Pain of Salvation

Pain of Salvation

Infobox musical artist
Name = Pain of Salvation
Origin = Eskilstuna, Sweden

Img_size =
Img_capt = Pain of Salvation at the Sweden Rock Festival, 2008.
Landscape =
Background = group_or_band
Years_active = 1984-1991 as Reality, 1991–present
Genre = Progressive metal
Label = InsideOut Music
Associated_acts = Crypt of Kerberos Q-krunkers from Hell The Flower Kings Programming Defaced
URL = [ Official website]
Current_members = Daniel Gildenlöw
Fredrik Hermansson
Johan Hallgren
Simon Andersson
Léo Margarit
Past_members = Daniel Magdic
Johan Langell
Kristoffer Gildenlöw
Gustaf Hielm
Magnus Johansson
Joakim Strandberg
Mikael Pettersson

Pain of Salvation is a Swedish progressive metal band featuring Daniel Gildenlöw, who is the lyricist, chief composer, guitarist, and lead vocalist. Their sound is characterised by powerful, accentuated guitar work, broad vocal range, abrupt switching between heavy and calm passages, intense syncopation, and polyrhythmic experimentation. Another trademark of the band is that each album is a concept album. Some examples of the topics addressed in the band's albums are: war and its effect on family and humanity, environmental issues (e.g., nuclear power), the forming of the individual, and the nature of God, humankind, and existence.

About the band's name

The name "Pain of Salvation" was devised by Daniel Gildenlöw, whose intention was to incorporate the notion of balance, which he believed to be of vital significance, e.g. good and bad, light and dark, life and death; pain and salvation.

:"I wanted a name that meant something, a name that was more than a cool expression. For me, Pain of Salvation has the meaning of balance. Taking the good with the bad. It is also a good expression in everyday use, when something does not go the way you planned; "well, that’s just the pain of salvation," to indicate that this is just a slight setback on an otherwise painless journey towards your goal." [ [ Dutch Progressive Rock Page, 7 August 1999] ]

:"The idea with the name is that everything has two sides, everything is in balance." [ [] ]

:"Imagine yourself exhausted in the middle of a desert... Sitting down will take away your pain, but it will kill you. The walk for water will hurt, but it may save your life."

:"I formed my first band at eleven, I called it Reality. When I turned 15, I decided to change, because I did not the same as in the age of 11. I tried to come up with a new band name. It was during a math lesson, I was writing band names. I wrote Pain of Salvation and it stuck. I showed it to my classmate, who later became a member of the band, he said too long, nobody would remember that!" [ [ Pain Of Salvation Interjú | KRONOS MORTUS Metal Webzine ] ]


1984–1996: early days

In 1984, Daniel Gildenlöw (at the age of eleven) founded the band "Reality" in Eskilstuna, Sweden. One of the early members was Daniel Magdic, who would remain with the band until after the first album was eventually recorded in 1997. In 1987, Reality qualified to participate in the Swedish Annual Music Contest "Rock-SM" (this is the same contest that fellow Swedes Europe won in 1982, earning them international recognition in the early 80s). They were the youngest competitors ever to enter the competition and Daniel Gildenlöw also won the prize for "Best Vocalist".

1990 saw a number of line-up changes, including the addition of talented Johan Langell (then 14 years old) on drums; as the core composers Gildenlöw and Magdic found it difficult to fully implement their musical ideas with the current members. Also joining the band was Gustaf Hielm on bass guitar. Somewhat disillusioned and bored of the "Reality" moniker, Gildenlöw renamed the band to "Pain of Salvation" in 1991. For the next 3 years, the band achieved national success in several contests and competitions. Some of the songs performed during this era can be found on the earlier albums.

In 1994, Kristoffer Gildenlöw (Daniel’s younger brother) replaced Gustaf Hielm (who later went on to join fellow Swedish metal band Meshuggah) on the bass. This resulted in a steady group consisting of the Gildenlöws, Daniel Magdic and Johan Langell. The band entered a local studio soon after to record a demo, Hereafter, with a combination of old and new material. While they had recorded several tapes before, this was the first to be actually sent to a record company in the hope of procuring a record deal. This demo however was recorded without a keyboardist. To complete the line up (and sonic requirements) of the band, they began the search for one. It was through this Hereafter tape that Fredrik Hermansson got interested in the band and after an introduction to the band through a fellow student he got the invitation to do an audition. In the autumn of 1996, Fredrik Hermansson became the fifth member of the band.

1996–1997: first album recorded and released

Two of the first companies that the band sent their demo to were Marquee/Belle Antique (a record company in Japan/Asia) and Roasting House (a professional recording studio in Malmö, Sweden). In early 1997, they entered the Roasting House Studio to record their first album, "Entropia", which was released in Asia on the Marquee’s Avalon label in August 1997 to positive local reviews. As a result, Marquee decided to fly Daniel over to Tokyo, Japan in October for a week of promotional performances and interviews to the metal press. It was about this time that purchasing albums through online music stores was commonplace, and fans from around the world began to do so with "Entropia". As a result, interest in Pain of Salvation grew around the world progressive metal scene, leading to another licensing deal – this time for Romania with SC Rocris Discs in late 1997.

