In a recent review I wrote for TINAS, I commented on the increased experimental nature of France’s metal scene and the apparent boom in high quality bands that have come out of the country and pushed the envelope. On the other hand, when it comes to melodic death metal, there are enough bands that are hugely influenced by the Swedish forerunners of the genre to fill up their own festival line-up, with precious little to separate most from the others. Latest to the fold are French act, Pictured (a name I would like to add, which is a pain with Google searches).
On the press release for “The Strand Of Time”, the band’s debut full release, it describes it as “making huge strides in their sound”, and they certainly show some chops musically, especially in the guitar department which has a pleasing amount of shred and ‘widdly’ guitar licks and solos aplenty. At the same time, however, there is little hear to constitute the band’s “own sound’ considering the generic nature of the album. The vocals are hugely similar (in fact, nearly identical) to Alex Laiho of Children Of Bodom fame, whilst the guitar parts also show huge parallels with the thrash coupled with melodic styles of the Fins.
This is the real problem with “The Strand Of Time”, much like a lot of melodeath bands at the moment; that it shows precious little of its own character and personality. Pictured’s influences are clear to see but they don’t have any obvious uniqueness about them to separate them from the hordes of bands that play similar to them. This all being said however, as a debut album it does show some promise, and they are certainly a talented bunch of lads and the album is a good fun listen. A bit more of their own identity would add a greater appeal and could work wonders for them however.