Today we have a very interesting (and little known) band from Norway with the name of Pictures of Pain. The band plays a very strange mix of Melodic Metal with Heavy and Death/Black Metal influences, yes, we know it sounds confusing, but they do an average job in creating a very diverse and original sound.
“The Reckoning” marks the band’s first full-length release and they managed to fill up this CD almost entirely with 67 minutes of music. Most of the band members have ‘other band’ experience, but the only name that rings any bells is Rune Fredriksen from Thundra and session for Evig Natt, needless to say, all musicians do a great job in this release.
Opening up the album we have the very dramatic “Betrayal”. In this song we quickly hear the melodic elements of the band and how the songs are constructed. We also immediately notice the weirdness that comes with the vocals. Jumping from Black Metal-style creams to Epic Heavy/Doom Metal style to straight up Heavy Metal, this creates a very unique palette of sounds. However, this particular schizophrenic changes require some time to get used to it.
In terms of the music the band has very strong songs, the guitar riffing is very well balanced and not too repetitive, great solos and the bass guitar pounds away without being noticed much (but always present). The other problem with have with this band’s sound is the stupid drum production they used for the album, the ‘swishing’ effect is extremely annoying and it makes our ears hurt after a few songs. We are aware that this is a studio thing that some producers like to add, but they shouldn’t.
There are great songs like “Years of Disgrace”, “Betrayal” and “Signs of Times”, where you can hear the band’s songwriting abilities to the max. The Into Eternity styled vocal attacks of “Years of Disgrace” are perfect, but some people might shy away from this contrasting combination. But overall the band has very solid music and great ideas to make effective songs.
In general, we have to say that Pictures of Pain is ready to be fully unleashed over the world. The music is very catchy and well constructed, the vocals are emotional and effective (once you get used to it). And if you don’t mind the ‘swishing’ effect of the drums, then you will love this release.
|Band: Pictures of Pain||Album: The Reckoning|
|Label: Pitch Black Records||
Release: November 26th, 2010
|Genre: Melodic Metal||