The Porcelain Throne: Pain of Salvation

2139
92
Share:
Pain of Salvation

The Porcelain Throne is a column that discusses the bands you put on a pedestal, specifically, a water-filled ceramic-based pedestal. What is the Toilet of Hell if not a place to dump your passions and leave for the next guy to flush?

Everyone has those bands that they love from years past, but as your tastes evolve and music libraries grow, you push them to the side.  Bring out your obsessions, your secret pleasures, your comfort food bands, and deliver them to the Toilet of Hell for all to see.

To start this column off, I am going to write about a band that will surely encourage you to write your own, if only to dig this column out of the gutter. I apologize in advance to you listeners who can’t tolerate a little bit of cheese, pretentiousness, and random high-pitched squeals in your music, for the first band on the throne is my beloved Pain of Salvation.

The progressive rock/metal band from Sweden released their first album in 1997, but wouldn’t enter my life for another ten years after that and 7 full concept albums later. Good music was very new to me at that point in my life, so when something as conceptually complicated and emotional as Pain of Salvation hit my disc-man, I had no choice but to study it to no end. I could bore you to tears with my lyrical analysis of each concept album, but let’s focus on what matters: the music.  I will suggest a starting point in some songs that I find interesting, but if you have the time, feel free to start everything from the beginning.


Entropia (1997) and One Hour by the Concrete Lake (1998)

Musically, I find these albums are the most similar so I am going to group them together. I find that these albums are more enjoyable once you are already a fan of their style, so I will leave most of the discussion to the songs that might catch your attention.  If anything, these albums are a raw sample of the style they pivot off for the rest of their work. (Start 2:39)

This section of Nightmist is a funky collection of solos capped off by Daniel Gildenlöw’s bone cheezing “WHY SHALL I DIE” screech that I can’t help but love.


The Perfect Element, Part 1 (2000)

PoS gets a little heavier and more robust with their sound on The Perfect Element. They start to perfect their ability to take a riff and build a song around it, usually with a huge payoff somewhere towards the end. Daniel’s voice seems to be a binary switch with most people that determines whether or not they can dig the band. I can vaguely see the other side of the coin, but I love the goofy inflections and obnoxious scales (skip to 3:35 of the next video to see what I mean).

This live studio performance of Reconciliation is close to the album version, but it does strip a little bit of the heaviness from the essence of the album. In typical PoS fashion, the best song on the album is also the longest, so if you really want to get a feel for the studio album, the song The Perfect Element is where you should start.


Remedy Lane (2002)

If I have one complaint about Pain of Salvation, it’s that their album artwork is a mess. I seriously have no idea where they were going with this or any of their first four albums (don’t even look up One Hour by the Concrete Lake, it’s awful and confusing). Anyway, I tend to go back and forth on how much I like Remedy Lane.  I finally got the honor of seeing them live last week (see my title picture), and the Remedy Lane songs they played KILLED, but the album production tends to get on my nerves occasionally. There’s a certain exotic feel to the album that only resonates with me about half the time, but what never falters is my absolute love of the song below. (Start 5:50)

Beyond the Pale contains what I believe to be my favorite two minutes in all of music. In short, this song is about a couple who realized the pleasures of intimacy as children, and the pain that comes from growing up too early.  The section I started the song at is the point where the relationship is deteriorating, and the emotion in the vocals just nails that feeling.


BE (2004)

Oh boy. BE. Many PoS listeners know BE as an impossibly complicated and pretentious concept album. I will readily admit that it is not for everyone, and actually took me months to learn to admire. I studied the concepts within the album way more than I would like to admit, looking for hidden meanings and possibly even some deeper life-changing purpose. It sounds stupid, and I know now that it is, but the fact that I thought one hour of music could contain that amount of profound knowledge speaks to its ambition. If I had to sum up the concept in a sentence, it would be: BE is a theatrical performance with a timeframe that spans the entire existence of humanity, with characters including the first man learning to how to Be (in every way, shape and form), the richest man in the world at the time of the world’s demise, and a satellite drifting into space that contains all of what humanity became before its demise. (Start 2:34)

This video is from the “BE Original Stage Production” which is, for a lack of words, a clusterfuck. A beautiful, genius, delightfully confusing clusterfuck.  I own the DVD and have watched it no fewer than ten times, and this closing song still sends chills down my spine.  I have no idea what Skyrim-era instrument Daniel is playing there, but he rips it to pieces.


