Swedish progressive metal heavyweights Pain of Salvation's seventh studio album, Road Salt One, was a major departure from their previous work (this, even despite the fact that BE and Scarsick weren't exactly true to form themselves). It was recorded in a vintage style: it sounds like it is straight from the 70s. This move was not very well-received among many fans (ironically, few fans of "progressive" music like music that strays too far from what they're used to), but it was great for people, like me, who like to just hear something new.
The departure is so severe that it really doesn't sound anything like their previous work. This record is not even metal, and it's not "prog." It's just melodic modern rock music in heavy 70s stylings.
Daniel Gildenlöw already made the greatest progressive metal album ever, so why would he need to make another progressive metal album? The fact that he tried this, and in my opinion, succeeded, is a truer testament to his creative genius than any number of identical progressive metal albums would have been. The fact is, this new format allows him to unleash some incredible songs and melodies, the likes of which would not have been possible in the old format.
This is an album that is, unfortunately, destined to be forgotten: prog rock fans who are aware of Pain of Salvation are likely to pass over this one, while fans of more straightforward rock are going to assume this is just another prog metal album (if they ever even hear of it at all). Oh well, I'll just enjoy this one myself.
- Road Salt