Pain Of Salvation/Cryptex - London, Relentless Garage - 13th February 2012 Print
Written by Jim Rowland   
Tuesday, 28 February 2012 05:00

For a cold Monday night, there's a highly impressive turnout for the gig tonight, and most of the crowd are in early to catch German three piece Cryptex. Cryptex's fusion of heavy rock, folk and proggy art-rock goes down a treat with the assembled throng, and their performance is full of power and passion, illustrated by frontman Simon's outburst of violent headbanging towards the end of the set in which he smashes his tambourine on the stage with such force that shards of metal and plastic fly a good 20 feet into the crowd. A pretty perfect fit with Pain Of Salvation, Cryptex get a genuinely rousing reception and look equally gobsmacked by the response they receive.

 

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I first saw Pain Of Salvation towards the tail end of last year when they were support to Opeth. Reduced to the usual time allotted to a support act they crammed as much music in as possible and left the banter to a minimum. Tonight, as headliners in their own right, they come across far more relaxed and confident in front of their own dedicated audience. Indeed, frontman Daniel Gildenlow's deadpan banter between songs did bring Michael Akerfeldt's stage persona to mind as he joked about the UK being the 'home of cynicism'.

 

POS1_12Not surprisingly, the bulk of the set is taken from the two most recent and quite excellent 'Road Salt' albums, although there is room for earlier material such as 'Ashes', an amazing rendition of 'Chain Sling', going back to the 'Memory Lane' album, and a couple from 'Scarsick'. Even 'Stress', which goes back all the way to '97's debut album 'Entropia', makes a welcome appearance. The spacey 'Softly She Cried' is a fine way to kick the gig off, and 'Linoleum' is simply a riff-tastic masterpiece where Gildenlow teases the audience with the opening riff to get them react in the required manner, and with the required volume of cheers, to deliver the track. The acoustic comes out for a delicious double dose of 'Road Salt Two' material in the shape of '1979' and the majestic 'To The Shoreline', one of my real POS faves, and 'The Deeper Cut' is truly epic. Talking of epics, 'Scarsick's 'Enter Rain', a rarely performed track, is a suitably epic way to finish the set, clocking in at over the ten minute mark.

 

POS_312For me, though, it's the encore that makes the difference tonight, turning this from a really fine gig to an exceptional one. 'The Physics Of Gridlock', one of the more progressive and lengthy moments from 'Road Salt Two', is a track that the band have only just started to incorporate into the live set on this tour. It's not an easy one to perform, but they pull it off with apparent ease and it's simply stunning. Could it get any better after that? Well, yes, because the final track of the night, 'Road Salt One's 'Sisters' is just jaw-dropping. A beautifully uplifting and epic sounding track, this really illustrates just how good this band are, and also illustrates just how good the band's sound engineers are as they recreate the production sounds from the record immaculately.

 

An outstanding way to wrap up a pretty outstanding gig.

 

Photo Kudos Andy Rawll

 

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