|» Pain Of Salvation 2005 09 04||
The German band Dark Suns play dreamlike soft progressive music with a strong goth sense and that as dark as their name applies. The band started as a death metal act and even if the traces of their past is rare on their latest album they bring out a little evil when they play the songs live. Thankfully, because it is with those parts I find them to be at their best. Dark Suns tend to come out, just as on album, a bit too slow, dark and demanding for me to fully enjoy them. Although I must say that I prefer Dark Suns live, as their music becomes more lively and a bit more aggressive touch is added to their music, and when they put a little higher pace into the music combined with the aggression it gets very good. Sadly those occasions were too few and lasted too shortly.
To look at the two guitarists and the bassist in front on the stage is not too inspiring even if their playing is professional and is as tight as their dark and technical and filled with emotion music demands. However, one thing that heavily speaks against Dark Suns as a live band is that their lead-vocalist is also their drummer. The voice from Nico Knappe actually work better live than on album and sounds more confident and solid, especially when he at a few occasions brings out the growling he so greatly possesses. However, because of his position behind the drums the band fail completely to connect with the crowd and you loose much of the impressions of seeing a band live when you hardly can see the expressions from the vocalist.
5 chalices of 10
Pain Of Salvation
Pain Of Salvation is a Swedish progressive band that I really do not know that much about and I went to this concert without any expectations. Actually, that rarely happens and it actually was a relief to not to know too much in advance and to go to a concert with a completely open mind. Not knowing what to expect and as I really didn't expect anything at all I was fast overwhelmed by this great live act. After just a couple of few songs I was blown away, this was so much more than the little that I've heard before from the bands' albums and more than what I had imagined Pain Of Salvation to be live.
It started on a high level with good intensity and with a band that obviously likes to perform on stage. Pain Of Salvation offered a really good selection of songs, at least that was what I as a beginner thought, with a blend of soft songs and more aggressive ones as well. And even if the music can get complicated and introverted at times, the band always kept a good connection with the crowd being on a cheerful mood joking amongst themselves as well as with the audience.
Luckily for me as a beginner to Pain Of Salvation the set was more or less a best of - well if it really was I can't tell - but this was a great introduction to the band anyhow when they played songs from all of their albums instead of putting focus on their latest release. Apart from a few exceptions they went through their career in a chronological order starting from Entropia (1997) and all the way on through till Be (2004), and they seem to have kept an even level through out the years as it is hard to pick out which parts that were the best. Although the highlights for me came with two songs from One Hour By The Concrete Lake (1998) which is the only album I really know about, and with the songs Inside and Inside Out the more heavy and aggressive parts in Pain Of Salvation came out greatly, and combined with their progressive music I found this part of the concert to be astonishing.
Instead of the regular backdrop with the bands' logo, which is more or less standard for every band, they had a white screen which they projected images on. I suppose it was the promotional videos from those tracks where they had one and with the songs from their latest album the images on the screen was the same as can be seen on the 'Be' DVD. A simple effect that gives a live performance from a band a little more depth and the synchronicity with the songs from Be was stunning as the same thing was being sung or played on stage at exactly the same time as on the screen.
There was never a dull moment throughout their performance, even if the pace was slowed down every once in a while with slower songs that contain so much nuances that you always have something to pay attention to, even with the ballads. Pain Of Salvation is a band that rarely play in their home country and that is something that was obvious both among the band and with the crowd, as the band seemed to be fully excited and the reception they got was really good and even if it wasn't sold out I was surprised to see so many there on a Sunday evening.
The ending was taking a good concert even higher. With the mighty ending song Martius/Nauticus II they climbed to a new level and that held on with the two-song encore that was picked from their debut album. Daniel Gildenlöw - I just have to say something about his voice. It is bloody brilliant and he could probably take on any style of singing and pull it off. He possesses everything from calm and melodic to harsh and aggressive with the ability to sing with a high pitch as well with a lower register.
8 chalices of 10
SETLIST: (might be slightly inaccurate)