Scarsick (2007)

Scarsick is a very angst-y anti-capitalism / anti-American (well, more about the cultural pitfalls that America was embodying at the time) album. There are so many amusing and powerful moments in the album (including a song that is based around a disco beat, and most of the lyrics are a double entendre between sex and a record player, very amusing indeed), but for me, the whole album is really brought together by one song.

I don’t have a lot to say for this one because it stands so well on its own. From my experience in sharing this band with others, Scarsick is really the album to start with.  It’s less over-the-top progressive, it’s message is clear, and the production is probably my favorite of all the albums. However, for me it lays pretty low on my list of favorites because it can be conceptually heavy handed at times.


Road Salt One (2010) and Road Salt Two (2011)

The Road Salt albums have a very old-school hard rock influence but with that unmistakable PoS flare. I like many individual songs on the two albums, but overall I still haven’t listened to them enough to develop a full opinion. The mix of old and new throughout the albums is interesting with filtered vocals and a very crunchy guitar tone.

Thank you if you stayed with me all this time, but now it is your turn! Do you have a band (preferably not one we talk about all the time on here) that you can do something like this with? I will assist with editing, formatting, and all that stuff that normal people hate to do.  Shoot me an e-mail at tohthrone@gmail.com at any stage in the process, whether you have a band in mind but you’re unsure about it, or you have a full completed essay, I’ll be happy to help. Let’s keep the toilet swirling!

Did you dig this? Take a second to support Toilet ov Hell on Patreon!
  • Howard Dean

    Bestial Mockery represent pretty much everything I love about metal. CHRISTCRUSHING HAMMERCHAINSAW!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ktmk-ZlgYw

    • CÖÄL RÖLL FRÖM THE TÖILET BÖWL

      eh, going back to the Sororcide I paused to have a listen to this. Can’t say I didn’t try it.

    • Death

      Doesn’t really do it for me.

    • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

      All fucking day!

    • Xan

      Hot damn, that is masterful.

    • crazytaco_12

      2kvlt4meeeeee

    • RustyShackleford

      god damn i hope you run again so i can vote for you. yep to this a thousand times

  • Death

    While I’m not a huge Pain of Salvation fan, I do love Remedy Lane.

    • YourLogicIsFlushed

      Remedy Lane really is Trve PoS, maybe Perfect Element too.

  • CONAN THE MOTHERFUCKING KING

    this day in metal
    1976 – rush all the world’s a stage double live album recorded at toronto’s massey hall was released.
    1986 – iron maiden released somewhere in time. I remember some kids in a band across the alley trying to nail waysted years, it went on for months on end but i still love the song.

    • Cock ov Steele

      Somewhere in Time was really good but it seemed a bit rushed and was practically the template for Seventh Son.

      • Scrimm

        As a kid SIT was my least favorite of the “classic” Maiden albums but the years have been kind to it. I love it so much more now. Still not as much as SSOASS or Powerslave but I’m not sure that is possible.

        • That’s their zenith for me–the trilogy of Powerslave, Somewhere in Time, and Seventh Son of a Seventh Son. I don’t ever really revisit any of their other albums (yes, not even the earlier classics).

          • Scrimm

            I wouldn’t near as much as I do but Revelations is my favorite song so Piece of Mind still gets played a lot.

          • CONAN THE MOTHERFUCKING KING

            Yea, revelations is near the top for me as well. I listen to a channel on sirius xm called ozzys bone yard. It’s about 25 – 30 % ozzy , sabbath (dio and ozzy fronted) and a mix of other great stuff like iron maiden, rush, thin lizzy, dio, ufo, saxon, NWOBHM, older stuff like budgie. But every 20 minutes or so a maiden song is played and it never gets old to me.

