Between A Rock And A Prog Place - PAIN OF SALVATION Bite Back With Panther

September 10, 2020, a month ago

By Greg Prato


Between A Rock And A Prog Place - PAIN OF SALVATION Bite Back With Panther

What truly is progressive music? Each month BraveWords will aim to dissect that answer with a thorough overview of the current musical climate that is the prog world. Old and new, borrowed and blue. A musical community without borders. So watch for a steady and spaced-out array of features, current news and a buyer’s guide checklist to enhance the forward-thinking musical mind. So, welcome to BraveWords' monthly column appropriately titled, Between A Rock In A Prog Place

Like clockwork every three/four years, Sweden’s progressive metal masters Pain Of Salvation have released their new studio album, Panther, which was recorded, mixed and produced by Daniel Gildenlöw with Daniel Bergstrand (In Flames, Meshuggah, Devin Townsend) and comes with a comprehensive artwork-theme with illustrations made by André Meister. Stay tuned for a lengthy feature with Mr. Gildenlöw this week, but in the meantime he answers the question, ‘What do you think of the term ‘prog metal’?’

“I want to be part of the ‘progressive’ part of prog,” lead singer and self-proclaimed lots of stuff Gildenlöw digs deep. “Like, I guess I want to put ‘prog’ back in prog. Because that was attracted me with music in the first place. I remember being a kid and I guess as all kids do, you start with listening to the music that is available at home. And back in those days, the vinyl player was almost mythical. Because it is harder to operate than the CD, you weren’t allowed to use it – because you could scratch the albums. And when you came to the age where you could start operating the vinyl player, that was an amazing thing to be doing. You could look through the albums, find your favorites. And I remember really liking the Revolver album by the Beatles. Because it felt – and it still feels like – if I listen to it today, I realize that it was not only because of the time that it was released in, but it still feels like an album that has its foundation in frustration, passion, curiosity, and honesty. It was honesty trying to get somewhere. It was on its way to something. And you can feel that – even today, when you listen to it. It still feels original, and it still feels like it’s frustrated somehow. Especially when you’ve listened to the entire album, and then you kick into ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ – with basically drum loops and samples. That is really what the song is based on. And it feels fresh today, still. In a lot of those albums that I could find in my parents’ collection, a lot of my own musical DNA was born in that kind of music that I was progressing somewhere. I think that was the same desire and hunger for that was what drove me towards me to hard rock and metal – because that felt like it was sort fresh, new, and happening. And they were pushing the limits a little bit – on what the borders were of music. And there was frustration again, and music that you felt was standing up for something and standing up against something. And then, I sort of felt that that music was stagnating somehow. And it became just repetition. But then there was progressive metal, which again, was trying to find new paths and new ways. So, that was the place to be. And then there was this pivoting point where I felt that this was also stagnating and become a recipe. I understand that. I don’t have a problem with it. I guess when I was younger, I would have bitched about it – and taking the term ‘progressive’ and shoving it up anyone’s face to say, ‘This is actually supposed to be progressive. Why are we not progressing?’ But I understand what happens. Any music style I think is born out of frustration and a desire to seek your creative output elsewhere than what is available. There’s a specific person that is pushing those limits and pushing music to the point where it becomes a new music style. And then obviously people growing up with that music style, being attracted to it, might just be attracted to specifically how it sounds. And they will want to play that music and they will want to conserve that music. So, there will always be those two forces happening in music. And it’s not that I am choosing to become someone who is trying to evolve musically – it’s just as I say, it’s my musical DNA from scratch. That’s just how I’m wired. That is my relationship to music. That’s necessary for me. But I do have my childhood nostalgic albums as well, that I don’t want to have them change – I want them to stay the same. So, those two forces will always be in conflict. But we do belong I think in the part of progressive music that is literal when it comes to the progressive memories.”

Between A Rock And A Prog Place News Blast

Progressive metal titans FATES WARNING reveals details for new album, Long Day Good Night, slated for release on November 6th via Metal Blade Records. They also revealed the first single from the record, "Scars" which can be heard here… Instrumental prog metal trio ANIMALS AS LEADERS signs new deal with Sumerian Records and get featured in Bill & Ted Face the Music. Specifically, guitarist TOSIN ABASI is the “official air shredder,” providing the guitar work that you hear during all the air guitar moments between the titular duo… Keyboard legend DEREK SHERINIAN is gearing up for the release of his latest solo effort, The Phoenix (set for release on September 18th on InsideOut) featuring JOE BONAMASSA guesting on the cover of the BUDDY MILES Classic "Them Changes”:


