Reality existed between 1984 and 1991 and the band changed its monicker and became more progressive and metallic. Magnus Johansson was on bass. Daniel’s brother Kristoffer Gildenlöw joined in 1994. A demo called Hereafter only came in 1996. Avalon/Marquee of Japan signed the band and issued the debut in 1997. InsideOut Music would license the record and issue it two years thereafter. One Hour By The Concrete Lake was a concept album that spoke of the environmental degradation of a lake and how it affected the folks living nearby. This also established the act’s habit of writing only concept albums. The band was promoted by Metal hammer Germany through a compilation called The Painful Chronicles in 1999. The Perfect Element I was followed by Scarsick, but there were two other albums in-between. 12:5 was an acoustic live performance. BE was another concept album. Dark Suns opened for the band in Europe. Kristoffer Gildenlow was no longer a member of the band as of 2006. Drummer Johan Langell quit the band in 2007 in order to take care of his family. Léo Margarit was introduced at 2007’s Motstoy Festival. The group had announced it was seeking candidates and submissions. After having been the band's bass player since 1994 he was asked by the other members to leave the band. The separation was the result of growing difficulty of the band to function as a unit since Kristoffer had moved to Holland. The group boycotted the USA under George W. Bush’s second term and only returned to the USA with Obama’s election. The band’s song America from Scarsick mocked the USA. The band pulled out of a tour called Progressive Nation as the label could not finance its run after distributor SPV went broke. Bassist Simon Andersson left after only two years due to personal matters and a day job. Per Schelander left Royal Hunt after four years in order to concentrate on Pain Of Salvation in 2009. He was out in 2010! The band opened for Dream Theater in Australia. Daniel toured with Transatlantic. The band passed the first round of the national Swedish competition for the Eurovision Song Contest, Melodifestivalen in 2010. The act became more avantgarde at some point during this period. Falling Home was another acoustic live record. Johan Hallgren left the band in 2011 citing a desire to spend more time with his family. Ragnar Zolberg was recruited as his replacement in 2012, initially as a touring guitarist and singer and subsequently as a full-time member. He left, returned and left again amidst a falling out with the band. Johan joined again in 2017. Former Meshuggah man Gustaf Hielm joined in 2011 to tour with the band after having initially left in 1994. The band played ProgPower USA in 2013. The Swedes played at the Prognation At Sea festival without Daniel Gildenlöw, who was suffering from a debilitating infection, in 2014. Remedy Lane Re:Lived was recorded at ProgPower festival two years prior to its release. Panther featured a black panther on its cover.
PAIN OF SALVATION - 12:5 - INSIDEOUT
Pain Of Salvation's newest album is a calm, cool and collected acoustic album performed and recorded in front of eighty hometown fans. In recent years, the Swedish band has attracted as much attention for its albums as for the extracurricular activities of main man Daniel Gildenlow. The band is impressive musically though and the sound excellent for the setting. Quite obviously, 12:5 (pronounced 'twelve to five') is a soft album and not a heavy prog metal release. It is a one-off and a special performance similar in format to what Mr Big and Tesla have done in the past. There is a mixture of newer material and reworked older stuff here all of which is divided into three books or chapters. As for what the title refers to... write in and tell me! - Ali "The Metallian"
PAIN OF SALVATION - BE (LIVE DVD) - INSIDE OUT
An unusual, clever and satirical copyright warning sets the stage for this DVD, one that is full of contrasts, but comes up short on the musical side of things. BE is a professionally produced performance complete with a nine-piece orchestra where Pain Of Salvation uses everything from jazz elements to progressive rock and pop to illustrate the concept of the DVD. The band must have felt all those musical elements are required when talking about mankind, God and science and their effect on humanity. Of all the musical contrasts the most striking is Dea Pecuniae which would easily be a strong contender for a Eurovision or Idol competition and features images of sports cars and many other pop clichés. Vocari Dei, musically incorporating something straight out of ELO’s Time album, is also noteworthy as it is a sort of compilation of various complaints, questions and requests left for God on a cellular phone.
Seventy minutes of live footage plus many extras like commentary, photos, a section with 'more messages to God' and plenty of hidden menus and secret messages make this a fascinating DVD; musically however this is nothing ground breaking. The concept is central to BE and one that necessitates the images. - Anna Tergel
PAIN OF SALVATION - SCARSICK - INSIDEOUT
To start, Pain Of Salvation’s new album cover and album title will make any black metal band white with envy. With that out of the way, Scarsick is an offbeat, abnormal, original and certainly an odd piece of music. The album that is billed as the follow-up as 2000’s The Perfect Element I is partly hardly metal, although in all probability most people would know this by now. Pain Of Salvation, fresh off an important line-up change, is truly the essence of progressive rock considering how the term was meant to apply to bands which change, meander and introduce newer elements - as opposed to the modern usage which has come to apply to a set certain sound. Pain Of Salvation is probably the world’s most believable art rock band.
The album kicks off with the title track and Daniel Gildenlow’s very matter-of-fact rap. Did someone mention Rage Against The Machine? America, like much of the album is poignant and topical, but it is the pure disco tune Disco Queen that comes across as the biggest shocker. In comparison, the later AOR and Pink Floyd-esque tunes come across as standard fare (for POS), but it is difficult to get past a song that might very well have been a Boney M song in the discotheque’s heyday.
So, why the high mark? Is it the originality, the feeling that the band does what it does because it wants to and not because it cares or perhaps the fact that it all somehow works so well for the quartet? Not really sure, and again this is partly unmetal, but Pain Of Salvation shames bands and critics who bandy about the 'progressive rock' term with abandon. Failing that, the lyrics actually mean something. That does count for something. - Ali “The Metallian”