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Pictured - The Strand Of Time

The Strand Of Time
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 10 July 2012, 11:11 AM

If there is something that I can’t really stand is when an artist is recycling his own creations due to the reason of having no new ideas. I assume that I am not able to recognize that as a misuse or shortage of novelty but in a way it is sealing one’s fate sooner than expected. After coming to terms with that, I will take you to the other extremity, the other side of innovation. In this case, where I will reveal my thoughts about the French quartet of PICTURED, once APONIUM then PICTURE, an extremely talented band went far beyond in order to redefine the Death Metal they have been playing and influenced by since day one. “The Strand Of Time”, released via Klonosphere and distributed by Season Of Mist, is their first shot at enhancing the old Swedish Gothenburg Death Metal using modern means. This is where technical playing style meets the fine elements that made melodic Death Metal so neat and influential. However, in the case of “The Strand Of Time”, PICTURED went a bit too far in their technical approach.

After listening to this album more than three cycles, I still couldn’t understand what motivated them to compose in the way that they did. Without a doubt this is a wild foursome crew that even without the high amount of experience they were able to deliver outstanding morsels of genuine creativeness. Their combined efforts, music and production, on “The Strand Of Time” will send you back to older acts such as DARK TRANQUILLITY, SOILWORK, ARCH ENEMY and early 90s CARCASS. I might also add bits of GOD DETHRONED to the mix, at least their latest era right before the breakup. Nevertheless, the large sum of the tracks on this album made me think that I was listening to a larger number of tracks, think about songs within a song. Think about it this way; almost every song on this list can be identified as a short compilation with a rather large number of riffs, licks, solos, beats with singing on the side. What I am trying to say is that there were times where I couldn’t find myself within the material. Deliberately or not, it wasn’t that soothing. I can perfectly comprehend the band’s wishes to be immensely complex, always on the move, always changing things while rarely coming back to what was left behind. But all in all, these are songs and not a ten minute instrumental piece.

“Black Bile”, along with “Stranger”, said otherwise of what I have just told you but generally, those were also on the move even with their joint musical concepts. They shared sky-scraping technicality playing but still kept the songs in a rather not ultra complex manner. I was actually able to enjoy them. When it came to the rest of songs, there were ups and down. Most were really impressive; this band has amazing lead guitar players within the crew that slay with up heaving soloing and disparaging riffing. Yet, I couldn’t connect the dots, and I am telling you it is not about me. It seemed that the rest of the tracks didn’t have an explicable front or back end. There were a few amazing intros but those faded on most cases never to be heard of again. Within the tracks, it was as if bits of intelligent music were glued together with no reason, devoid of checking their compatibility.

That sort of mayhem was the only reason that I couldn’t rate this release any higher. I believe that PICTURED wrote something good that can race against many bands playing the same genre trying to find themselves in such a big worldwide scene. I would certainly go for this album, go and buy it now; maybe you can put order into chaos.        

3 Star Rating

1. Another
2. Metal
3. Howling Forest
4. Black Bile
5. To Hell and Back
6. Curses
7. The Dwelling
8. Stranger
9. The Strand of Time
Niko Beleg - Guitars / Vocals
Thomas Coïc - Drums
Sébastien Le Bellec - Guitars
Sylvain Coïc - Bass
Record Label: Klonosphere / Season Of Mist


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