          • Scrimm

            Sounds cool, that’s a solid list of classic bands right there. Don’t have sirius myself.

          • CONAN THE MOTHERFUCKING KING

            My dad has it in his car so i pay $4.00 a month to get it on my computer, there is an 80’s metal channel which i like and a supposedly death metal channel that has a horrible host who professes a love for metal but is always shilling for the flavor of the month like suicide silence and even the dreaded king 810. Then he said there was a vote that said listeners were not interested in straight up death metal or black metal. I never heard anything about that. It’s a subscription service which starts at 12 bucks for the car per month so as a listener i am paying the dj’s and i want them to keep opinions to themselves. If a guest comes on like priest or something of course their is going to be some reverance. Some of the djs are old guys who have kicking around since the early 80’s, former journalists who have cool stories about ozzy’s bizarre behavior from back then that is entertaining. But one guy was just shilling for motley crue on how great the farewell tour was going just because he hung out with them in 84. That was 30 years ago and most people listening to the classic metal channel are over 25 and know exactly what MC have been up to over the years. But another guy took a good shot at nikki sixx, he commented on the tour saying , well they are doing the best they can i guess, maybe should have stopped a few years ago. Then he said ” for the first time sixx is going to be walking in the grocery store and some old lady going to ask him if he is in a band and he will have to say no ” A subtle kick in the balls i thought.
            Eddie trunk says the not touring is a loophole and they will be doing another run in vegas that is not technically touring. The word is though that the tour started out with a lot of kinks and it is just getting worse. Neil has the mic stand in the crowd for half the show and mick mars is out of tune. And these guys are younger that a lot of bands by nearly 10 years with the exception of mars. And the foolishness of bringing out a guy who has been playing since the late 60’s as an opening act was shooting themselves in the foot. Cooper is outperforming them on a nightly basis with a young band and better vocals. I was also shocked this show was not a 3 hour spectacle, it’s the farewell for chrissakes. I don’t care about the hamster cage drumset or lights or any bullshit i want to hear songs. Kiss should be doing 3 hour sets too. They have only been around almost half a century ! Rush are one of the few bands who can do a 3 hour show and it’s because they have made enough good songs over the years that they don’t have to stick to the same set for 20 years. The only thing kiss play since 79 is one song off dynasty, love it loud, lick it up (both vincent co-writes) and heavens on fire. And i think they played one turd off sonic boom and monster on the last tours. Shameful, sorry for the long rant, i haven’t commented much today and sometimes this stuff just bugs the shit out of me.

          • MoshOff

            That horrible host dude is Jose Mangin. FOR THE LOVE OV GOD don’t youtube him. Siriusly.

          • CONAN THE MOTHERFUCKING KING

            Yea, i have seen pictures of him, he looks just likes he sounds, reminds me of speedy gonzalez while eddie trunk reminds me of foghorn leghorn. I am shocked as liquid metal is playing black crown initiate as i speak and before that played vader, immolation and testament. I can appreciate trunk because he sticks to what he knows and is not annoying to listen to especially since kiss got in the HOF, he was harping about that for years. Now he talks about how great UFO is non stop which is better since they need the support.

          • Janitor Jim Dvggan

            I know of Eddie Trunk and his love of UFO is awesome as they need more support.

          • Deputy Dipshit

            He makes some killer Mexican food though.

          • Scrimm

            HAHAHA not bothered by a rant at all. That’s one of the many reasons I don’t like the radio, and Motley Crue bugs me anyway. The dj’s on the morning show here are pretty funny but whenever death or black metal comes up they try to make fun of it but just sound stupid cause they don’t know what they are talking about.

          • Janitor Jim Dvggan

            I used to have Sirius but I never renewed my membership after the one year I had it. I loved Ozzy’s Boneyard and the 80’s metal channel was good. Whatever the 80’s metal one was called had a lot of really obscure bands from that time which I liked.

