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TrickeyMickey (Canterbury, England)

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A Serbian Film [2010] [DVD]
A Serbian Film [2010] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Srdjan Todorovic
Offered by DaaVeeDee-uk
Price: 19.99

12 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars How can something so extreme be so tedious?, 26 Sep 2011
This review is from: A Serbian Film [2010] [DVD] (DVD)
I have seen the fully uncut version of A Serbian Film, complete with foetal rape, hammering a girl to death whilst raping her etc, and I can't believe how tedious it is! How can a film so full of extremities be so completely bland and uninteresting?

This film looks like a group of fifth form schoolboys wrote down a list of the most offensive things they could think of, and then made a film to include them all. Yes, the gore effects are superb, but as a film it falls down within the first five minutes. The lead character is supposed to be a great ex-pornstar, but no porn movie I ever saw had a pale, fragile little ginger bloke like this as its main stud. The villain is equally as unconvincing (if not cringingly laughable).

Overall, I can't believe other reviews are mentioning A Serbian Film in the same sentence as Salo or Martyrs, even to criticise it against them. It places it in a pseudo-art context it simply doesn't merit. Just because Picasso said 'It is the duty of Art to offend' doesn't mean that an especially offensive film automatically warrants discussion as Art. Overall, I would say that A Serbian Film is way too ambitious for the budget and talent involved - and that's a sure sign of amateurs at work.

Given that the sensational violence is the main focus of this film, I originally thought that watching a censored version must be even more tedious. But, upon reflection, it would be quite a bit shorter - and that would surely be a bonus.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 4, 2013 8:01 PM BST

Price: 14.72

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent debut by new maestros of progressive rock, 15 Jan 2011
This review is from: Entropia (Audio CD)
This assured debut from Pain of Salvation clearly throws down the gauntlet to established kings of progressive metal such as Dream Theater. The songs and musicianship are of the highest order, full of dramatic twists, turns and changes of rhythm and emotion. Barely a minute passes by without some audacious development - from sudden bursts of unexpected harmony and washes of captivating melody to the briefest flickers of jazz improvisation. Track 6, Stress, is an especially dizzying tour-de-force.

On the down side, although Daniel Gildenlow's multi-octave voice is amazing, some of the lyrics and intonation are slightly, well 'Scandinavian' for want of a better word. That was cleared up on later releases, such as the sublime ONE HOUR BY THE CONCRETE LAKE and SCARSICK. More importantly, even at this debut stage, you can detect the genius that went on to create PERFECT ELEMENT - surely one of the most incredible albums ever written.

Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: 12.44

4.0 out of 5 stars Progressive, pretentious and occasionally perfect..., 15 Jan 2011
This review is from: BE (Audio CD)
BE represents progressive metal band Pain of Salvation at their most progressive and least metallic. If you're into Transatlantic, Spocks Beard, Pink Floyd and other classic rock - but aren't too sure about heavy metal - you may find that this is a good way to discover Pain of Salvation.

BE is incredibly idiosyncratic, both musically and conceptually, and confims Daniel Gildenlow as a fascinating but wayward artist. To support its ambitious concept, it incorporates a lot of classical elements as well as rock, folk and jazz. It's amazingly diverse and melodic, but it's only towards the end that you get a hint of the truly amazing, passionate music that this band is capable of.

So I wouldn't call BE a prog rock masterpiece (even a flawed one). But it is facinating, diverse and different, and a good introduction to the strange world of Daniel!


5.0 out of 5 stars Acoustic versions with a radical new angle, 15 Jan 2011
This review is from: 12:05 (Audio CD)
Here is another excellent example of why you don't need to be into progressive metal to appreciate Pain of Salvation. When it comes to playing live and unplugged, most bands are content to roll out their softer songs whilst playing the acoustic counterparts of their original instruments. Pain of Salvation, however, have completely rearranged a series of heavy metal tracks into superb medleys, incorporating harpsichord, cello and complex four-part vocal harmonies. This produces radical alternatives to the original songs, often in different keys and with totally new atmospheres. The result is surprisingly brilliant and original.

Price: 29.68

4.0 out of 5 stars A profound combination of music and message, 15 Jan 2011
This review is from: Scarsick (Audio CD)
This scathing attack on modern culture, particularly rap music, American politics and dumbed-down celebrity worship, is a musical tour-de-force and a lyrical masterwork. Despite the heavy message, it's also surprisingly groovy and entertaining!

The lead singer of Pain of Salvation, Daniel Gildenlow, is a radical intellectual and a bit of an angry young man. Consequently, this band refuses to tour America rather than submit their fingerprints to USA border controls. It effectively blows their chances of success in that country - which, given that they had previously supported Dream Theater there, were pretty well assured.

SCARSICK begins with a tirade against American rappers, who can rarely sing, dance or play an instrument - yet have accumulated vast personal fortunes. Pain of Salvation are virtuoso performers, and Gildenlow has perhaps the most astonishing 5-octave voice in rock, so it's hardly surprising that they should be pretty miffed by their own obscurity after 20 years of hard grind!

