PICTURE - WARHORSE

ARTIST STATION RECORDS / ROCK INC.

 

Metal To Infinity

Picture (established in 1979) is without a doubt one of those leading forces in the history of Dutch Heavy Metal music. During the first half of the eighties they brought out many excellent albums – efforts like “Picture” (featuring the killing classic song ‘Bombers’), “Heavy Metal Ears”,  “Diamond Dreamer”, the inimitable “Eternal Dark” and “Traitor” are legendary masterpieces to me. One even better than the other but still all great pieces for sure! Picture had a very good reputation in Holland, Belgium, Germany, Italy and far beyond – back then, they played around the world and the attendees will not soon forget! In 1986, a sixth album “Every Story Needs A Picture” followed by number seven entitled “Marathon” a year later on came across the Dutch horizons. Both were not that strong as previous efforts, I’ve not bought them at the time for personal reasons.  

Guitarist Jan Bechtum, drummer Laurens Bakker and Rinus Vreugdenhil (bass) are co-founders of Picture, decades later on now and they’re still alive and kicking. They seemed to have always believed in the band and that is now being rewarded. With the release of “Eternal Dark” Picture appeared with a new singer named Pete Lovell. Before him, other frontmen Ronald Van Prooien and Schmoulik Avigal joined forces with Picture. New singer Pete Lovell’s success with the band was short-lived, Picture made no more albums for a period of nearly 20 years. I don’t know wherefore but in the back of my head, I knew that one day Picture would be back on the rails. 2008 dawned and the band surprised / spoiled us with the release of ‘Live 2008”, followed by a brand new one entitled “Old Dogs, New Tricks” released in 2009. Especially the old school fanatics of Heavy Metal wondered what this new album had to offer – Metal To Infinity co-editor Patrick De Sloover wrote down his thoughts and gave a well deserved, quite high valuation in the end. 

So it was time to release a second album after their long absence – I was delighted to receive this new effort entitled “Warhorse” through Artist Station Records… what follows is a change of mind about the musical aspect my heavy metal ears have experienced. Picture took matters into their own hands as regards the production and delivered the goods! Oscar Holleman (Within Temptation, Halloween, Gorefest, …) was in charge for the mixing duties and did it real good as well. “Warhorse” is an album that especially will appeal the old guard of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal maniacs. Most of the songs really know how to captivate my attention. For instance opener ‘Battle Man’ is a killer one, a song where you can hear that Picture is still in great shape. I always been a fan of the vocal lines presented by Pete Lovell. His obstinacy sounds as before, I mean that the originality deep within his throat is still present… great job! After more than 30 years, veterans Rinus Vreugdenhil (bass) and Laurens Bakker on drums still prove their loyalty to the band in full glory. Axemen in charge Peter Bourbon / Mike Ferguson deliver an outstandingly job while delivering real HEAVY riffs with razorsharp, melodic solo’s.  

More goodies for the old school to detect are ‘Rejected’ and ‘Edge Of Hell’… speaking for myself, I let my preference for songs as: ‘Killer In My Sights’, War Horse’ featuring a great riff in the vein of Satan’s ‘Into The Future’ song. Also ‘Stand My Ground’ is a big one played in the tradition of old Dio fame (remember Holy Diver, I Speed At Night and Stand Up And Shout tracks). This new Picture CD concludes with the MMXI version of ever know classic ‘Eternal Dark’. Redundant or not? Nothing can prove or make us forget the original edition of this legendary masterpiece! 

Picture’s “Warhorse” sounds better than former album ‘Old Dogs New Tricks’, some tracks approaching again the level of Picture during their “Eternal Dark”, “Traitor” or Diamond Dreamer” period and that’s why I personally like the album so much. A very good album with a mission: remain faithful to the good old days of Heavy Metal music. Check ‘em out at: www.pictureofficial.com  

My Points: 89 / 100 (Review by Stefan)