Pain of Salvation is a swedish metal band with Daniel Gildenlow as main composer and lyrics writer. Daniel is mainly behind the concept of every Pain of Salvation album.
One Hour by the concrete lake is their second album, released in 1998 in Asia and Daniel’s least favorite album. One Hour by the Concrete lake is about the weapons industry, war, nuclear waste, water, nature and sacred lands of the Natives.
The title “One Hour by the Concrete Lake” is inspired from lake Karachay in the former USSR where nuclear waste was disposed in huge amounts to the point that the lake was so infected. Its was deicided that the lake would be all covered with cement to decrease the nuclear radiation coming from it. Few years later the concrete cracked and nuclear emission measured was far higher than any point on earth. It is thought that standing for one hour next to the lake will cause death few days later.
If you have recently seen the movie Avatar it has alot of common topics with this album , starting from the use of weapons to the invasion of other’s lands for the “gold” in it.
Such topics are never found in any other music and in the history of pop music there was few tracks touching this subject, one of them is “Earth Song” by Micheal Jakson.
The Album contains 11 tracks and here is my description of the album music:
1. Spirit of the Land 0:43
Just a keyboard digital chorus that set you in the mood and links to the next track
2. Inside 6:12
Starts with a beautiful rythm on drum cymbals , keyboard comes in with a repetitive melody, drums and finally guitars. After few seconds this intro ends and beat slow down , keyboard effect is added and vocals of Daniel appear. This track has a very weird composition and amazing lyrics.Every word is backed by the right music and giving it the right intensity it deserves. At minute 3 and 43 seconds Daniel recites few facts about the past “Since 1990 there have been 93 wars in 70 states all around the world, with 5.5 million people dead. 75% of these people were civilians, 1 million of them were children.” The music reflects sadness in this part and the vocals of Daniel are so perfect after that where sadness then anger is reflected. I rate it 9/10.
3. The Big Machine 4:21
Starts with very simple guitar lines and Daniel screaming “Cry”.Allot of digital effects are used in this track especially for the vocals and chorus and bass guitar. This track is mainly progressive rock.The ending is beautiful with the repetition of ” What if we loose control ?”and in the end “What if we stop”… I say words of conscience.I rate it 7/10.
4. New Year’s Eve 5:37
Weird, simple and beautiful guitar intro.Moves suddenly into an agressive style and then back to some calm status.Keys are always in the background sustaining the weird mood. Very creative drum lines and then a pure prog section of confusion.
If you’re interested, check out the rest of the album!