(All Album Reviews by jethro fish)
One hour by the concrete lake is the second offering from Swedish prog metal outfit Pain of Salvation.
I have to confess, I was completely floored the first time I heard this album. As far as prog metal goes, I had, at the time, only heard bands who base their work on technical flash and instrumental skill like Dream Theater or more neo-classical bands like Symphony X etc..
Pain of Salvation offered something completely different. An emotional roller-coaster ride aiming more for the heart and soul rather than the odd-meter/mathematical mind, although without compromising the technical ability or "heavy-ness".
PoS seem to blend whatever musical types they need in order to achieve the emotional mood required. There is crunchy metal, fragile beauty, folk-influences and even semi-industrial rap-parts (which I hope doesn't scare anybody off, trust me I'm no rap-fan).
The players in the band are all impeccable and Daniel Gildenlöw's vocals are of unbelievable quality both in technical ability/range and emotional delivery.
Someone once said that Gildenlöw sounds like he is about to have a nervous breakdown with each note and I think that is a pretty accurate description (Even though, I think the person who said it meant it in a bad way, for me it's a good thing. Fish anyone? hehe).
The only negative thing I can think of about this CD is possibly the sound quality which at times can be a bit metallic and "in your face" (which, come to think of it, actually suits the mood of the album so I'm not sure if it really is a bad thing)
Standout tracks from this album for me are: "Inside", "The big machine", "New years eve" and "Black hills". I probably should mention "Pilgrim" as well since it's simply beautiful.
My rate: 4.5 out of 5