Pictures Of Pain - 'The Reckoning'

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Pictures Of Pain - 'The Reckoning'

Album by the metallic newcomers from Norway.

The metallic newcomers from Norway are very much on the edge of what I believe most readers of this web site seek when buying power metal. There is absolutely no shortage of melody and passion but when it comes wrapped up with the sort of grinding and aggressive riffing and extensive usage of extreme vocal stylings found on 'The Reckoning', then it is likely to be a turn off.

Regular readers will know that I have a wide breadth of musical preferences, and this album certainly lies at my metallic limit, but then so did Metallica's 'Master Of Puppets' 25 years ago! However, although there are many of the same contrapuntal characteristics found in that classic album present on 'The Reckoning', there is not yet the class, despite 'Sign Of Times' hinting at the future possibility as does the initially rather more ferocious 'Years Of Disgrace'. Elsewhere, the title track and also (to some extent) 'Final State' provide some succour, but overall there is really insufficient here to recommend to the core of this web site's readership.

There is some potent musicianship on display – so perhaps next time if the band chooses to develop in a less extreme direction there will be more for us to embrace. For now, not even the involvement of Andy LaRocque at the mixing stage can save 'The Reckoning' from being just too left field.

Paul Jerome Smith

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