If you’re as much of a Pain of Salvation fan as I am, you’ve already closed this article and are pre-ordering the remixed Remedy Lane right now. Pain of Salvation are one of my favorite bands and one of the most honest, ruthless and groovy progressive metal bands to have ever existed. Remedy Lane is one of their best albums and stands at the top of many a fan’s charts (although mine is graced by The Perfect Element, if only by an inch). So, when it was announced that none other than Jens Bogren was remixing the album, hearts skipped a bit across our little niche. The album, like a lot of the band’s earlier works, suffered from some pretty weird production. Guitar lines, vocals and more were all buried deep in the mix and on such an intricate creation, that’s a massive problem.
Well, I’m here to tell you that the wait is over: we finally have the version of Remedy Lane that we’ve always deserved. I could go on and on about why it’s good: guitars brought forward, vocal lines accentuated, synths made audible. But instead, I’d like to appeal to you hardcore fans because this is our moment; if you’re like me, this is super important for you. To do that, I’ll highlight just three passages on the album that will tell you all you need to know. First, “Fandango”. This is one of the deceptively “simple” tracks on the album, hiding its offbeat waltz under a seemingly straightforward structure. Guess what? Apparently, all those sneaky guitar lines have countless frills on their end, notes half strummed that make the whole thing even weirder and larger. And now, you can hear them: Bogren made sure that the overtones from the chords didn’t eat away at them, finally making them audible.
Oh, and you want synths? How about those lines on “Ending Theme” that you had to really strain to hear? No more: now they are prominent, working beautifully with one of the best guitar solo/bridges on the album, giving the whole thing flesh where it once sounded thin. Now, it’s robust and powerful, with the chorus again utilizing amazing synth work to garner its much needed impact. However, we all know where everything will come to in the end; where this album will be judged. That’s on “Rope Ends”, one of the best tracks on the album. The synths here are amazing: for one, they exist. Earlier, they were nowhere to be found and I’m not even sure they weren’t recorded especially for this. Now, they are triumphant and support the depressing and forlorn feeling of the track.
One last thing: Daniel Gildenlow. Yeah, that guy. One of the best vocalists in metal, ever, now has the production he finally needed to deliver this album. You’ve never heard Budapest, the suicide, the still birth or the despair in the mother’s voice like this. Gildenlow was always perfect. Now he’s beyond that: his multiple track lines, like the intricate ones on “Rope Ends” are finally there to be heard and they are glorious. The outro vocal melodies, displaying the famous Gildenlow range and other backing vocalists, is now even more moving and expansive. Why are you still here? if you like this album to any degree, go pre-order this right now. If you’re not familiar, now is your chance to hear one of the best progressive metal albums ever made, in all the wonder of modern production. Jens Bogren, we applaud you for this one.