1997: the year. “Entropia”: the Album. PAIN OF SALVATION: the band. What was a debut album would soon become the start of a Progressive Metal legacy, a band that would transcend any Progressive Metal fans expectation, to produce its own, original and unique sound. To date, “Entropia” is still the most complete work of PAIN OF SALVATION, showcasing all the elements that this band has in its belt.
55 seconds after the start of the album, the cards are already laid down: this is PAIN OF SALVATION. Trashy down tuned guitars, complex drumming and the overwhelming vocals of Daniel Gildenlöw, starting with guttural vocals to a high pitched scream. This is “! (Foreword)”, the first song of the album and the rest just get better and better. Progressive Metal at his best, multi layered vocal harmonies (which are rendered perfectly live!), the perfect needed bass playing (although buried too often in the overall mix). Dealing with the horrors of wars this concept album through songs like “Winning A War”, “People Passing By” and “Obliveon Ocean” (no one can be insensible after hearing this incredibly sad ballad), PAIN OF SALVATION explores the sadness of armed conflicts, the suffering of losing someone you love, without sounding wimpy or cliché. The song “Stress” is the perfect example of the way PAIN OF SALVATION is able to put in music human emotions, with its funky, urgent feeling or the funky, jazzy feel of “People Passing By”. PAIN OF SALVATION understood quickly that to be progressive, you not only need to show that you are good musicians, no need a final product that will stand the test of time, that will put people in complete awe even 7 years later.
Behind such an outstanding album, despite the incredible amount of technicality shown in the music, there is the incredible vocal performance of Daniel Gildenlöw. What transpires the most about Gildenlöw’s vocals is the fact that he nearly never use any effect on it, which gives a feeling that he is singing right beside you, directly through your ears. No tricky chorus or reverb effect, just a plain Gildenlöw with all his pain, is suffering and sadness emerging from his melodic yet aggressive voice.
None can nowadays despise the influences PAIN OF SALVATION will have and that he is already having, on the Progressive Metal movement. The later years has let shown a less heavy, more personally oriented band, but suffice to say that they are now one of the unique milestones of the Progressive Metal world and that it would be hard for detractors to try to denied them. (Online August 12, 2004)