Pain Of Salvation - The Perfect Element Part 1 Inside Out Music - 2001 /images/covers/PainofSalvation.jpg I will start by dishing out a little secret of mine. The first two Pain of Salvation albums had absolutely no impact on me. I could not understand what the big deal about this band was. To me they sounded like a band trying too hard to be as progressive as possible. So when I received a copy of The Perfect Element I really dreaded listening to this album because I thought it would be just like the other albums. But as soon as I put in the CD player for the first time, I was by it. This is flat out one of the best albums in metal ever made. All the apprehensions I had about this album were immediately erased with the first song Used. This is one amazing song. It starts off really heavy; the singing by Daniel Gildenlow is phenomenal. The majority of the song he sings it in a rough, talkative fashion but during the chorus he goes into a more emotional soaring range. During the verses, the piano is really the focused instrument with the repeated melody line it constantly plays. Another song where the keyboard playing by Fredrik Hermansson is really amazing is during the emotional and somber piece Ashes. This is a shorter song but just as powerful and effective as the longer songs in this album. One of the great things about The Perfect Element is the fact that lyrical and musical themes are repeated in various parts through out the album. One of the examples of this is during the song Idiglossia. This piece takes parts of the ideas from Used and Ashes to create a really impressive song. It contains both crushing guitar riffs as well as more emotional intricate passages courtesy of Johan Hallgren and Daniel Gildenlow. An amazing guitar solo is found at the section from 5:24 to 5:48; it is fast and heavy. Her voices is another highlight of The Perfect Element. It starts off with heavy distorted keyboards but for the most part the song is slower. However, what I enjoy most about this song is the instrumental section. It starts about the 3:49 mark and goes until the 6:44 mark. These are 3 of the best instrumental minutes you will ever hear in an album. The intense melodies of the guitars, the keyboards and the tight drumming by Johan Langell are awesome! I swear I hear Middle Eastern and Caribbean influences in this section and it all ends superbly with a grand choir with some string arrangements for good measure. This song is my absolute favorite from The Perfect Element. It shows the band at its absolute best. The last song I will talk about is In the Flesh. This is another impressive highlight. More intense and excellent musicianship by the entire band is showcased and plenty of tempo changes are featured without warning. I especially love the part that starts around 4:10 and it last for about 20 seconds. What more can I say about this album to show its brilliance? Frankly, I think I have said just enough to wet your listening appetite. I can not say enough how awesome The Perfect Element is and it belongs in the CD collection of every metal fan. Get this album now!!