Concert Review Archive


Pain Of Salvation

Saturday, 30th October 2015
P60, Amstelveen, The Netherlands

Article and photos By Karel Witte

According to their Facebook profile, Daniel Gildenlow & Co. have started work on a new album that will mark a return to the band's heavier, progressive roots. After two 70's blues rock influenced albums and an album filled with acoustic renditions of older songs, that news should get a good response from fans of classic Pain of Salvation (after this: PoS) albums like The Perfect Element and Remedy Lane. This concert appearance was part of a series of concerts that wear the name 'Powered by Headway'. It's good to see Headway Festival keeping the prog alive in The Netherlands with this initiative.

The band did not debut any new songs tonight, but the rekindled enthusiasm for their progressive roots was reflected by the set list and the band's performance. It was certainly a beautiful Halloween's night in Amstelveen, and guitarist Ragnar Zolberg made sure that didn't go by unnoticed. It initially took me a while to figure out that his scary-looking Joker face paint had to do with Halloween!

Although good, show wasn't entirely without drawbacks. During the first ten minutes, the sound wasn't quite up to par, and the first two songs felt a bit rusty. Ragnar's vocals didn't seem to gel all that well with Daniel Gildenlow's, and I almost began to question Ragnar's abilities at one point. Of course I was dead wrong about that, because his solo vocals on regular set closer Beyond the Pale were beyond amazing. PoS's music features lots of vocal harmonies, with drummer Leo Margarit having a big role in that amidst all his technical drumming. It's stunning to hear how accurate those vocals came across in a live setting.

The audience got treated to almost the entire Remedy Lane album, along with selections from the Road Salt albums and a fantastic encore featuring the epic song The Perfect Element. The band was clearly into it, and if Daniel was not busy furiously rocking out, he would often climb on a platform to jump off again when a climax hit the song. It's great to see that after all these years and a radically different line-up, the energy is still totally there.

A captivating performance of Chain Sling was one of the many highlights. The song manages to be both extremely strange and emotional at the same time. Bass player Gustaf Hielm hadn't sung one word throughout the entire gig yet, but suddenly he grabbed the microphone to sing the song's concluding passages alone, with Daniel later joining him for the harmonies. While Gustaf maybe isn't as vocally trained as some of the other members, his warm baritone voice and delivery fit perfectly for this part. Good to see the band taking risks that pay off. While the technical difficulties (broken strings, amplifier volume drops and whatnot) were culminating to an almost hilarious degree, the band's performance was tight and energetic all around. It might have been a little rough around the edges, but that too can have its charms. However, if PoS want to reclaim the status they had with the classic line-up, there's still some things in need of fine-tuning. As it stands though, this was an above average show with a great set of songs. After two hours, the band left the stage to very loud cheers from the audience. And with both Beyond the Pale and The Perfect Element on the set, hardly a soul could've left the venue unsatisfied. A reinvigorated spirit was felt in this performance, of which I hope to hear more of on their upcoming album!

Of Two Beginnings
Ending Theme
A Trace of Blood
No Way
To the Shoreline
Chain Sling
Rope Ends
Beyond the Pale

The Perfect Element

Pain Of Salvation official Website



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