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The P's Continued...........

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  • stevesly@aol.com
    621.  OZZY OSBOURNE – LIVE AND LOUD – 1993   This is a two disc live album from Ozzy and company was recorded on the “No More Tears” tour in 1991 /
    Message 1 of 3 , Dec 2, 2007
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      621.  OZZY OSBOURNE – LIVE AND LOUD – 1993
       
      This is a two disc live album from Ozzy and company was recorded on the “No More Tears” tour in 1991 / 1992.  His band at the time consisted of Zack Wilde, Randy Castillo, Michael Inez and Kevin Jones.  Ozzy has done numerous live albums over the years, and I think this one ranks up there with his best ones.  At the time this tour was billed as Ozzy’s “farewell” gig.  I don’t remember the exact circumstances, but he is still out there on the road today.  Overall this album is great.  Pretty much every Ozzy classic you could want is here along with several Sabbath tunes.  Ozzy is in fine voice throughout the whole thing, and Zak Wylde is a maniac on guitar.  The energy is high and the band smoking through the whole set.  Good stuff.
       
      622.  .PAATOS – KALLOCAIN – 2004
       
      Paatos is yet another talented progressive rock band from Sweden .  Their sound is somewhat unique.  It is rather moody and mellow for the most part reminding me of bands like White Willow or possibly even The Sundays.  I have also seen them compared to Bjork in some reviews and I can see where this connection could be made.  This album was produced by Stephen Wilson of Porcupine Tree although his influence is not as up front and apparent as it is on some of his production projects for other bands.  Overall this is a very nice disc.  The band is not overtly proggy, but somewhat straddles the middle ground between prog and commercial.  They describe their music as “melonconic post rock” and I guess that is a pretty good way to put it.  These guys are worth checking out.
       
      623.  PAIN OF SALVATION – ENTROPIA – 1999
       
      Sweden’s Pain Of Salvation is one of the more unique progressive metal bands on the scene today.  They continually move in different directions and challenge the notion of just what a progressive metal band can be.   “Entropia” was the band’s debut album and is one of my favorites from them.  The album is a concept piece with a story that is rather involved so I won’t go into it here, but both the music and the lyrics cover a lot of ground.  Band leader Daniel Gildenlow wrote the material and also serves as vocalist and lead guitar.  Everyone in the band is top notch and the band move effortlessly from a myriad of musical styles all framed within a prog metal whole.  For those of you who came to Pain Of Salvation with their later albums, if you don’t have this one you are missing out.  It should defiantly be a part of any of the band’s fans collection.
       
      624.  PAIN OF SALVATION – ONE HOUR BY THE CONCRETE LAKE – 1999
       
      Pain Of Salvations second album is another concept piece by mastermind Daniel Gildenlow.   The story is rather complicated so I am not going to go into it in my review, but suffice to say it covers a lot of social and political ground.  This is probably the band’s heaviest album, and does not contain us much variety in the music as some of their other stuff.  This is not a criticism however; as the music here fits the overall feel of the material to a t.  Along with the dense lyrics and vocals there are plenty of instrumental fireworks throughout the disc for anyone who enjoys quality prog metal.  This is not my favorite POS album, but it is definitely a must own for fans of the band.
       
      625.  PAIN OF SALVATION – THE PERFECT ELEMENT – 2000
       
      This is the album that first introduced me to Pain Of Salvation.  I also had the one and only opportunity to see them live at ProgDay.  I still remember the band opening with the leadoff track from this album “Used” with it’s brutal refrain of “getting used to pain”.  Listening to it again, the lyric is still powerful and the music brutal.  This is another top notch progressive metal album.  The music once again explores a large amount of territory and the lyrics explore a myriad of topics relevant to today’s headlines.  This is another concept album (as are all of POS releases) exploring the lives of two children whose lives turn into a chilling downward spiral into chaos in a mythic city.  Highlights include the previously mentioned “Used”, “Ashes” (which almost sounds like Queensrcyhe), “Her Voices”, and especially the closing track “The Perfect Element”.  Pain Of Salvation puts out consistently quality progressive metal and this album is no exception.
       
       
       
      626. PAIN OF SALVATION – REMEDY LANE – 2002
       
      This is another outstanding album from the band.  Another conceptual album this one covers an amazing amount of musical ground ranking up with the best the band has done.  The music, vocals and lyrics are all top notch.  This is progressive metal at its finest.  Highlights include the three longest tracks on the disc “A Trace Of Blood”, “The Road Ends” and “Beyond The Pale”.  Really the whole disc is strong.  This album is another must own for fans of innovative progressive metal.
       
      627.PAIN OF SALVATION – BE – 2004
       
      Just when you think these guys have done it all, they come out with the most varied and probably the best album of their career.  This one tends to divide fans of the band into two camps.  Those that think it is the best thing they have ever done, and those that think that they went too far over the top into a mishmash of half baked pretentious bloat.  I happen to fall in the former category.  For me this is the band’s masterpiece.  It is probably the least metal of any of their albums, although there are sections of it that are plenty heavy enough.  The band also throw in sections of folk, traditional ethnic / Celtic music, elements of jazz, ballads, and even a spiritual very similar in style to someone like The Blind Boys Of Alabama.  The album was originally conceived as a multimedia stage production and was performed in its entirety a number of times before being released as an audio disc.  This is an album that may take several listens to really sink in, but there are many layers to be found here and patient listening will have its rewards.  I would probably not recommend this album to beginners just looking to get into the band as it is all quite different from most of their other work, but for fans this is a must own. 
       
