Pain Of Salvation’s Panther is the sound of 21st century prog metal at its brooding best

Swedish prog metallers Pain Of Salvation push their shapeshifting vision to new heights on Panther

(Image: © InsideOut)

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Their label’s boast of Panther being “the epitome of a modern prog concept album” is a bold one. Then again, a year from turning 30, Pain Of Salvation have always kept their audience on their toes. In examining “conflicts and contradictions between so-called ‘normal’ people and those who are wired entirely differently”, these Swedes have crafted another thoughtful, remarkable statement. From the juddering rhythmic blast of Accelerator and its accusatory cry of ‘I know what you’re thinking/ I must be the problem here’, to the loop-driven, industrial-flavoured Restless Boy and the whopping 13-minute signoff, Icon, the sprawling Panther is a darkly brooding yet compulsive collection that secures triumph through the deft hopping of one subgenre to another.

Dave Ling

Dave Ling was a co-founder of Classic Rock magazine. His words have appeared in a variety of music publications, including RAW, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Prog, Rock Candy, Fireworks and Sounds. Dave’s life was shaped in 1974 through the purchase of a copy of Sweet’s album ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, along with early gig experiences from Status Quo, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Yes and Queen. As a lifelong season ticket holder of Crystal Palace FC, he is completely incapable of uttering the word ‘Br***ton’.