Pain Of Salvation - 12:5

Year of Release: 2004
Label: InsideOut
Catalog Number: IOMCD 152/SPV 085-60552 C
Format: CD
Total Time: 60:40:00

Pain Of Salvation are one of the best bands out there, regardless of genre. And this live acoustic release 12:5 is just further evidence, as they are able to strip down and in some cases re-imagine their music, losing none of the power and impact of the originals; the dramatic rendering of "Chainsling" is but one example. And this is no mere "hits unplugged" release, as 10 of the 16 tracks here are reworkings of various POS tracks, taking portions and fitting them into a loose concept. Divided into three parts - Genesis, Genesister, and Genesinister - the more faithful acoustic renderings are in the middle section, bookended by the multi-part suite called "Brickwork," the reworked pieces. And, just to add to everything, it was recorded live in Eskilstuna, Sweden.

The performance is phenomenal, Daniel Gildenlow's vocals phenomenal, the whole work is phenomenal. There is a point during "Brickwork Part VI - Ascend I" where Kristoffer Gildenlow's bass strings sound overly loose, but this is a minor flaw - a minor characteristic - when viewing the album as whole. And the performance of "Ashes" seems a little too loose performance-wise. I'm not yet familiar with The Perfect Element, the album this piece is drawn from, so how it compares, I can't say; in this rendition, it has a gospelly feel, especially when the chorus of voices joins in. And you might think you've joined a revivalist meeting when the band let loose on "Brickwork Part X - Descend II" - it's an exuberant hoedown. A lot of time could be spent comparing each version here with its original counterpart, but I find that hard to do. The whole "Brickworks" suite stands on its own, weaving the pieces together smoothly and seamlessly - well, each 5 movement segment, that is.

The piano sounds simply divine, while the warm and resonant acoustic guitars perfectly underscore the melodious voice of Gildenlow. It's the piano that provides the bridge between "Brickwork Pt I (Leaving Entropia)" and "Brickwork Pt II (This Heart Of Mine)" (one of my favourites from Remedy Lane). Drummer Johan Langell's softly snickering percussion and Fredrik Hermansson's tinkling piano gives this piece a romantic, jazzy fragility. "Brickwork Pt III - Song For The Innocent" seems on the verge of breaking loose, and then does, in a cascade of sound and impassioned vocals from Gildenlöw, becoming "Decend I" and "Leaving Entropia" in instrumental form again.

An odd moment comes during "Reconciliation" (from The Perfect Element) when a snippet of "Darth Vader's Theme" (Star Wars) comes in for a second, played on the bass? a light moment during an otherwise serious performance?, though it seems prompted by a bum note. Guitar is the focus of "Dryad Of The Woods" (Remedy Lane) before piano joins in? quite a lovely arrangement. I simply love the rendition of "Undertow" here, which doesn't lose much compared to the version on Remedy Lane? the emotional power of that track is intact here, though the "electric" version drives home that emotion that much more so.

All in all, a really wonderful live and acoustic release; a must for Pain Of Salvation fans. I love it.

Released also by InsideOut Music America (IOMACD 2074)

Book I: Genesis: Brickwork Part I: Brickwork Part I (Leaving Entropia T5 A) / Brickwork Part II (This Heart Of Mine T5) / Brickwork Part III (Song For The Innocent T5) / Brickwork Part IV (Brickwork Descend 1) / Brickwork Part V (Leaving Entropia T5 B) / Book II: Genesister: Winning A War (T5) / Reconciliation (T5) / Dryad Of The Woods / Oblivion Ocean (T5) / Undertow (T5) / Chainsling / Book III: Genesinister: Brickwork Part II: Brickwork VI (Brickwork Ascend 1) / Brickwork VII (Brickwork Ascend 2) / Brickwork VIII (Second Love) / Brickwork IX (Ashes T5) / Brickwork X (Brickwork Descend 2)

Daniel Gildenlöw - lead vocals, acoustic guitar
Frederik Hermannson - grand piano, harpsichord
Johan Langell - drums, percussion, vocals
Kristoffer Gildenlöw - acoustic gasses, cello
Johan Hallgren - guitar, vocals

Entropia (1998)
One Hour By The Concrete Lake (1999)
The Perfect Element (2000)
Remedy Lane (2002)
12:5 (2004)
Be (2004)
The Orchestration Of Eternity - Be (original stage production)
Scarsick (2007)
Linoleum (EP) (2009)
Ending Themes (On The Two Deaths Of Pain Of Salvation) (2009)
Road Salt One (2010)
Road Salt Two (2011)
Falling Home (2014)
The Passing Light Of Day (2016)

Be - Live DVD (DVD) (2005)
Ending Themes (On The Two Deaths Of Pain Of Salvation) (DVD) (2009)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin SE

Added: March 22nd 2004
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 1095
Language: english


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