Contrary to what some people might think, top notch progressive rock did not descend into a shame spiral after the 1970s never again to see the light of day. It is a sub-genre that has survived for nearly fifty years and somehow continues produce surprises all around the world every year. It has always been a niche market populated by a small, discerning crowd but that never stopped bands from passionately pushing themselves to ever more creative frontiers. One of these bands is California’s Spock’s Beard, a prolific band that’s been on the prog scene for more than 20 years, presenting a more subtle style of prog that comes with a tangible songwriting ethos. 2015 sees the release of the band’s full-length number twelve The Oblivion Particle, a sixty six minute feast of soaring keyboards, retro synths, intelligent drumming and very catchy main riffs and vocals.
Tag Archive Pain of Salvation
You read that right! Blog-wide beloved prog darlings Caligula’s Horse have indeed signed a worldwide record deal with Inside Out Music. This label is the home of our benevolent overlord, Devin Townsend. They also hold current favorites Leprous and The Safety Fire. Check out what the band had to say in a statement posted to Facebook below.
While concept albums are almost a staple of progressive metal, most bands only commit to that idea lyrically and not musically. It used to be more common in the older days of the genre with bands like Dream Theater and Pain of Salvation, but it’s admittedly difficult to write music that can be developed over the course of an entire album as a single piece. Enter Native Construct, a group of students from the Berklee College of music (just like Dream Theater). Spearheaded by guitarist Myles Yang, Quiet World is their debut, and it manages to not only have great individual tracks, but those tracks also come together and flow with each other with masterful ease. Spanning many genres, boasting a style of composition both classical and metal, Quiet World is an instant prog metal classic.
I’ve been waiting for this album for 3 years. When they posted their playthrough video of a demo version of “Chromatic Aberration” 3 years ago, I was immediately hooked on this band consisting of Berklee students called Native Construct. Now, lo and behold, the album is done and they’ve posted a playthrough video of a full track titled “The Spark of The Archon”, and my, it’s some delicious prog goodness.
I’m going to be honest with you people: Pain of Salvation are one of my favorite bands. They’ve always had their fair share of cheese but underneath the antics lay a pulsing heart of progressive metal and originality. I’ve been with them from the beginning, through all the twisting pathways that band core member Daniel Gildenlow has taken them. When the band played Israel last year, in a night I will never forget, they also played a new track called ‘Falling Home’ and it was beautiful. Supposedly hailing from the next album, it was supposed to be indicative of the new direction: heartfelt lyrics, a central place for vocals and acoustic guitars. I was stocked. However, it seems my hopes are going to be dashed, at least judging by the track released by the band last night. Head on over the jump for your first listen.
I have to admit, Pain of Salvation is one of my all time favorite bands. I had the absolute pleasure of seeing them play an “Evening With” show here in Israel a few years ago and it was one of the best nights of my life. Like all dedicated fans, I have been following the saga of front-man and heart of the band Daniel Gildenlow’s health for a while now. For those unaware, he contracted a quite nasty flesh eating bacteria while on tour. He was at risk of his life for a long time and obviously missed many shows on his way to convalescence. Therefore, I am thrilled to write that with the return of Gildenlow’s health, the band have announced a full North American tour! Check out the full dates after the jump.
Despite touring heavily in support of their last two albums, Pain of Salvation has not seen American shores in quite some time. Rumor has it Pain of Salvation frontman Daniel Gildenlöw did not approve of the political direction that the United States was going in, and went on a boycott of the U.S. front. Whether that’s true or not is speculation, but it seems likely as Gildenlöwhas always been a very socially conscious person, which is evident in practically all of his music with Pain of Salvation, and if you’ve been paying attention to the U.S. for the past half-decade… Well, best not to get into that.
However, it seems like the band (which is currently composed of all new members, with the exception of Daniel, following a run of line-up changes last fall) has resolved their internal issues with America, and with that comes the announcement of a small run of North American headline dates for Pain of Salvation. Of course none of these shows are anywhere near me, so it looks like I’m going to have to hold out to see my favorite prog metal band some other time.
