Before I get started, I should probably make a few things clear. I am generally, with some exceptions, NOT a fan of most progressive metal. Further, I am not a fan of PAIN OF SALVATION. The first time that I listened to Remedy Lane, I was not at all fond of it. I wanted to be able to enjoy their live set to the fullest, so I listened to it another five or six times, and it started to grow on me. Now, I love that album, but still not a huge fan of their other releases. Now that we have that out of the way, allow me to give you my thoughts on the band’s new release: Remedy Lane Re:visited (Re:mixed & Re:lived) (out July 1 on InsideOut Music).
The album is semi-autobiographical, touching on some deep and thoughtful subjects, and the lyrics and music do a great job of reflecting the mood of each individual track. Overall, it’s pretty dark, dealing with love, a miscarriage, and suicide, as well as some happier songs. The original recording sounded great already, but the remix of the album adds a certain crispness to the drums and vocals that nudges it just a little closer to being completely awesome.
The second disc of the release is a live recording of the album as performed at ProgPower USA XV in 2014, and it sounds fantastic. The track order is almost the same as the studio recording, with “Remedy Lane” being moved to the very front of the set as an introduction track, rather than near the end. The addition of Ragnar Zolberg on guitar is especially notable because of his beautiful vocals – normally, when an album with multiple vocal layers is performed live, the lines have to be cut back and modified, but Ragnar tackled the additional parts in a manner that enhanced the album, and it really came through sounding great on the recording, especially on “Rope Ends” and “Chain Sling”.
The vocal interchange between Ragnar and lead singer Daniel Gildenlow blew me away live, and it has no less of an effect on me listening to this recording. The music was reproduced faithfully and was beautiful performed – I really don’t think it could have been done any better that night or any other night.
While not a new offering from the band, this release will still stand on its own in the PAIN OF SALVATION catalog, and is a must for any fan of the group. Listening to the live portion threw me back to that Saturday night almost two years ago when I was blown away by their set, and that’s always a good thing. I may not be a fan of their other releases, but I’m picking this one up as soon as possible.
STANDOUT TRACKS: ALL OF THEM