Pain of Salvation – Falling Home – 8.05/10
-Admittedly, I thought this was going to score lower, like the Junius EP or the new Wolves in the Throne Room album did. After 3 years without music, an album of previous songs was the last thing I wanted to hear about. However; We are talking about Pain of Salvation, a band that has been able to reinvent themselves over and over again (although most people would rather call them The Daniel Show since he has been the only consistent member for the band’s 20+ years). From the get go, we can tell this is going to be an interesting endeavor, with a very jazzy rendition of “Stress” from their first album. Throughout the album, the vocals are the high point over the musicianship, and this is not at all a bad thing. I consider Daniel one of the best singers with a wide range and emotional depth. On this album, the backup vocals and lush harmonies have the ability to hold their own on renditions of “Linoleum” and “To the Shoreline”. Track 4 brings us a smooth jazz/reggae version of the heavy metal classic “Holy Diver”, which might offend a heavy metal fan, but is done very tongue in check and makes for an enjoyable listen. The second half of the album was more surprising to me, since songs like “1979” seemed to stay very true to the original and “Chain Sling” has already been done acoustically on 12:5. The second half was full of songs from Scarsick which is one of my favorite albums by them, even though most Pain of Salvation fans do not feel the same way. I really enjoyed hearing acoustic renditions of songs like “Spitfall”, “Flame to the Moth”, and “Mrs. Modern Mother Mary”. In addition to this, the album also has a cover of “Perfect Day” by Lou Reed (I have never considered myself a Lou Reed fan, but I’ve always considered this one of his better songs) and the album ends with the only new song on the album, titled “Falling Home”. All in all, this turns out to be an enjoyable experience and I was very pleased with the outcome. However, I still anxiously await to see what direction Pain of Salvation has up their sleeve after so many musical changes (especially after the two Road Salt album which had a more classic rock feel than metal).