        • Virgil the Ghost Poet

          I love Fear of the Dark, SSOASS, and Somewhere In Time. In that order.

          • Scrimm

            For me It is Powerslave SSOASS and then SIT. I could list them all in order but who cares.

          • Virgil the Ghost Poet

            I need to listen to more of their earlier works.

    • KJM

      Great album and an even better tour.

    • Janitor Jim Dvggan

      I loved All The World’s A Stage. I saw a vinyl copy of it somewhere and I almost bought it but the price was insane so I ended up not buying it. I also have Somewhere In Time as well as Powerslave and Seventh Son of a Seventh Son but they are on CD. I never liked Somewhere In Time but I still like it more than all the albums Maiden did in the 90’s.

  • King Shit of Fuck Mountain
  • CÖÄL RÖLL FRÖM THE TÖILET BÖWL

    These guys remind me of newer Fates Warning, only without Ray Adlers horrible vox

  • Xan

    As much as I love death metal and grindcore, the bands that I am most passionate about are more somber in tone. Woods of Ypres and Novembers Doom are two of my favorites. Here’s some of my favorites: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUxQiMDtJF4 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1ut1XIOIgg https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wnq-Ap3Faj8 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjqB2-_-yIo

    • Death

      Woods of Ypres is great. Love this song.
      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=T9TvcAMENJE

      • Xan

        Another one of my favorites. Their entire discography is great but the last two albums and the vinyl EP are just unflushable.

        • Keegan Lavern Still

          Dat Home.

          • Xan

            Beautiful album cover too:

      • old_man_doom

        Gold was a master wordsmith. His lyrics are among the most poignant pieces of writing I’ve ever heard in the extreme metal world. I miss the fact that there will never be another Woods of Ypres album, but his musical legacy is fucking beautiful, man.

        • Xan

          The most wonderful of musicians always seem to die much too early. David Gold, Chuck Schuldiner, Jess Hanneman, Randy Rhodes, Dave Brockie, and many more. David Gold is the only musician that has ever written a piece of music that made my metallic heart cry. I’ve been listening to a couple other bands he’s been in recently. He only did an EP with The Northern Ontario Black Metal Preservation Society, but it is pretty good. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2cG-sYrtJk

    • YourLogicIsFlushed

      Write some shit and send it in!

      • Xan

        I’ve got, like, four posts in the queue.

        • YourLogicIsFlushed

          Haha I meant something for The Porcelain Throne specifically, but fair enough.

          • Xan

            Ah! I feel rather moronic now. I’ll have to see if I can come up with something that can do the band justice. I’m swamped with shit right now (it’s midterms in a week) so I’ll get on it after that.

          • YourLogicIsFlushed

            No rush, I don’t expect too many submissions haha

          • Janitor Jim Dvggan

            I have a good one for The Porcelain Throne of which I have a preview of in this comments section. It’s of the band UFO and how amazing they are.

          • Nordling Rites Ov Karhu

            If I would bring myself to face this task called “writing” and would consider submitting the supposed article to be released as a part of this column, would I have to “write” about a band that is at least remotely considered metal?

          • YourLogicIsFlushed

            It depends, I would say it should at least appeal to people who like metal in some way. I’m open to pretty much anything though. If you decide to give it a shot, tohthrone@gmail will be there.

          • Nordling Rites Ov Karhu

            I’ll propably try and send you something early on.

    • The Satan Ov Hell

      Walked into a hot topic “no woods ov ypres here, only woods ov posers”

    • Keegan Lavern Still

      I gush over Woods of Ypres and David Gold’s lyrics so hard. Grey Skies and Electric Lights holds a very dear place in my squishy heart, and it’ll likely still be there till the day I let loose my bowels in death.

      • Xan

        One of the few bands where I actually care about the lyrics. It really sucks that he died. Why can’t we take these shitcore bands and trade them for David Gold and Chuck Schuldiner?

    • crazytaco_12

      Any album’s anybody would recommend checking out of WOY?

