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Pictures Of Pain
The Reckoning
March 2011
Released: 2011, Pitch Black Records
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Robert Williams

Pitch Black Records have issued the debut full length album THE RECKONING from Norway's melodic death metal band Pictures of Pain. THE RECKONING was recorded at Black Dimension Studio and mastered by famed King Diamond guitarist Andy LaRocque. Formed in 2004, Pictures of Pain had previously self-released two demo recordings prior to THE RECKONING.

It's worth mentioning right off the bat that "melodic death metal" is not the best description of Pictures of Pain. Vocalist Hans breaks up the monotony of cookie cutter metal by mixing screams, clean vocals, gruff bits and all out aggressive traditional wails to accomplish the end result, often times all in the same track. This guy can sing! Musically we do get many aspects of the extreme metal genres, alongside more doomier yet melodic terrain.

"Far Beyond" has a crunching stomp to it's credit. That and some hooky vocal melodies and a chorus that's sure to get stuck in your head. The musicians that make up Pictures of Pain are all gifted players and lock in very tightly as a unit. "Deviator" has some infectious thrashy grooves and some really aggressive higher register vocals, heavy on Rob Halford worship. "Sign of Times" slows things down a bit with some doomy pinch harmonics and dreary melodies as does the better half of the title track. Two bonus demo tracks recorded five to six years ago are also included.

An engaging listen, warranting repeated listens from a band apparently unconcerned with musical boundaries. It's refreshing to hear metal this original in this day and age. I would suggest others to seek out a copy of THE RECKONING and file Pictures of Pain under "Bands To Keep An Eye On".
Track Listing

1. Betrayal
2. Far Beyond
3. Eternal Rage
4. Deviator
5. Sign of Times
6. Years of Disgrace
7. The Reckoning
8. Final State
9. From the Ashes (Demo)
10. Guardian of Tears (Demo)


Hans Helge Iversen - Vocals
Rune Fredriksen - Guitar
Arne Marton Tangjerd - Guitar
Roy Ă˜strem - Bass
Frode Gundersen - Drums



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» The Reckoning
by Robert Williams

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