In a recent interview I conducted with Pain of Salvation singer/guitarist/composer Daniel Gildenlow, which will be posted soon, I asked him, “Where has the heaviness gone? Road Salt Two sounds more like a 70’s album with 70’s overdrive rather than distortion.” He replied that he had been very much like me, needing the modern distortion sound to feel that the album was heavy. However, after listening to bands like AC/DC and Black Sabbath again per recommendation, he realized that heaviness is not a sound but rather an attitude. With that in mind, does Road Salt Two work with or does it fall victim to its new sound? Check after the jump.
A lovely stringed introductory track (Road Salt Theme) bleeds into Softly She Cries, the first song of the album. Immediately I noticed the 70’s feel, both in songwriting and in sound. However, this sound was put together with a very modern approach, something very accessible that I latched onto and wanted to hear more of. Gildenlow’s vocals soar and the harmonies are fantastic. The overdriven guitar tones sounds almost like a growling beast, moments away from tearing your throat out.
The production of the album is as varied as you would expect from a Pain of Salvation album. There are heavy tracks with overdrive and an in-your-face sense just as there are more mellow acoustic tracks that utilize mandolins, percussion, and more to create beautiful songs. Wonderfully mixed all around, there is a great deal to appreciate sonically on this album.
To The Shoreline quickly called to mind Ennio Morricone’s The Ecstasy Of Gold while The Deeper Cut is a personal favorite from the album. This album is definitely meant for those who aren’t stuck in the present musically but instead can appreciate music of all times.
The Final Word: It’s taken me several spins to fully appreciate what Pain of Salvation is doing with Road Salt Two. However, I’m glad I took the time to fully appreciate it. The album is a wonderful homage to the sounds of the past with a distinctive nod to the modern crowd.