Review: Pain Of Salvation – Falling Home

Location: Eskilstuna, Sweden
Genre: Progressive Rock; Acoustic
Released: November 10, 2014
Format Reviewed: FLAC
Feature: Global Conquest – Recent Releases

By: Kris Kotlarik

There’s a growing trend in which progressive rock/metal bands are releasing acoustic and/or stripped-down albums of their material. Anathema did it with Falling DeeperKatatonia recreated the entirity of Dead End Kings on Dethroned and UncrownedDevin Townsend has been drifting further and further into acoustic territory and has a live acoustic album.

I don’t have anything against this kind of music. It can make for make for a calm listening experience and it’s always interesting to see what artists do with their heavier material, even if it’s just a novelty. The problem is that these albums don’t have much staying power on my rotations, and Falling Home is no exception.

Technically serving as Pain Of Salvation’s ninth album, Falling Home has ten revamped tracks from their discography, two covers, and one new song (the title track). As usual, Daniel Gildenlöw is brilliant on vocals. But the reason this album won’t be spun a bunch of times is because most of these tracks are simply inferior to their original counterparts. More than a few tracks take on a lounge feel to them, and this is best exemplified on their cover of “Holy Diver.” Yes, it would rank as one of the better lounge tracks ever, even if it sounds like something straight from Richard Cheese’s playbook, but lounge music simply does not interest me.

With that said, their cover of Lou Reed‘s “Perfect Day” is beyond solid, and the new versions of “1979” and “King Of Loss” are also quite good, with the latter being the album’s standout in part because of its effective old-time country feel. The title track has vocals that are completely over the top towards the end, almost bludgeoning the listener with their loudness, which is a rarity on here (and for this band in general).

These songs will all sound great to those who are new to Pain Of Salvation, but when you dive into their discography, you will realize that they sound so much better when they plug in the electrics and run with it. “To The Shoreline” off of Road Salt Two is one of my favorite tracks by any band, but it’s merely good here in comparison to its legendary counterpart.

Overall: Much like the aforementioned acoustic reboots. Not bad, but not exciting.

Rating: 2.5*

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