PAIN OF SAL­VA­TION

Prog - - Take A Bow - GARY MACKENZIE

VENUE IS­LING­TON ASSEM­BLY HALL, LON­DON

DATE 13/09/2018

SUP­PORT KINGCROW

Kingcrow’s in­clu­sion on this tour gives the Ital­ian prog metal vet­er­ans the op­por­tu­nity to play to their own fans along­side much de­served ex­po­sure to a wider au­di­ence. Show­cas­ing tracks from their re­cent The Per­sis­tence re­lease as well as air­ing a cou­ple of older tunes, they win over a fair swathe of a par­ti­san Pain Of Sal­va­tion au­di­ence, clos­ing with the mi­nor epic If Only.

A suit­ably at­mo­spheric in­tro ush­ers in the fe­ro­cious and tricksy First Tues­day as Pain Of Sal­va­tion gather, with Rea­sons and the heartrend­ing Mean­ing­less up next. For a man who nearly died of a hor­ri­ble flesh-eat­ing dis­ease just a few years ago and then spent a long time in re­cov­ery, Daniel Gilden­löw’s voice is just as as­tound­ing as ever, and he looks grat­i­fy­ingly healthy and full of beans tonight.

Strik­ing im­ages abound: Gilden­löw play­ing the whole of the beau­ti­ful gui­tar piece Fall­ing on one knee, then sil­hou­et­ted in pierc­ing white light, arms out­stretched, de­liv­er­ing

The Per­fect El­e­ment (which also fea­tures won­der­ful four-part har­monies), or up­lit in som­bre hues on an oth­er­wise dark­ened stage.

He leads his band through tracks from their most re­cent re­lease, along­side songs from across their back cat­a­logue (al­though in­ter­est­ingly, in what feels like a very def­i­nite de­ci­sion, there’s noth­ing from ei­ther Rem­edy Lane or BE). How is it that a band who have been tour­ing last year’s In The Pass­ing Light Of Day on and off for about 18 months now still man­age to bring such vi­tal­ity and ex­cite­ment to the songs?

To­p­less and in­tense, re­turned gui­tarist Jo­han Hall­gren prowls like a caged an­i­mal, and very ably shares vo­cal du­ties with Gilden­löw. He demon­strates re­peat­edly, es­pe­cially on tracks like King­dom Of Loss and Ashes, that he can riff and shred bril­liantly.

It’s not all earnest sever­ity. A quirky gear change leads us into Disco Queen, with the light­ing rig re­flect­ing the mu­sic in a twisted take on gar­ish, 70s night­club pri­mary colours, the crew on the desk get­ting in on the act by don­ning hats fes­tooned with fairy lights.

The set con­cludes with the in­sane polyrhythms and met­ric mod­u­la­tion of Hand­ful Of Noth­ing, the bru­tal yet lovely In­side Out and the stun­ning en­ergy of Full Throt­tle Tribe.

Re­turn­ing for the en­cores, Used and an emo­tion­ally charged and pow­er­ful In The Pass­ing Light Of Day, Pain Of Sal­va­tion leave a rap­tur­ous au­di­ence. While their ta­lent and ut­ter com­mit­ment to what they do can’t be in ques­tion, Gilden­löw and his co­horts com­bine this with some­thing other sim­i­larly la­belled bands of­ten miss – a raw, some­times ag­o­nis­ingly hon­est hu­man­ity that bleeds through ev­ery­thing they do.

“THERE IS A RAW, SOME­TIMES AG­O­NIS­INGLY

HON­EST HU­MAN­ITY THAT BLEEDS THROUGH EV­ERY­THING

PAIN OF SAL­VA­TION DO.”

LIGHT AND SHADOW: PAIN OF SAL­VA­TION DE­LIVER A NU­ANCED SET.

NO PAIN, NO GAIN: PAIN OF SAL­VA­TION’S DANIEL GILDEN­LÖW.

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