Total time: 53:29
Label: InsideOut Music
After the highly successful “In The Passing Light Of Day”, which was a returning point in the early PAIN OF SALVATION era, we were all confident that the pioneers of prog sound would once again move in completely different paths. We also expected them to surprise us positively once again.
But they did not do just that. They went on to totally surprise us with “Panther”. This album is an amalgam of electronic, Rap, Rock, Metal, acoustic sound, under the well-known Pain Of Salvation prism that made the Swedes famous for their melancholic, melodic and complex music with the well-known sensitized lyrics that try to convey social messages, breaking all molds that may BE out there.
Their effort begins with “Accelerator”, a stressful delirium that will make you understand why working in the western world can even cause pathological stress (the social message we were talking about?). Continuing, “Unfuture” is reminiscent of “Entropia” and “One Hour By The Concrete Lake” (and more specifically “The Big Machine”). “Restless”, the second song with electronic elements after the opening one. Heavy prog track with quintuplets / septuplets, a track that every progster should listen to, but also a drummer that respects himself.
And then, one of the big questions: Did anyone expect to hear a ballad equally (or even better) good with the distant “Oblivion Ocean” someday ? So, “Wait”… words are truly useless. “Keen To A Fault”, one of the best album songs, a classic prog track with many alternations and melodies, then an a-la spagnola audio interlude (“Fur”), to move on to the electronic prog / rock / rap / straight to your face eponymous song of the album, which brings to mind “Scarsick” and “Spitfall”. Real innovation. “Species”, an acoustic beginning that leads into a heavier passage. Very characteristic POS song of their new era. And finally the melancholy melody and the feeling of the 13 minute “Icon” hits us in the face.
The Swedes dare once again, playing almost everything, breaking taboos, creating new sounds. This means progressive after all: Progress. Not stopping incorporating new types of music in your own style. Especially if this style is unmatched! Definitely the prog album of the year!
Editor: Nikos Vlachos
Related Link PAIN OF SALVATION – Official Website