      • Xan

        Woods IV: The Green Album and Woods 5: Grey Skies and Electric Light are the best in my opinion. The other two albums and EP are much more black metal. I can’t really describe the sound of Woods of Ypres because they really are a unique sounding band. They’ve got elements of doom, black, gothic, and even a smudge of folk (though this is more lyric-wise). Here’s their most recent album. Sadly, David Gold died so there won’t be any more music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRLZwRK5hPk

        • crazytaco_12

          Thanks man!

          • Xan

            My pleasure.

  • Janitor Jim Dvggan

    UFO, even though they are not technically metal, are the band I put on my porcelain throne. Their guitar playing from any of their guitarists is top notch, Phil Mogg is one of my favorite singers of any band, Andy Parker can do an amazing drum solo like he did when I saw them last year and their bassist is very good as well. The keyboard player Paul Raymond is good as well but he is not as good as the others who are so amazing. This video is a concert of them from 1986 with Phil Mogg and other performers who are relatively good. Even though this was them touring my least favorite album of theirs they can do an amazing performance even for terrible material.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOSA3fDTgmE

    • Cock ov Steele

      Not to mention Pete Way (bassist) is probably the single biggest influence on Steve Harris, without UFO, the mighty Maiden would possibly not have been so mighty.

      • Janitor Jim Dvggan

        Maiden did a good cover of Doctor Doctor of which I have heard once and been unable to find since. Their live album Strangers In The Night is my favorite live album bar none. This is only a preview of the article for this series I plan on doing of UFO. They have been going for so long and they deserve much more fame than they got in their heyday.

        • Cock ov Steele

          True. And You can’t find Maiden’s Doctor Doctor on CD/vinyl or is it not even on youtube?

      • CONAN THE MOTHERFUCKING KING

        Waysted was an ok band too. The early 80’s years with mandy meyers on guitar were problably the low point for UFO although a lot of bands go through lulls. These album covers tickle my fancy though.

        • Janitor Jim Dvggan

          Mandy Meyers was not on guitar. It was Paul Chapman with Atomik Tommy M following him and a revolving door after him. Michael Schenker came back in 1995 and left in 2003 to be replaced with Vinnie Moore who is currently in the band.

          • CONAN THE MOTHERFUCKING KING

            thanks for correcting me on that, i knew it was someone with a M in their name, meyer was on the asia astra album, gotthard and is in krokus right now. I should have looked it up but i prefer to put down what i think is right and in that way test my knowledge. Looked up meyer and he is in unisonic with kiske and hansen as well. Plus he was born in my home province of saskatchewan ! Learned some interesting things from my mistake.

          • Janitor Jim Dvggan

            I have Astra on vinyl and he is on the back of the album. I do love me some Krokus though. Also, I am listening to the UFO album with Atomik Tommy M on it called Misdemeanor. Who thought this should be labeled UFO? It is not UFO and Phil Mogg should have known better than to call it by the UFO name.

    • CONAN THE MOTHERFUCKING KING

      Are you sure aren’t eddie trunk ? If you don’t know who he is i will tell you, it’s not an insult.

      • Janitor Jim Dvggan

        I know who he is but I am not him. I’m just a gigantic UFO fan. They’re making a new album for release early next year and I am so excited about that.

        • CONAN THE MOTHERFUCKING KING

          I knew you were not trunk, just an attempt at a joke since he talks about UFO non stop on his radio show. It would really be something if schenker would come back for an album or play some live shows.

          • Janitor Jim Dvggan

            He did in 1995 and that continued until 2002. Vinnie Moore does go together with them really well though.

  • Death

    I have been listening to a lot of Current 93 today. Their newest album is a really good one. It’s probably going to end up on the end of the year list.
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-8RCQxMqEHk

    My favourite album of theirs is Thunder Perfect Mind. I think that it’s one of the few albums that are completely flawless to me.
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Br5UIiOr2-w

    • JWG

      Wow. Given how often Current 93 is mentioned in the bowels of TV Tropes compared to how near-completely nonexistent the band is in posts outside of it I had pretty much written them off as a gag by the paedo-brony apologists of that site (and Cracked.com) and not a real thing.

