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On disc: Pictures Of Pain

The Reckoning - Claudia Ehrhardt - 7 stars

The Reckoning

The Reckoning
(PitchBlack Records - 2010)

The Norwegian quintet is presenting their debut album via PitchBlack Records now, if you take a look at the line-up, you might recognized some names - at least if you are familiar with the Norwegian metal scene - and find (former) members of Evig Natt, Numbed and Thundra.
The album begins with Betrayal, first slow, then some black-ish vocals - and they storm off into a progressive metal tune with power metal elements, blast beats, high-pitched screams, clean vocals and semi-acoustic passages. Actually the mid-paced to up-tempo passages with clean vocals work well, but their excursions into black metal seem to be out of place - at least for me. Also the Halford-like vocals don't really fit. At Far Beyond they offer some atmospheric guitar parts - which are ruined for me by the double-bass drumming. Far Beyond is basically a power metal track which they spiced up with different sound elements, unfortunately this isn't doing any good. Without the black / death metal elements it would be progressive power metal - and definitely more interesting. At Deviator you'll find some thrash references spiced up with some Halford-esque vocals. Another song with a slow opening part, seems to be a kind of formula for them, then they slowly pick up speed. But then they storm off into a power metal tune with fast double-bass drumming and sharp riffs, the black-ish vocals kinda ruin the song - at least in my opinion. The opening passage of Years Of Disgrace sound quite familiar... This one could have been a real highlight, but again it's the black-ish sounds which turn this tune a double-edged sword.... At the title track The Reckoning you'll hear some Nevermore references and it's also one of the more convincing tunes - with the before mentioned 'flaws'. At the end of the disk you get 2 demo tracks and to be honest, especially Guardian Of Tears is better balanced then most other tracks, even the black-ish vocals are better embedded and work much better then on any other song! It seems that the basic they start from was a good one, but they tried to push limits - and they pushed too hard. Now I would like to hear the other tracks of their 2005 demo.
The guys now how to play and sound-wise there is nothing to complain. But I think that the mix of sounds is too much for many metal heads... Sure, some will dig it. Perhaps it would help, if the songs been shortened and so they don't feel the need to add other elements to keep entertaining the listener... I really hope that the guys consider which way they want to go before heading into the studio again - and personally I hope they go for the power metal stuff, coz that's the parts which show most potential.

7 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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