The album was eventually released in Europe in 1999, when Pain of Salvation signed to major progressive music label InsideOut Music following the success of their second album "One Hour by the Concrete Lake". It was also released in South America on Hellion Records in 1999.

1998–1999: follow-up album and record label deal

Preparations for the band’s second album were somewhat disrupted by the departure of Daniel Magdic from the band prior to recording. The departure was due to Magdic's continuing disagreements with the others over committing to the increasing demands of the band as a result of their initial success. He still remains a friend of the band to this day. After a short audition period, Johan Hallgren was his initial replacement. Johan had played for a short period together with Daniel in the band Crypt of Kerberos. Johan was immediately involved in the recording process, facing the daunting tasks of learning all the new songs with extreme short notice. Indeed, due to the complexity of the guitar parts in the new material, Daniel Gildenlöw was prepared to play all the guitar parts himself. Hallgren surprised all (he learned the whole album in three weeks), however, and was able to play on the album as a full member of the band. This worked out so well that he was announced as Magdic’s official replacement in April 1998.

The resultant album, "One Hour by the Concrete Lake", was released in Asia (once again on Avalon) in July 1998 with an even more positive reception than their debut album. It was immediately hailed as a classic masterpiece, receiving extensive attention from fans and magazines all around the world. It was described as heavier and darker than "Entropia", and considered a much more mature effort, with every existing positive about the band focussed and improved on. The buzz about the band had well and truly spread to Europe by now, and the multitude of positive reactions was the catalyst for the band to be signed to major progressive music label InsideOut Music and later their American counterpart, InsideOut Music America.

During the South American release (once again on Hellion) in May 1999, the band embarked on a European tour supporting fellow progressive metal bands Threshold (U.K.) and Eldritch (Italy). They also played at their first ProgPower festival in Tilburg, The Netherlands on November 14 1999.

2000–2003: critical acclaim: "The Perfect Element, part I" and "Remedy Lane"

After a short break to regroup, Pain of Salvation recorded their third album, "The Perfect Element, part I" in March to July 2000. Released in October 2000, the album garnered a huge response from media and fans all over the world. In support of the album, the band toured Europe again in September and October 2000, this time with Arena (UK). In February 2001 the band played their first show in the USA, as headliners of the famed ProgPower USA festival, with the likes of Symphony X and Evergrey. Later that month, they also paid a visit to Iceland.Fact|date=February 2007

In late 2001, Pain of Salvation recorded their fourth album, "Remedy Lane". It is remarkable in the fact that it was almost entirely written during a two-month period from August to September 2001 by Daniel Gildenlöw. Released in January of 2002, it was also greeted with extensive praise from the progressive metal community, being hailed as their finest creation yet. During the Remedy Tour, Pain of Salvation were invited as a special guest opener for Dream Theater.

Both albums (and the band's earlier catalogue) were now much more accessible to music listeners now that they were on a major label. They were hailed as bringing originality and diversity to the genre, which many followers had been considering quite stagnant. They are often praised due to their excellent conceptual cohesion. "The Perfect Element, part I" is a work examining the events that form an individual as they move from adolescence through to adulthood. Scarsick, released in 2007, is "The Perfect Element, part II", although not in name.ref label|tpe2|4|a "Remedy Lane" is a part-autobiographical, part-fictional tale of a period of Daniel Gildenlöw’s life dealing with the issues of love, lust and life. Both albums were once again recorded at Roasting House Studio in Sweden.

On May 12 2003, Pain of Salvation performed an acoustic concert in their hometown of Eskilstuna before a crowd of 80 special guests. The concert was recorded and released as "12:5" in early 2004. It featured dramatically rearranged versions of the band’s past material, owning to Daniel Gildenlöw’s desire not to simply create a “Pain of Salvation: Unplugged” record. As a result, the band and fans consider the album as a stand-alone work, and not just a 'live album'. The album was widely applauded for its audacity in re-interpreting past material in such a way, though others found the new versions of favourite songs much less enjoyable.

2004–2005: "BE"

For the better part of 2003 and 2004, the band worked on their most serious undertaking to date: a concept album about the nature of existence of God and humankind. It was Daniel Gildenlöw who has been working on and off on it since 1996. The recording of the album was preceded by a number of live shows in Eskilstuna, where the band performed the album in its entirety. The shows were full productions; with costumes, stage props and screen projections. They also featured a nine-part orchestra, "The Orchestra of Eternity", whom Gildenlöw had in mind while composing the music. As a result, the orchestra features prominently in the material, and is essential to its sound. After the conclusion of the shows, the material was tweaked and refined by Gildenlöw before the recording began in February 2004.

