Pain Of Salvation got together in a very special occasion to make an acoustic tribute to their own songs. Only our Swedish pals had the chance to enjoy that performance but as soon as the rumours of a possible release started, the rest of us began to hope.
Finally, after some delays, Inside Out releases which is, in my humble opinion, the best acoustic album ever and one of the best live albums of today’s music scene. Against all odds (you know, in the hard rock/metal scene the words “acoustic version” match with the words “play the electric parts with acoustics”), we get a totally new collection of songs with lots of surprises and awesome vocals performances.
The album has 3 parts: the first one is the first big medley, followed by a collection of full songs and it ends with a second big medley.
The experience starts with “Leaving Entropia”,
an acoustic song in its own but totally different from the original.
The musical arrangements and Daniel’s vocals are top notch. Fredrik’s
piano parts are beautiful and the rest of the band does a great job helping
Daniel in the vocal aspect. Without letting us breath, “This
Hear Of Mine” begins to sound. A beautiful ballad in which
Daniel sings to his wife. From this point to the end, the goosebumps
Just when the chorus would start, “Song
For The Innocent” starts.
The guitar solo part is substituted by the vocal “gothic” part
of “Her Voices” and they end this first big medley with a
mini jam where Daniel shows us that he is the greatest singer of these
The second part of the album begins with “Winning A War”. The boys are great, specially in the vocal aspect, where they have to help Daniel, which is understandable. Thou I love this song I think is kind of a “low” point in the album since it’s the longest one and the album looses its “flow”. “Reconciliation” is the next jewel of the album, sang and played perfectly with a sense of humour too (they play the empire theme from Star Wars to tune their guitars) and with a last scream in “run for help” that gives me goosebumps. The next song is “Dryad Of The Woods”, another acoustic theme which doesn’t add something new in the musical aspects but it’s so beautiful it had to be here. With a very personal and “arabic” touch “Oblivion Ocean” starts. It’s mainly based in Daniel, Johan and Kristoffer’s vocal performances which are top notch. We couldn’t miss one of the most famous Pain Of Salvation tunes (and one of the most loved by the fans too): “Undertow”. Maybe the saddest song I have ever heard. I can’t say how beautiful, sad, melancholic, personal, full of rage and brutal is this song to me. I can only say that if you’re reading this now, get your ass out of your chair and get 12:5. No matter how you do it: buy, steal, download, beg, kill if you have to. You MUST listen to this song, after that, your life will change. “Chain Sling” is the last tune in this second part of the album. A funny tune indeed (not literally , since the lyrics are quite sad) due to it’s a dialogue between a man and a woman. Daniel plays the “woman” and Kristoffer (I think it’s him) plays “he”. It’s one of the high points of the albums, regarding the vocals.
Finally we get to the last part, the second big medley. It starts like a punch in your face, with the main riff of “Idioglossia”. Yes, I said “Idioglossia”. If there is a song I would have never thought of being in this album, that’s “Idioglossia”. In just one word: AWESOME!!!. Without letting us breath, they join “Idioglossia” with the instrumental part of “Her Voices”. I honestly think Daniel wanted the fans to have an orgasm, both physical and musically. When I thought it couldn’t get better, “Second Love” starts. Played perfectly (like the rest of the album, you guessed it), with a piano solo instead of the guitar one but yet so beautiful. The sweet point of the album. Daniel leaves he biggest highlight for the end: “Ashes” in its major version. The people who saw POS opening for Dream Theater know what I’m talking about. It doesn’t have that guitar solo the live version has, but has a very funny imitation of Elvis Presley. The albums ends with a jam, kind of predictable thou.
In conclusion: this album could have been the absolute perfection if it would have included some "One Hour By The Concrete Lake" material. Songs like “Home”, “Water”, “The Big Machine” or “Pilgrim” could have fit perfectly. Anyway, 12:5 is still the best acoustic album I have ever head and one of the best live albums ever. Pain Of Salvation never ceases to amaze the fans and I think with the next release BE, it won’t be different.