The tour was announced in tandem with the announcement that the band would be releasing their latest album, a live in studio acoustic record tentatively titled Clean, through InsideOut records. As the album is acoustic, and the tour is in support of said album, it’s probably a good bet that the band won’t be performing many “metal” songs on this trek. Either way, Gildenlöw has been performing acoustically for years, and if you search around on the internet you can find some pretty high quality recordings of these shows. From what I’ve seen, they are just as entertaining and emotional as one would hope.
Kingcrow and Imminent Sonic Destruction will be offering support. Here are the dates.
05.01.2013 – EMPIRE -West Springfield, VA
05.02.2013 – HOUSE OF ROCK – White Marsh, MD
05.04.2013- ROSFEST (Pain of Salvation only) – Gettysburg, PA
05.05.2013 – THE MARLIN ROOM at WEBSTER HALL – New York, NY
05.07.2013 – LE CERCLE – Quebec City, QC
05.08.2013 – FOUFOUNES ELECTRIQUES – Montreal, QC
05.09.2013 – THE MOD CLUB – Toronto, ON
05.10.2013 – REGGIE’S – Chicago, IL
05.11.2013 – STATION 4 – Minneapolis, MN
(Additional Dates Coming Soon)
Let’s celebrate with champagne
Because it’s that time of the year again
When everyone gives each other gifts
And makes end of the year lists
2012 was a great year
Many albums I did revere
But only a few I must choose
Now before more rhymes I abuse
Let’s get to the favorite albums
So take this list into your cerebellums
(Yes, I know that the cerebellum doesn’t do that, shut up!)
TheMadIsraeli of No Clean Singing pointed me towards this little gem of a band called Gods of Eden. When I clicked “play” on their Bandcamp player, I was immediately impressed. It sounded like technical death metal done well. But then I kept listening. There was thrash metal. There was prog metal-esque clean singing. There was a flamenco section. There was a choir, an orchestra, pianos — everything. I know you’re just going to say this sounds like a trainwreck, but it’s not. It works. I even tend to be critical of Between the Buried and Me for their genre-bending elements, but here I was just blown away. It works because none of the elements are half baked. The tech death is Gorod-level. The progressive metal is as good as old Pain of Salvation. The death metal is reminiscent of Lost Soul. And each song they pull out new tricks from their sleeves, the awesomeness never ends. If I’m going to fully endorse one EP this year, it is this EP. You can listen to it right here:
Hey everybody! My name’s Shjon Thomas, and I play guitar in a Boston-based progressive metal band called The Deadstation. The awesome guys here at Heavy Blog is Heavy let me write a guest article on whatever I wanted… so I chose to share what I consider to be the ten most essential albums of “old-school progressive metal”!
Since the newer school of prog-metal is so popular with the readers here (Animals As Leaders, Periphery, etc…), I thought it would be cool to share some great albums that follow from the original style of the genre that was popular in the 1990s and 2000s. These albums have also been a large influence on my own music, so if you like something here, you might also like The Deadstation! (You can download our free EP “Episode 01” here)
My hope is that you guys find some enjoyable stuff here that you hadn’t heard before! Cheers!
6. Pain of Salvation – Remedy Lane (2002)
At the #6 spot, is another genre-standout from Sweden: Pain of Salvation. Many have compared them to American alt-metal band Faith No More, but I can assure you that they have a sound all their own. Of their eight full-length albums, Remedy Lane serves as a kind of peak, as well as the final album of their original sound: dark, grungy, progressive, and extremely emotional. Songwriter/bandleader Daniel Gildenlow performs vocals and guitar (among other instruments), and possibly has the best voice in the entire progressive genre… seriously. One of the key elements to his sound is the amount of acting he puts into a given song. He doesn’t just sing the lyrics… he really becomes a personification of them. This guy could sing a Taylor Swift song and have you in tears.
It’s not just the vocals that are enjoyable though. Drummers and general fans of polyrhythmic experimentation will find something to sink their teeth into. Remedy Lane has some strange, yet extremely interesting drumming. Some of it might sound weird and nonsensical at first, but after a few listens, the genius will begin to reveal itself. That is something that can actually be said for the album as a whole, as well as for most Pain of Salvation albums. On the first listen you’ll be scratching your head, but on the third or fourth listen, your jaw will be on the floor! It’s just that good.
Key Song: ‘Rope Ends’