Without hearing a note, the cover art of PICTURE OF THE MOON’s “Ageless Day” drew me in. It can not be stated enough how important good artwork is for an album. I think that’s the principle reason why Metal will never completely fall to the download craze, ‘cause if it did we would lose a whole lot of beautiful art. Anyway, I’m not here to review the artwork, but the album (or EP, as it were), in hand.
“Ageless Day” falls in the category of Progressive Metal, the DREAM THEATER school, and this is the band’s second EP. Unlike the last EP, which was self-released, PICTURES OF THE MOON has label backing for “Ageless Day”. Now I’ve never heard the first EP, but I can say that “Ageless Day” is pretty professional recording, maybe not as pristine as the genre demands, as it is a bit muddled, but it sounds good nonetheless. The band is tight on their respective instruments, but not quite as flashy as what normally comes out of the Progressive Metal genre.
The EP kicks off with “Black Roses”, an up-tempo track with a decent helping of Heavy Metal mixed with the proggy goodness. Vocalist Michiel Borkent reminds a bit of Andy B. Franck (SYMPHORCE, BRAINSTORM) in his annunciation, and generally has a pleasant voice, although not as powerful as I would like. Next up is “No Break Space”, which is unfortunately far less interesting than the first track, as it never gets out of first gear and simply plods along. Some Death vocals are introduced on the track, but don’t really add much. Finishing up the EP is the title track, which is the most progressively natured song here. A bit spacey in nature, the track features some more Death vocals, a few samples and a nice section of keyboard and guitar solos.
Basically, with “Ageless Day” you get one really good (the first), one bland track (the second), and one in between (the third). Building on the sound found on “Black Roses”, combined with the title track’s out-there-ness, could yield some very positive results for PICTURE OF THE MOON. Only time will tell if the band can keep progressing (no pun intended), to really make a splash in the Progressive Metal genre.
(Online January 28, 2008)