REVIEW: Pictura – Rebirth EP
Album: Rebirth EP
Genre: Progressive death metal
Rising from the ashes of German prog-death band Beltane arrives…German prog-death band Pictura. Aside from the line-up change, little has changed from Beltane’s full-length Expressionist, and both bands play a fusion of Opeth with a bit more death and their own twist. In the aptly titled Rebirth, this small EP of half an hour, Pictura give a clear idea of what is to come with their “début” The Equilibration Of Minds, and have crafted some pretty solid metal tracks.
The band open confidently with the heavy riffing of “Spheres”, but quickly migrate to a more melodic verse pattern. Instantly, Opeth comes to mind on almost all fronts, but to give the band their credit, they have added their own elements. The keyboards in particular are a nice Riverside-esque touch, making a prominent solo in “Spheres”, and the guitars pick up an almost black metal pace in “The Ivory Tower”, also releasing some beautiful solowork and clean sections. The drums from Fischer hold their own, and make solid appearances in each track, although oddly seem to recede while there is singing. Woyke’s bass is unfortunately absent, but that may be due to the slightly thin mix, an understandable mistake which I hope will be dealt with before their full-length.
The dual vocals provided by Borjans and Weber are impressive, ranging between a low clean and a low grunt from one guitarist to mid-pitched screams from the other one. The grunts get so low, they remind me of Mikko Kotomäki, while the rest can be attributed to either Åkerfeldt or Stanne. There is also some unsettling Orwellian spoken word in both German and English, which are certainly unique but I am still undecided if I like them. The lyrical concepts, handled by Fischer, are mostly abstract, and suffer slightly in their English, but there are the odd gems like “Endless worlds unfold, widths beyond belief/A world of varieties, harmony within”.
In short, Pictura have done a great job in capturing the essence of Opeth and infusing their own personality into it. Given this EP is FREE; there is every reason to check it out, especially for those interested in prog-death as a genre, or just well-crafted metal. I look forward greatly to the full-length!
Song to try:
Note: Thanks to Niek from Death Metal Baboon for introducing this band to me! Go check out his website!