A zany new prog metal supergroup, KING MOTHERSHIP (featuring PERIPHERY’s SPENCER SOTELO and MATT HALPERN, as well as SLAVES’ TAI WRIGHT), entices with the official visualizer for “Cosmic Meltdown” … Melodic death metal band COUNTLESS SKIES declares November 6th as the day you can grab their latest album, Glow, on Willowtip Records… Prog metal masters VINTERSEA unleash quarantine play through for “Fiery Tongue” (from their 2019 sophomore sequence, Illuminated). As well, on October 16, M-Theory Audio will shine a brighter light on the acclaimed predecessor to Illuminated, 2017's The Gravity Of Fall, with a limited-edition double-LP release  Prog metal madman DEVIN TOWNSEND announces October 23rd release of Order of Magnitude – Empath Live Volume 1, releases new live video from it: “Genesis” … TALLAH (featuring drummer MAX PORTNOY) gives fans a glimpse into upcoming album Matriphagy (out October 2nd on Earache Records) via new single “Placenta”… A band that continues to defy description, Enslaved are set to release their 15th studio album, Utgard, on October 2 via Nuclear Blast. The record is a true feast for not only fans of black metal, as witnessed in the first tastes of the KRAFTWERK-esque “Urjotun”, and the lead single/video “Homebound”:

THE ERKONAUTS release new music video, “Five Orange Seeds,” ahead of the October 1st release of their new album, I Want It To End… Prog rock darling DarWin unveiled a new video, “Nightmare Of My Dreams,” from upcoming LP DarWin 2: A Frozen War (which will come out later this year). … Symphonic/prog rock troupe WOBBLER announces new album, Dwellers Of The Deep, set for release on October 23rd via Karisma Records. Prog rock duo PURE REASON REVOLUTION announces expanded, limited edition reissue of debut The Dark Third on  October 16th via InsideOut… Prog rock icon STEVE HACKET (GENESIS) announces Selling England By The Pound & Spectral Mornings: Live At Hammersmith, which will arrive on September 25th via InsideOut. View the trailer here... Progressive grunge group GARGOYL (featuring members of REVOCATION and AYAHUASCA) unveil a new single, “Wraith,” from self-titled first LP (which will hit on October 9th via Season of Mist)… Not necessarily under the banner of prog, it’s worth mentioning. FALSET recently announced their debut album We Follow Or Lead the Way, which is due out October 16th. The band features Chance LaBrie (drums), son of Dream Theater's James LaBrie… KING CRIMSON's The Elements 2020 Tour Box ia new two-CD history of King Crimson featuring many extracts and tracks appearing on CD for the first time, including many of the current line-up. Packaged in a digi-pack style book case with 24-page booklet, this set contains introductory notes by Robert Fripp & sleeve notes by Sid Smith… Prog ensemble DARWIN is set to release the follow up album, Darwin 2: A Frozen War, on November 6th featuring a stunning ensemble of musicians. DarWin II: A Frozen War continues the core collaboration with Simon Phillips (drums; Toto, The Who, Jeff Beck), Matt Bissonette (Elton John, David Lee Roth, Ringo Starr) and DarWin. Joining them are powerhouse players Billy Sheehan (bass; Mr Big, Steve Vai, Winery Dogs), Guthrie Govan (guitar; Aristocrats, Asia, Hans Zimmer, Steven Wilson), Greg Howe (guitar, Michael Jackson/Justin Timberlake), Derek Sherinian (keyboards, Dream Theater/Alice Cooper/Black Country Communion) and more… DREAM THEATER guitarist JOHN PETRUCCI puts out the titular first single from his new instrumental progressive metal solo album, Terminal Velocity! 

September New Prog Albums

September 4th, 2020:
Oceans of Slumber – Oceans of Slumber (Century Media)
The Pineapple Thief – Versions of the Truth (Kscope)
Simon Collins - Becoming Human (Frontiers)

September 11th, 2020:
The Flaming Lips – American Head (Warner)
Ihsahn – Pharos (Candlelight)
Mastodon – Medium Rarities (Reprise)
Neal Morse – Sola Gratia (InsideOut)

September 18th, 2020:
10 Years - Violent Allies (Mascot)
Derek Sherinian – The Phoenix (InsideOut)
Finntroll - Vredesvavd (Century Media)
Flying Colors – Third Stage: Live in London (Music Theories)
Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets – Live at the Roundhouse (Sony)

September 25th, 2020:
Ayreon – Transitus (Music Theories)
Deftones – Ohms (Warner)
Ewigkeit – 23 (Death to Music)
Obsidian Kingdom – Meat Machine (Season of Mist)
The Ocean - Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic I Cenozoic (Metal Blade)

Classic Clip

Watch King Crimson perform "21st Century Schizoid Man", live at Hyde Park in 1969 (the same year as the release of their debut, In the Court of the Crimson King – largely considered to be one of the first-ever prog rock offerings).

Featured Audio

HELION PRIME – “Forbidden Zone” (Saibot Reigns)

HELION PRIME – “Forbidden Zone” (Saibot Reigns)

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