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Pain of Salvation - Scarsick

Label: Inside Out
Format: CD
Released: 2007
Reviewed By: The Goat


According to Pain of Salvation's website, the band's origins start when the vocalist, Daniel Gildenlow, formed Reality in 1984 at the tender age of 11. Pain of Salvation didn't actually arrive in name until 1991. In 1997, they released their first album, "Entropia".

 

So here I sit with the new platter from Pain of Salvation. Let me judge this book by its cover. If you've seen the art, you'll understand my lack of interest. It's a grainy photoshopped image of a face, with seemingly brick tiles and possibly some tattoos on the face. It is quite non descript. It does not lead the listener to any conclusions. So, what am I left with? No glimmer of what might await my tender ears.

The album opens with the title track, 'Scarsick'. An opening bass line which sounds more like Faith No More. Daniel G's is uttering short choppy vocal barks of the lyrics and the instruments are more percussive than melodic. Two minutes in and it changes to a mock Middle Eastern Qawwali singing. This is Faith No More's "Epic". I am at a loss. Did I just go back in time?

The next track, 'Spitfall' is no better. Once again, the Faith No More Mike Pattonisms take over the vocal style. The chorus does not really save the song either. PoS does have a good strong melodic component, but the nu-metal rapping is a real disappoitment. Apparently, this is coincidental. PoS is not influenced by nu-metal or any bands that evoke that sound. On the plus side, I do hear anger in 'Spitfall', it's just a shame it sounds like anger from the Fred Durst Library of Rhyming Verses.

I decide to suffer through. I will listen to the rest of this album until my ears bleed or my brain ruptures or both. 'Cribcaged' is actually a decent song. It is mellow, tight, and has a David Bowie flavor to it. There is a certain despair that's almost catchy. Next, is 'America', which is supposed to have been controversial. It sounds like a Galactic Cowboys song covered by the ensemble cast of Godspell. 'Disco Queen' come after 'America'. I think the title says it all. Let's hope that I can forget this song. Think New Wave 80s song meets a really bad Roger Waters cover band.

Is 'Kingdom of Loss' better? Uhhh, better than what? There is a ranting spoken word piece acting as the vocals railing against the commercialization of the world. In fact, the whole song is about this. It sounds like a sophomoric attempt to rebel against the system after everyone has already done so. It seems like PoS is a little late to the rally. I forget the name or the tune of the next one. The nu-metal continues with Korn doing a Dream Theater song in 'Idiocracy'.

'Flame to the Moth' is a little more original than its title, although it follows the Korn-meets-Dream Theater model. If it were not for the percussive and Patton-esque vocals, it actually could be a good song. The album ends with 'Enter Rain' and I must admit it actually is a decent song, once again going with the David Bowie thing meets a metal Beatles. Overall, this one is for the fans to decide. I, for one, am not a fan.

 
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