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To be able to reveal the roots of Swedish Pain of Salvation, we have to go back to 1984 when vocalist/guitarist Daniel Gildenlow formed the band Reality at the mere age of 11. Despite their youth they received attention in Swedish media because of their musical capacity. 

1988: Mikael Pettersson, Daniel Magdic, Daniel Gildenlow,

At the fall of 1987 Reality qualify to the Swedish Annual Music Contest "Rock-SM" (the same contest that made Swedish “Europe” big in the early eighties) as the youngest competitors ever. Daniel Gildenlow also wins the prize for Best Vocalist. The same year the band attends the Beatles festival, also as the youngest participators.

In 1990 the band sees some member shifts, as Magnus Johansson replaces Joakim at the bass, and Johan Langell (then 14 years old) replaces the former drummer Mikael, as key composers Gildenlöw/Magdic finds it difficult to fully implement their ideas. Magnus Johansson leaves the band and is replaced by Gustaf Hielm (known from Meshuggah).

1990: Magnus Johansson, Mikael Pettersson, Daniel Gildenlow, Daniel Magdic

1991.The band is performing live as ”Pain of Salvation” for the first time, and between '91 and '94 the band has some national success throughout several contests and competitions, being finalists at worst and winners of most, always awarded for their musical capability, varied material and vocal arrangements. Some of the songs from this time can actually be found on "Entropia" (Nightmist, Oblivion Ocean) and as Japanese bonus tracks on "One Hour by the Concrete Lake".

In December 1994, Daniel Gildenlow’s younger brother Kristoffer (then 16 years old) replaces Gustaf Hielm at the bass. At this time, Pain of Salvation still seek to complete their now well-working band with a keyboard player – but no one seems to fit their needs.

1997: Fredrik Hermansson, Daniel Magdic, Daniel Gildenlow, Kristoffer Gildenlow, Johan Langell

It takes to fall 1996 to find the keyboard player they want, and with Fredrik Hermansson (then 20 years old) Pain of Salvation is finally complete. They immediately enter a local studio to record a demo, using both old and new material. Throughout the preceding years, Pain of Salvation had recorded several tapes, but for the first time ever they actually sends it to record companies, as they finally are satisfied enough with the results. Perfectionists already.

The first two companies that the band sends their demo to – Marquee/Belle Antique (Japan/Asia) and Roasting House (Sweden) – are both very positive, and in early 1997, Pain of Salvation records their first album ”Entropia” at the Roasting House Studio in Malmoe. It is released in Asia in August 1997, but the European fans had to wait for it until 1999. The album receives great reviews all around the world.

1998: Fredrik Hermansson, Daniel Gildenlow, Kristoffer Gildenlow, Johan Langell, Johan Hallgren

In January 1998, just one month before the recording of "One Hour by the Concrete Lake," Daniel Magdic and the rest of the band, after some months of disagreement, decides to go separate ways. Johan Hallgren is asked to play on the album and he faces the superhuman task of learning all the songs on such short notice, but it works out so well that he becomes a full member of the band.

"One Hour by the Concrete Lake" is released in Asia late 1998, in Europe in early 1999 and in USA late 1999. This "master-piece" is highly praised (100/100 in Holland's biggest music magazine) and is the main reason for Pain of Salvation being signed by the well-known record company InsideOut and later on their US equivalent InsideOut America, formed by Dream Theater's former manager Jim Pitulski. They go on a three-week European tour in March 1999, together with British "Threshold" and Italian "Eldritch".

Pain of Salvation, 2000

After a year of good reviews, and a co-headline show at the Dutch ProgPower festival in the fall of 1999, the band starts to put together new material for their third album. They begin to record the material in late February 2000 and the album is finished in June. Daniel makes all the artwork and multimedia work for this large concept album, which is released in September 2000, when they are on tour with Arena (UK).

During that same tour, in Barcelona, Daniel falls and breaks two fingers on his left hand pretty bad. Nevertheless, the band fulfills the tour, actually playing more shows than originally planned. The photo(s) above are taken during the last show of the tour, in Amsterdam, Holland. Note the cast on Daniel's arm.

In 2002, Pain of Salvation headlined the ProgPower USA festival on the 24th of February, and will headline the Dream Theater Fan Club Convention in Paris, May 19th. Later that year they played at the Dutch Dynamo festival, the US Powermad and at ProgPower Europe in Holland (as headliners). They will also do some touring in the world.

In 2003, Pain of Salvation recorded the live album "12:5" which contains 16 Pain of Salvation-Songs in new arrangement. The concert was played on May, 12th in Eskilstuna, Sweden and was completely acoustic.

Recently, Pain of Salvation was working on the new concept album "BE". A whole orchestra can be heard on the record which will be released on September, 27th 2004 in Europe.

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©Sasan Bahreini