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.
(Image: © InsideOut)