It has been a number of years since Pain Of Salvation last graced us with their brand of melancholic metallic prog. Not quite a Tool or Chinese Democracy dynasty of nothingness of course, but still a significant period without one of prog and metal’s most overlooked gems. Such a shame that their return is with a self-indulgent stop-gap.
Falling Home (InsideOut) comprises of mostly stripped down takes on songs throughout their history, a brand new song of a similar ilk and two covers reworked to fit stylistically. The reworked efforts encompass their vast history including album opener ‘Stress’ which takes from 1999’s Entropia (InsideOut) and renders it into a lounge jazz number. In some cases these reimaginings both make sense and work exceptionally well; take the heavy blues of Road Salt One (InsideOut) via ‘Linoleum’ which becomes a much softer, near-ballad which still maintains subtle, up tempo mellotron. ‘Mrs Modern Mother Mary’ similarly sees is metallic air removed entirely, showing a much more delicate side and really showcasing Daniel Gildenlow’s diverse vocal delivery.
Sadly for all its well-realized moments there are also plenty that don’t hit the mark, and even ventures towards simple novelty and becomes very hard to take seriously. The aforementioned ‘Stress’ for example sadly brings to mind comedy acts like Richard Cheese, whilst the most notable of the two covers, their lounge take on Dio’s iconic “Holy Diver” holds absolutely no musical worth and is surely included purely as a joke.
With such a rewarding catalogue at their disposal, its more than well documented at how special a group these Swedes can be, capable of absolute magic; which makes this release all the more disappointing and near aggravating. A collection that ranges from sumptuous takes on already high caliber songs to those that prove either unspectacular or even simply pointless, and a release that will only appeal to a select few uber fans, and the creators themselves.