A Darker Kind Of Salvation
posted on 12/2008 By:
Closer is..... just that. Closer to Soilwork and The Haunted than Soilwork and The Haunted got to Soilwork and The Haunted on Sworn To A Great Divide and Versus, respectively.
With a glossed-over studio polish and haircuts that look like actual haircuts, telling you that Closer seem to pull in alot of In Flames comparisons probably wouldn't help its chances of being heard by you. But for starters, the In Flames comparisons are a bit misleading. Closer is much more akin to the likes of the other two names that I dropped too many times up above. Adding insult to injury, they are often downplayed as conventional copycats. This is also untrue. Salvation is a conventional copy-fucking-lion; it does not swallow the earth whole. It sticks fast to a blueprint, takes the specs, and builds a helluva foundation.
The production for instance. This sounds like it was produced by Johnny Paycheck. Crisp, crisp, crisp. This goes over spectacularly when all five musicians have extremely fluid mannerisms and you want their devices all up in your face, like clearly all up in it, and this is that situation. The guitar picking flicks your ears, the bass gives you the bubble-guts, the drumsticks leave open sores (listen to that snare), and the vocals hold steady. It's so crystal that I could hear a pin drop in the midst of madness, and I happen to like it that way. Fitting. The sound of this album was half of the battle, won.
Most of Salvation's writing puts the real copycats to bed, tucks them in, and turns their lights off. The forward-thinking modern melodic riffing inside of songs "Chaos Internal," "A Darker Kind Of Salvation," and "Places Of Pain," and the soaring chorus tsunamis (plus some extremely tasteful guitar soloing) in "It Dwells In Darkness," and again the title track, confirm that the Swedes continue to write the book. There's a playfulness that talented guitarists Per and Jonas use in their fretting that somehow one-ups what we're accustomed to hearing inside of the Gothen-box. It's called the power of restraint; how awfully close can you get to a cliche, turn on a dime, graze it, but mostly avoid it. It's a fun ride. Of course with daredevilry, comes a stumble and a fall every once in awhile, as this collection is a couple of songs short of being that blinding ray of light that I almost completely made it out to be.
At this point, Closer are their own worst enemy, and that's not a bad position to be in.
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