenglöw - lead vocals and guitar
Kristoffer Gildenlöw - bass and vocals
Fredrik Hermansson - keyboards
Daniel Magdic - guitar and 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 Rock

Origin SE

Added: October 1st 2000
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 1163
Language: english


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