      628.PALLAS – THE SENTINEL - 1984
       
      Pallas were one of a handful of bands to emerge from the European neo-progressive rock scene in the early 80’s.  Although never reaching the level of success that bands like Marillion gained, Pallas did manage to carve out a loyal fan base that remains to this day.  Many fans consider “The Sentinel” to be the band’s best album and the “Atlantis Suite” section of this album to be their crowning achievement.  Indeed for a debut album this was quite impressive at the time.  Listening to it again today after all these years, the material does sound very 80’s – ish which definitely dates the album a bit.  The first few songs are short rockers with the whole second half of the album dealing with the Atlantis theme.  Actually I am not really sure where the “concept” part of the album begins and ends since all of the songs don’t really seem to fit, but the overall end of the world scenario is present throughout.  Highlights include “Eastwest”, “March On Atlantis”, “Heart Attack” and “Atlantis”.   A few of the shorter tracks sound as if they were meant to be 80’s radio singles and don’t fit the rest of the album all that well, but this is a minor criticism.  If you like early 80’s neo progressive rock this one is essential.  If you don’t like it this one won’t do anything to change your mind.
       
      629.PALLAS – BEAT THE DRUM – 1999
       
      After some limited success in the early 80’s Pallas went on hiatus for more than a decade.  In 1998 the band re-formed with new vocalist and front man Alan Reed and the modern day version of Pallas was introduced with this album.  This is a good, but not great Pallas album in my opinion.  Reed is a very good vocalist and fits in well with the rest of the band.  The music would probably be classified as neo-prog with songs mostly on the shorter side, with quite a pop nod to most of it.  There is some very nice guitar work to be found here and they keys are all over the place.  The lyrics get a bit weighty tackling social and political themes at times.  Highlights include “Insomniac”, “Fragments Of The Sun”, “Beat The Drum”, and “Ghosts”.  Overall this is a very nice reunion album from Pallas, although I think they would get better with later releases.
       
      630.PALLAS – THE CROSS AND THE CRUCIBLE – 2001
       
      “Cross And The Crucible” is a concept album of sorts that explores the history of science verses religion and their often adversarial relationship in world events.  I actually find the concept interesting subject matter and the band seem to present both sides about evenly.  It is interesting in looking at other reviews for this album they really seem to be mixed.  In fact some really seem to dislike this disc.  To my ears it is an improvement over their previous effort “Beat The Drum” and I really like it for the most part.  Yes there are a few passages here and there where the band pretty blatantly emulates Yes and Peter Gabriel, but it is not to a point where it is what I would call a rip off.  Some complain that Pallas are not prog enough, others claim that they are not metal enough.  To me the band finds a rather nice niche between progressive rock, pop, and metal and this album pulls everything off nicely.  I personally think this is one of the band’s stronger albums.

      Steve Sly
      ProgDay 2008
      http://www.progday.com

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    • Don Arnold
      Hi Steve & gang, ... Thanks. I ll have to add this to my want list! ... Great Cd. Powerful. ... Agreed. Perhaps more melodic and more accessible than TPE.
      Message 2 of 3 , Dec 6, 2007
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        Hi Steve & gang,


        --- stevesly@... wrote:

        >
        > 623.  PAIN OF SALVATION – ENTROPIA – 1999
        >
        > For those of you who came to Pain Of Salvation with
        > their later albums, if you don’t have this one you
        > are missing out.  It should defiantly be a part of
        > any of the band’s fans collection.

        Thanks. I'll have to add this to my want list!

        > 625.  PAIN OF SALVATION – THE PERFECT ELEMENT –

        Great Cd. Powerful.

        > 626. PAIN OF SALVATION – REMEDY LANE – 2002
        >
        > This album is another must
        > own for fans of innovative progressive metal.

        Agreed. Perhaps more melodic and more accessible than
        TPE. More variety too.

         

        > 627.PAIN OF SALVATION – BE – 2004
        >
        > I happen to fall in the former category.  For me >
        this is the band’s masterpiece.  >

        Put me in that same category. Outstanding CD.

        Hmmm...I notice that Scarsick isn't reviewed. Have
        you steared clear of it? I picked it up a month ago
        and have mixed feelings. It is no masterpiece in my
        books. It has some fine moments, but the CD just
        doesn't grab me as their others (that I own) have.

        > 630.PALLAS – THE CROSS AND THE CRUCIBLE – 2001

        Their next one, Bringer of Dreams, is, in my opinion,
        their best. And it's chock full of progginess too.

        Cheers,

        Don



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      • stevesly@aol.com
        ... Thanks. I ll have to add this to my want list!
        Message 3 of 3 , Dec 6, 2007
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          Don wrote:
           
           >>PAIN OF SALVATION ENTROPIA 1999
          Thanks. I'll have to add this to my want list! <<
           
          It is defiantly worth picking up.
           
          >>Hmmm...I notice that Scarsick isn't reviewed. Have
          you steared clear of it?<<
           
          Not really, it is just one of those albums that I have not picked up yet.  I will probably get it at some point.
           
          Pain Of Salvation remains one of my all time favorite performances at ProgDay.  They were great live and were all really nice guys.
           
          >>Their next one, Bringer of Dreams, is, in my opinion,
          their best. And it's chock full of progginess too.<<
           
          Yes, another good one.  It will be on the next edition of the P's....
           
          Steve Sly
          ProgDay 2008






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