But I'm not sure this is a case of sour grapes - SCARSICK develops into a more general lament for the loss of artistry, inspiration and democracy in a world overrun by consumerism, apathy and predictability - and rap is just one example. By contrast, this album is designed to be a revolutionary lesson on the alternative - wildly diverse songs overflowing with surprises, thought-provoking lyrics, incredible musicianship and superb vocals. It's even mockingly humorous. For instance, the Cribcaged track deliberately incorporates cliches from rap and outdoes Limp Bizkit for the gleeful overuse of bad language; America is a satirical pastiche of the classic from Westside Story; while Disco Queen is just downright bizarre. Tracks such as Kingdom of Loss and Enter Rain, on the other hand, are quietly devastating insights into modern life.

Consequently, Gildenlow shows he is able to share the mantle of progressive rock heroes such as Roger Waters when it comes to linking superb music with meaningful social commentary. It's a great album that works on so many levels, and reminds us what music - and being a musician - is supposed to be about.

Whirld Tour 2010
Whirld Tour 2010
Price: 31.77

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A really handsomely packaged memento, 10 Jan 2011
This review is from: Whirld Tour 2010 (Audio CD)
This beautifully packaged boxset features the whole of Transatlantic's acclaimed London show on DVD and CD, plus a handful of great extras. The artwork incorporates a superb, stitched-in booklet full of great photos and liner notes. The music itself is well-mixed and punchy, with every word and instrument clearly audible, while the camerawork brings the whole concert to life.
Better still, the mega-long Whirlwind track (which on the original album seemed to have a few ponderous moments) whisks along nicely, really showcasing the individual talents of these virtuoso musicians. Bridge across Forever brings tears to the eyes and you really do get a sense of the great atmosphere that accompanied this show.
For those interested in further reading, the guy helping out at the back of the stage is Daniel Gildenlow, lead singer of the band Pain of Salvation. Their album Perfect Element is one of the most moving recordings in modern rock and well worth checking out.

Linoleum (EP)
Linoleum (EP)
Offered by mrtopseller
Price: 5.00

4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful collection of Road Salt extras, 10 Jan 2011
This review is from: Linoleum (EP) (Audio CD)
These songs from the Road Salt One sessions aren't always fully developed, but they are nonetheless fascinating, audacious and full of moments that compare with - and often exceed - those on the main album. And Gildenlow's voice has never sounded better. You'll be hard pushed to find a more incredible vocal display than this anywhere - it's worth the price on its own!

Pain Of Salvation - On The Two Deaths Of... [DVD] [2009] [2008]
Pain Of Salvation - On The Two Deaths Of... [DVD] [2009] [2008]
Dvd ~ Pain of Salvation
Price: 16.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great performance by this superb, little known band, 28 Sep 2010
This DVD contains a great performance by the superb Swedish prog metal band Pain of Salvation. Picture and sound are not exceptional, but perfectly adequate. The first disc introduces the band via a surprisingly watchable documentary. However, the real treat is on disc two where they deliver a great selection of songs from some of their best albums. Although America and Disco Queen seem somewhat bizarre taken out of context, believe me they do work brilliantly on the album Scarsick.

It's also a bit incongruous watching Daniel Gildenlow and friends strutting their stuff and head-banging madly - in true heavy metal fashion - whilst performing such amazingly beautiful, fragile and moving music. But that's part of the fun, and the musicianship and vocals by the entire band are sublime. If you are into groups such as Dream Theater, Spocks Beard and Opeth, this DVD is a good introduction to Pain of Salvation. In my humble opinion, several of their albums represent a zenith in modern classic rock/prog metal music, so it's a step well worth taking.

Remedy Lane
Remedy Lane
Price: 15.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Yes, it really is that good!, 12 Sep 2010
This review is from: Remedy Lane (Audio CD)
Although it's not quite up to the wondrous heights of their masterwork, Perfect Element, this release from Swedish band Pain of Salvation comes pretty close - making it a key album of the modern era. And you don't need to be a metal fan to appreciate it... I came to POS via the melodic prog of Spocks Beard, Dream Theater and Transatlantic - but the music in this album is so beautiful, powerful and affecting that it has given me new insights into all that metal can be.

For its first eight tracks, Remedy Lane is almost the equal of Perfect Element. Its vast collage of melodies, riffs and motifs slowly build into the most sublime themes, the arrangements, musicianship and vocals are exceptional. I'm not so sure about the instrumental interval that follows - and the final sections are surprisingly understated - but they are very beautiful and give Remedy Lane its distinct identity.

The Perfect Element
The Perfect Element
Offered by zoreno-uk
Price: 14.27

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is this one of the greatest rock albums of all time?, 12 Sep 2010
This review is from: The Perfect Element (Audio CD)
If you don't mind tweaking your EQ and giving this album half a dozen listens, you'll discover that this little-known Swedish band have delivered a genuine rock masterpiece. It's message - that those who endure childhoods of abuse face lives of self-destruction - is emotive stuff, expressed through profound lyrics and stunning musicianship. The band's driving force, Daniel Gildenlow, is a prodigious talent with a staggering vocal range that fuses rage, joy and anguish in soaring screams and whispered intimacies. Not a minute passes without some astonishing development in rhythm or arrangement, while the melodies and harmonies are spectacular. This passion-packed recording simply does not let up, building inexorably to a heart-wrenching finale. Perfect Element is one of those albums that reveals new rewards during years of repeated listening. Truly, absolutely and sublimely awesome.

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