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Pain of Salvation | Scarsick | review | metal | Lollipop

Pain of Salvation

Scarsick (Inside Out)
by Martin Popoff

Daniel Gildenlow has long since signaled that Pain of Salvation is much more than progressive metal, for a spell now being part of that generalist rock craftsman realm that uses distorted drums and a profusion of structures and mood shifts as tools within a completely broad framework to the point where labels are meaningless. But like any of the old greats who've done this (Rush, Marillion, Queensrÿche, Yes, OSI, Anathema!) the clump of songs will add up to something. And describing that chunk here has to start with Clawfinger, then adding a little OSI, for Scarsick contains nü metal riffs, rappy vocals, and then lots of trippy contemplating bits textured up nicely, Daniel inciting all manner of character to rail on modern consumption-mad society. It's silly everyone calls out "Disco Queen," which yes, has one pure but tongue-in-cheek disco part, repeated. Still, it's a typical Scarsick song elsewhere, and it's epic and dark. Best of the often smarmy but not so runty litter is "Cribcaged" a plush, passionate ballad with enough f-bombs to ensure it'll never hit radio. "Idiocracy" is also huge and moving down a dark balladic way, while "Flame To The Moth" is simply killer Egypto-prog metal. No doubt, this is going to tick a lot of people off (it's certainly not that heavy, save for the Mudvayne parts), but take a little trip around the album, especially to the back half, and then revisit the rappy "Spitfall" if only for it's cloud-parting chorus, and you'll find lots on here to admire and even assimilate as pleasurable and still way smart music.


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