Remedy Lane has long been lauded as Pain of Salvation’s finest hour, it’s their Close to the Edge, if you like, and as per the latter, there was often the question asked, “why don’t they do something like it again”. Well, Daniel Gildenlöw has obviously been listening and has gone one better than that by bringing something exactly like Remedy Lane, almost note for note, in fact. But it’s not note for note, at least not audibly, as there’s more to be heard here, the new mix beautifully positioning every instrument into its own sonic space and frankly you hear a lot of things that you may have previously missed.
Fair to say that these days we’re used to getting remixes of albums from the ’70s, often with varying results, but for an album released only 14 years ago, this is relatively unusual (although Opeth do it too, I see). Nevertheless, the difference between the original and the new is more marked than most others I’ve heard bringing dramatic improvements. Although everything is improved, I’d give special mention to the bass. Almost absent previously, it’s now very present and correct, resonant and deep, and with an added sparkle – as though all the parts were re-recorded with a set of new strings.
There’s a crispness and edge in the drums too, especially the cymbals, helping to bring the recording to life. Daniel’s voice is crystal-clear, his lyrics which were previously a bit muffled can now be clearly understood without having to read along. Aside this, some effects have been changed – mostly removing as far as I can tell – giving a much cleaner sound overall, and with all this clarity, parts you could not hear before become apparent – there’s a bass run at 30 seconds into A Trace of Blood which surprised me, I listened back to the original and yes, it is there, but only if you search for it and know it’s coming. Many, many moments like this which will surprise and delight those that already know the album well. All this being said, note that this review is based on MP3 promos files from InsideOut – can’t wait to hear the lossless!
Now, for those that don’t know or already own the album, it’s a great moment to discover. As said previously, it’s considered by many to be Pain of Salvation’s finest release. Allegedly a semi-autobiographical concept story from a darker part of Daniel’s life, it deals with some challenging themes such as obsession, incest, still-birth, suicide, and the like. Consider the opening lyrics – “She is twelve, I’m only ten, buried in this soft mountain of pillows, parents away. She asks me have I been touched, have I done the thing with anyone yet? Silence, a shy ‘no’” – this is quite heady stuff that one would typically call “thinking man’s metal”.
And yet to classify Pain of Salvation a simply prog-metal does them no justice. When they burst on the scene in the mid-’90s they sounded like no-one else and indeed still retain that same character even now, with Daniel the only survivor. Yes, it’s quite technical, yes there are lots of double-bass-drums and two guitars alternating solos, but this doesn’t tell the story. You’ve the gritty lyrics, the great melodies and the amazing singing of Daniel – aside from having a very good voice, it possesses both a wide range and he delights in being quite theatrical with it too; it’s all extremely original and un-matched in the whole prog genre.
I have to admit that I’m a little disappointed that the track Thorn Clown, which was a bonus track on the original Japanese release, hasn’t been included here – it’s a great addition to the album and worth seeking out if you don’t know it. However, the bonus tracks we do get are a whole live rendition of the album from 2015, by the current line-up. Although very slightly slower tempo than the studio version, this is nevertheless performed incredibly well and almost note-perfect to the original, which is no mean-feat. It’s well recorded and demonstrates both the competence and potential of the band today – a feeling which I already got when I saw them at Loreley last year; they were simply on-fire.
To sum-up, this is an astonishingly good remix and a must-have for the existing fan-base as well as being an excellent entry-point for those new to the band.
“Remedy Lane Re:mixed”
01. Of Two Beginnings (Remix) (2:24)
02. Ending Theme (Remix) (4:59)
03. Fandango (Remix) (5:51)
04. A Trace Of Blood (Remix) (8:17)
05. This Heart Of Mine (I Pledge) (Remix) (4:00)
06. Undertow (Remix) (4:47)
07. Rope Ends (Remix) (7:02)
08. Chain Sling (Remix) (3:58)
09. Dryad Of The Woods (Remix) (4:55)
10. Remedy Lane (Remix) (2:16)
11. Waking Every God (Remix) (5:19)
12. Second Love (Remix) (4:21)
13. Beyond The Pale (Remix) (10:01)
Running Time – 68:17
“Remedy Lane Re:lived”
01. Remedy Lane (Live) (2:16)
02. Of Two Beginnings (Live) (2:36)
03. Ending Theme (Live) (5:33)
04. Fandango (Live) (6:18)
05. A Trace Of Blood (8:39)
06. This Heart Of Mine (I Pledge) (Live) (4:27)
07. Undertow (Live) (4:46)
08. Rope Ends (Live) (7:12)
09. Chain Sling (Live) (4:36)
10. Dryad Of The Woods (Live) (6:54)
11. Waking Every God (Live) (5:40)
12. Second Love (Live) (4:52)
13. Beyond The Pale (Live) (10:31)
Running Time – 74:29
Total Running Time – 142:46
Pain of Salvation 2001 (Original album):
Daniel Gildenlöw – Vocals, Guitars, Backing Vocals, Percussion, Additional Keyboards
Johan Hallgren – Guitars
Fredrik Hermansson – Keyboards
Kristoffer Gildenlöw – Bass
Johan Langell – Drums
Pain of Salvation 2014 (Live album):
Daniel Gildenlöw – Vocals, Guitars
Ragnar Zolberg – Guitars, Vocals
Daniel “D2” Karlsson – Keyboards
Gustaf Hielm – Bass, Vocals
Léo Margarit – Drums, Vocals
Next to the combined 2CD Digipak set, both the albums “Remedy Lane Re:mixed “ and “Remedy Lane Re:lived “ will be released individually as Gatefold 2LP+CD and as Digital Download.
Record Label: InsideOut Music
Country of Origin: Sweden
Date of Release: 1st July 2016
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