I’m not sure how many Pain of Salvation fans we have in our readership, but for those unfamiliar Johan has been with the band since pretty much the very beginning, and is a quintessential aspect to the band’s sound and live performance. With Johan leaving this marks the fourth line-up shift for the band in the past 5 years. An upsetting occurrence for sure. Here’s the statement from the band’s website:

“After 13 years in the band, Johan Hallgren has decided to leave Pain of Salvation to focus on his daughter and wife. He will not leave music altogether, but plans to work with music in a way that allows him to stay at home with his family in Sweden. That means that the band’s upcoming Nov/Dec tour together with Opeth will be his last. He will of course be sadly missed, both musically and personally, and very difficult to replace. So, if you know someone who sings and plays the crap out of basically anyone, send him or her our way– we might just have a thing or two to discuss.”

Johan: “I’m leaving the band with both joy and sadness. I need to stay close to my daughter and my child-to-come, they will be my greatest concern along with my wife. I will miss everyone I’ve met during the years, and the band will continue to have a warm place in my heart. So finally, treat yourself and all that surrounds you with respect, and stay with POS – the greatest band on the planet!  Sorry if I disappoint you, I miss you already!”

While the statement does say Johan won’t be leaving music all together, it doesn’t really ease the pain(ha) of losing such a fundamental member to the band’s sound. Sure, Daniel Gildenlöw is the mastermind behind it all, Johan definitely added a unique touch to the band’s sound—especially during the live shows—that will be sorely missed in the years to come.

Even though it’s sad to see yet another long-time member of this band leave I’m glad Mr. Hallgren get’s to spend more time with his family, and I wish him all the luck in the world with his future endeavors outside of PoS. I doubt he needs it, though.

Pain of Salvation are currently touring Europe in support of their new album Road Salt Two. Dates can be found at their official website.

– EC

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