Pain Of Salvation - 12:5

Year of Release: 2004
Label: Inside Out
Catalog Number: IOMCD 152/SPV 085-60552 C
Format: CD
Total Time: 60:40:00

My first encounter with Pain of Salvation was late 1999, when they supported Arena and played a gig in The Netherlands. To be honest, I hated it and left the venue, only to return for Arena. So, I did not pay much attention to them after that. But in 2002 I heard a lot of talk about Remedy Lane, their last studio album to date, and so I got interested. Well, this one blew me away and so I dug back in their past and found that they are extremely good and have a unique sound. They toured with bands such as Threshold and Dream Theater and the charismatic frontman Daniel Gildenlöw played with The Flower Kings and Transatlantic. Outside the fact they released some brilliant albums, they were always labelled "Progressive Metal," which was close enough. However, 12:5 shows a completely different side of PoS, a side which overwhelmed me and completely swallowed me...

12:5 is an acoustic(!) album, recorded live in front of an audience of 80 people, so it breathes a very warm, intimate atmosphere. But I was stunned when I heard the music ... even with acoustic guitars, piano and percussion, they manage to impress. Especially because this acoustic show has captured the spirit of PoS and shows their emotional, yet intensive, side. The album is divided into three parts: "Book I: Genesis," "Book II: Genesister," and "Book III: Genesinister."

To start with "Book II: Genesister," this part covers 6 acoustic versions of songs found on Entropia ("Winning A War" and "Oblivion Ocean"), The Perfect Element Pt. 1 ("Reconciliation") and Remedy Lane ("Dryad Of The Woods," "Undertow" and "Chainsling"). These songs are known, so this is sheer listening pleasure, as acoustic these songs sound fantastic. I noticed the volume of my stereo went up slowly with these songs ... I can't help it, Gildenlöw sings so great, with so much emotion and depth in his voice.

"Book I" and "III" are the most interesting on this album. Together they have the subtitle "Brickwork" and the 10 songs are subsequently divided in parts I to X. No song titles here, and in the accompanying press release I received together with the promo, Gildenlöw himself says about this: "There is no true concept as with the other albums, but there is a related story called 'Brickworks,' which is a combination of songs and material from the previous albums... One nice thing when we recorded it was to see how long it took for the audience to recognize some of the songs." So it is not only a joy to listen to, but also an experience, as you can now try to recognize which songs are "hidden" in the 10 "Brickworks" tracks! I'm not going to give anything away, as that would spoil the fun. Just take this from me: the music is amazing and obviously they had loads of fun playing this show.

12:5 is an album you can totally lose yourself in and forget all time and things around you. The only problem? After some 60 minutes the music ends ... But there is a solution to that problem: either just push play again or hit the repeat button. A fantastic and surprising album by one of the most creative prog metal bands around. Anyone who still has not listened to Pain of Salvation: buy this album, you'll love it. For the fans: most likely you already have it ... if not, don't punish yourself and get this magnificent album. A well deserved 5 stars for this one!

[This review originally appeared March 2004 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]

Book I: Genesis: Brickwork Part I: Brickwork Part I (Leaving Entropia T5 A) / Brickwork Part II (This Heart Of Mine T5) / Brickwork Part III (Song For The Innocent T5) / Brickwork Part IV (Brickwork Descend 1) / Brickwork Part V (Leaving Entropia T5 B) / Book II: Genesister: Winning A War (T5) / Reconciliation (T5) / Dryad Of The Woods / Oblivion Ocean (T5) / Undertow (T5) / Chainsling / Book III: Genesinister: Brickwork Part II: Brickwork VI (Brickwork Ascend 1) / Brickwork VII (Brickwork Ascend 2) / Brickwork VIII (Second Love) / Brickwork IX (Ashes T5) / Brickwork X (Brickwork Descend 2)

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: January 1st 2005
Reviewer: Marcel Haster
Artist website:
Hits: 1099
Language: english


[ Back to Reviews Index | Post Comment ]