      But apparently they’re a real thing. My mind is blown.

      I kind of *must* know more now…

      • Death

        Current 93 is a real band, and a great band. They started as an industrial group but moved to neofolk. Really good stuff.

        • Virgil the Ghost Poet

          I prefer their industrial stuff.

    • Virgil the Ghost Poet

      Are you looking forward to the new Godflesh?

      • Death

        I am.

      • Janitor Jim Dvggan

        The new Godflesh album leaked. I am so excited to listen to it. It might beat The Satanist for album of the year on my list.

  • God

    This album is pretty much unflushable. plus, dem vocals. Christian Alvestam is a beast.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TenMNABebFA

    • YourLogicIsFlushed

      I friggin loved that album. Big intro into heavier prog for me. Too bad there was never a follow up with the same lineup.

    • Sponge Of Mystery

      this is the only scar symmetry album and i own, and the only one i care to own

      • God

        Id check out the other ones too. Pitch Black Progress is close in nearly topping holographic universe.

  • crazytaco_12

    Dude, this Pain of Salvation band is pretty good stuff. That funk part in the first song was fucking badass, I’m a total sucker for shit like that. Anyhow, I’d say Iron Maiden is my porcelain throne band because I don’t really listen to their music much anymore just because I’ve memorized most of it and am busy trying to expand my musical horizons/just check out bands I’m interested in. But every now and again, I’ll spin their shit and sing every word along with it. Definitely nowhere near a guilty pleasure or anything of the sort though.

    • YourLogicIsFlushed

      Thanks for checking it out. I’d totally tell you to do one on Maiden but I doubt anyone here needs that walk-through. If you come up with anything else, start writing!

      • crazytaco_12

        Ah, couldn’t even tell that you were trying to get people to do a write up on a certain band each week or whenever. I feel like I could maybe do one for Prong possibly…I’m still working on a bunch of different posts though, so that’s a backburner project for sure

        • YourLogicIsFlushed

          Oh that would be an interesting one. tohthrone@gmail will be waiting.

          • thanks for the write-up! i remember discussing this band with you a while ago…
            is your offer open? like could i do one and e-mail it over?

          • YourLogicIsFlushed

            Yeah, this post was more of a “I want everyone to do a write up, and I can only really do one band as an example” but I didn’t make that apparent enough. Write away, I am looking forward to it.

          • can i do Now That’s What I Call Music, or have you called that one?

          • YourLogicIsFlushed

            Their discography is huge! And that vocalist is amazing, he can do so many different styles. They are so good, all their songs are on the radio all the time.

          • crazytaco_12

            If I get the time, I would be glad to write one. I’m already busy enough whipping up new turds for the toilet as it is!

  • happy pig

    these are strange times—many changes lie ahead–as the world sheds it’s skin–

    it is good that the jedi –have usurped control of the toilet pedestal on the internet—a powerful and honorable status—-that has been reclaimed by those of true heart

    watch this post jfk—false toilet award ceremony—-a memory of the past —and a reminder of how far we have come,,,

    salute
    ——————
    (listen to both at the same time 100% volume/while watching the award ceremony)

    ed asner and valerie harper winning the 1970 emmy award for the mary tyler moore show
    http://youtu.be/qwRDdCKgtr0

    darth vader/imperial march theme–10 hour mix
    http://youtu.be/wbWOVfY-rxU

    • Please write a post for us, please.

    • CONAN THE MOTHERFUCKING KING

      welcome, i have been awaiting your arrival.
      1000 + points for the asner – harper connection.

  • Nordling Rites Ov Karhu

    That Martius-Nauticus II seems very good, I love overtly pretentious songs/albums when done good. This seems such.

    • YourLogicIsFlushed

      It’s a strange and brilliant album. There are a lot of filler songs that can be weird if you’re not totally into the concept (which I am), but the real songs in it are all great.