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Pictura - The Equilibration of Minds, Vol. 1

The Equilibration of Minds, Vol. 1
by Matt Coe at 27 September 2014, 12:07 AM

A follow up Progressive Death Metal band (or extension if you will) of the German act BELTANE who released an album in 2008 entitled “Expressionist”, this quartet would split off to become PICTURA in 2010, release an EP immediately through “Rebirth” and set about working on their debut full-length album. 4 years later, it has finally come out, the intriguingly named “The Equilibration of Minds, Vol. 1”. It should be easy to tell right from the start we aren’t dealing with anything less than heady material, and when brilliantly executed this happens to be one of my favorite Metal genres on the planet.

Guitarists Mirko Weber and Marius Borjans handle three levels of vocal melodies: melodic, growled, and screaming – and I think both feel comfortable in terms of their duties. Nothing is too maniacal or out of place. The band also add in narrative spots that can build tension and impact for a particular song – check out “Streets” which at a little over 6 minutes moves from heaviness to reflective, quiet introspective verses that hint a little at exotic, Middle Eastern/ new age nuances.

You often worry that when a band throws the ‘Progressive’ tag in their stylistic bag, that we are going to face a whirlwind of riff sequences, time signature changes, and tempos that make the songwriting tough to grasp. Not the case at all for these 9 tracks as PICTURA prefer instead to use subtle shifts to get their musicality and complexity across – be it sudden tempo shifts for drummer Julian Fischer on “Ivory Tower” which match up to the echoing, chord maze his axe compatriots lay out or the cyber-oriented clean melodies against the layers of rhythms that make highlight “Cycles” interesting in a CYNIC meets OPETH manner. Decent production values, strong intuitive versatility to keep the album moving along without overwhelming the listener – I would say PICTURA has a lot of things to the positive going for them.

In today’s scene, it’s hard to stick out – so let’s hope enough listeners give this act’s level headed approach to Progressive Death Metal a solid shot.

4 Star Rating

1. Prologue
2. Streets
3. Ivory Tower
4. Spheres
5. Painting the Veil
6. Arcadian Gates
7. Peace
8. Cycles
9. Ivory Visions
Marius Borjans – Clean/ Growled Vocals, Guitars
Mirko Weber – Screamed Vocals, Guitars
Daniel Woyke – Bass
Julian Fischer – Drums
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 06 February 2023

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