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Pictura: The Equilibrium Of Minds Part I

Having released the album Expressionist under the name Beltane, this German progressive death metal outfit have altered their line-up and returned as Pictura. The Equilibrium Of Minds is their first full length outing under that name, however with positive feedback their 2010 demo received, this ambitious four piece decided to stretch their collective ideas into two albums, this, Part I, being the first.

It's hard to get away from the fact that The Equilibrium Of Minds Part I sounds like Opeth. It does, there's no denying it and pretending otherwise is futile. However with Opeth moving further and further from their death metal roots with every release, there's a gaping hole in the market for a band of talent and vision to step into. So Pictura may not be reshaping a genre, or, in truth, offering anything we haven't heard before, but that doesn't stop the end result being a worthy album that makes a serious impact. Huge death fuelled guitars attack at every turn, but melody is the name of the game here, keyboards surging into view as and when the mood requires. Both Mirko Weber (screams) and Marius Borjans (growls and clean) add vocals and the pair combine quite superbly throughout, the variances in their approach adding to an already hard hitting mix. The duo also both handle guitar duties, providing a sensitive balance of aggression and beauty as the death side of the band merges and makes way for the clean progressions. Julian Fischer batters seven shades of hell out of his kit as the tumult plays out, yet this talented drummer also conceived the lyrical concept on this album. Death, desolation, the human condition/disease and the destruction we as a race sow are all experienced through the eyes of a stranded girl. It's an intricate and well constructed tale and yet the execution can be clumsy, with the words not always flowing as they should although this affliction comes more when the lyrics are read, opposed to when Weber and Borjans actually "sing" them. But that's the only real complaint on an album expertly mixed and mastered by Dennis Koehne (Sodom, Lacuna Coil); the experienced studio hand bringing the weight and authority this already extremely well constructed album deserves.

Those who crave Opeth to return to their sounds of old will find much solace here and considering this is just the beginning of the Pictura journey, exciting times lay ahead.

Track Listing
1. Prologue
2. Streets
3. Ivory Tower
4. Spheres
5. Painting The Veil
6. Arcadian Gates
7. Peace
8. Cycles
9. Ivory Visions

Added: March 22nd 2015
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Pictura on Facebook
Hits: 1600
Language: english

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