In September 2004, the band’s most ambitious album, ""BE"", was released. It was the first album to divide the fan-base in opinion, due to its musically experimental and philosophical nature; and perhaps also its lack of cohesive progressive metal pieces. It once again featured "The Orchestra of Eternity", and included a memorable song whereby the band had set up a phone line for fans from around the world to ring and leave their message on “God’s answering machine”. There was an overwhelming response from fans who laughed, cried and poured their soul into their messages. The messages were collated and presented with a peaceful instrumental accompaniment, resulting in what the band considers to be one of their most touching tracks they have ever recorded.ref|bebooklet

2005–present: current events

Pain of Salvation will most likely not be playing in the United States any time soon. Daniel Gildenlöw has expressed his refusal to take part in the US policy of fingerprinting all out-of-country visitors. He feels it infringes his democratic rights and personal integrity.ref|dgfingerprints

With a growing fan base all over the world, an [ International Fan Club] , and official fan clubs in Germany, France, Greece, Italy, Holland, and the USA; Pain of Salvation can also count some of the biggest artists in the genre as devoted listeners.

On 21 February 2006, Kristoffer Gildenlöw was asked to leave the band due to him not being able to attend rehearsals, since he lived in Holland and the band lived in Sweden. Kristoffer has a solo album planned for the future, as well as a side project called Dial, born with the release of "Synchronized" in 2007.

The album "Scarsick" was released on January 22, 2007, having leaked early December 2006. It is more band oriented than "BE", with Daniel Gildenlöw playing bass in the studio. [ Recent interviews] with Daniel have revealed that Scarsick is, in fact, the second part of The Perfect Element, confirming the speculation of many fans.

A European tour to support the new album has been announced. The band has also displayed an interest to perform in other parts of the world when they announced a gig in Egypt. The band will be playing with Simon Andersson, a new replacement bassist on this tour. On March 10, 2007 he was made a full member of the band.

On March 2, 2007, the band recorded the concert for a future live DVD. The concert was played in Amsterdam, Netherlands, with Simon on Bass.

On April 6, 2007, the band performed live in Cairo, Egypt for the very first time on the band's "Scarsick" Tour

On April 29, 2007, an official statement was published on the official site informing of Johan Langell's departure, due to his desire of becoming a full-time parent and husband, though he will stay to finish the rest of the tour off before leaving completely. He also states that he might remain near to the band in order to teach drum parts to his replacement.

On August 19, 2007, Daniel Gildenlöw updated the band website and stated that they will release a DVD sometime in the future. They are working on the bonus materials now, and also in the end of the drummer-seeking process.

On October 6, 2007, during the show at the "Motstøy" festival in Notodden, it was announced that Johan Langell's replacement will be Leo Margarit. Both drummers attended the show and Leo entered the band by doing a 3 minute drumsolo in the end of the song "Nightmist".

On his Myspace blog Simon Andersson confirmed that the band is currently working on a new record. "Just wanna say a big thanx to all of you who came to our gigs this year! We've been doing over 30 gigs in 18 countries so far, and we have had loads of fun. We will now work with the DVD and start recording the new album as well as rehearse with our new drummer. See you soon!"

Band members

Current members

* Daniel Gildenlöw: vocals, guitar (1984−present)
* Johan Hallgren: guitar, backing vocals (1998−present)
* Fredrik Hermansson: keyboards, backing vocals (1996−present)
* Simon Andersson: bass guitar, backing vocals (2007−present)
* Léo Margarit: drums (2007−present)

Former members

* Johan Langell: drums, percussion, backing vocals (1990−2007)
* Kristoffer Gildenlöw: bass guitar, cello, backing vocals (1994−2006)
* Daniel Magdic: guitar, backing vocals (1984−1998)
* Gustaf Hielm: bass guitar (1990−1994)
* Magnus Johansson: bass guitar (1990)
* Joakim Strandberg: bass guitar (1984−1990)
* Mikael Pettersson: drums (1984−1990)



*1997: "Entropia"
*1998: "One Hour by the Concrete Lake"
*2000: "The Perfect Element, part I"
*2002: "Remedy Lane"
*2004: ""BE""
*2007: "Scarsick"

Live albums

*2004: "12:5"
*2005: ""BE" (Original Stage Production)"


*2000: "Ashes"


*1996: "Hereafter"




*2005: ""BE" (Original Stage Production)" (live DVD)


# note label|tpe2|1|b From an interview with Daniel Gildenlöw in [ December 2004]
# From page "XIX" of the liner notes booklet for "BE"
# From the news entry of the official site on [ August 10, 2005]
# From an interview with Daniel Gildenlow in [ early 2007]


* Pain of Salvation. [ Pain of Salvation's official website] . (Retrieved September 2005 onwards)
* Foreword Brazil. [ Pain of Salvation's official Brazilian fan club] .
** [ "Biography"] . (History information)
* InsideOut Music. [ Pain of Salvation at InsideOut Music] . (Retrieved September 2005 onwards)
* InsideOut Music America. [ Pain of Salvation at InsideOut Music America] . (Retrieved September 2005 onwards)
* The Pavement: Winter Edition 2005 nr.4 Interview with Fredrik Hermansson, pages 14-15

External links

* [ Pain of Salvation's official website]
* [ Pain of Salvation's official forum site]
* [ Pain of Salvation's official french community]

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