It’s very interesting that Pain Of Salvation mastermind Daniel Gildenlöw (vocals and guitar) heavily relies on the late 60s psychedelic sound as well as 70s hard rock now. He takes so many elements from these styles that it’s very hard to find any decent comparisons but Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin and especially Black Mountain come close, but it’s very safe to say that progressive metal is absent on this album. To specify the genre: It’s rather stoner rock with a certain mainstream rock orientation.
The songs are fast and rather simple most of the time (apart from the few ballads), based on distorted guitars and drums with certain keyboard elements such as synthesizer interplays. Sadly, these often seem like a gimmick and only give the songs their psychedelic touch. Back in the day these might have been interesting and something new but simply recreating this feeling doesn’t work any more. Talking about this ill-fated effect, the album is similar to many retro-prog albums which only bring back old sounds without giving them something new – with the major difference that here even the structures remain the same. Not much to explore except, well, retro-rock. The ‘Road Salt Theme’ and the ‘End Credits’ only seem to be ornaments, too. But apart from that the main songs still achieve to sound interesting. ‘Mortar Grind’ is a very good example of this and shows that old school hard rock still has its charms. The only song that doesn’t fit to the rest is the slightly cheesy pop song ‘1979’ which, in fact, sounds like 2009.
So fans of 70s hard rock and stoner rock will surely like this album but listeners who want to have something new won’t be pleased. Apart from that Pain Of Salvation’s ‘Road Salt Two’ still has good moments, though.