Picture the End
They Swarmed Like Locusts
They swarmed to the trend like flies around the proverbial
Metalcore is everywhere nowadays. The style exploded in the last couple of years, as did nu-metal some years before it, and it is now a completely saturated market, as was nu-metal as well at some point. Where is nu-metal nowadays I wonder? Food for thought I guess. One thing that is different for this latest trend in the metal scene is that Australian acts seemed to embrace it and want to be a part of it, and it must be said that as far as Australian metal acts in general go, there are some world class acts that have come out of our fine country. But Australian acts embracing a musical trend was something that we never really witnessed during the nu-metal phase. Things are different with the metalcore boom. With the likes of Parkway Drive moving onward and upward at a respectable rate, it's of no surprise that others have come out of the woodwork wanting a piece of the latest metalcore action. Enter stage left I Killed The Prom Queen (well, actually, who are now R.I.P.) and now Picture The End as well with both bands being picked up locally by Stomp Records.
This Melbourne (Australia) quintet, who is vocalist Rob Taylor, guitarists Jon Green and Stu Callinan, bassist Clint Pateel and drummer Scott Birnie, formed in 2004 and on the back of their three track demo, they made a name for themselves around the local traps, and after two or so years, their debut long player, They Swarmed Like Locusts, has finally seen the light of day.
There's promise early on with the opening cut Death, Wrath And Judgement, but it isn't long until Picture The End show their musical hand that is heavily stacked with stop-start riffs, breakdowns, and a general lack of structure through and through. In fact, so much so, the actual separation between it and the ridiculously titled 8/24 Off 16 Overs is non-existent. This oddly titled track does have its moments such as the Poison The Well like expansive chords in the slower parts of the track. But those passages of aural bliss are few and far between in Picture The End's interpretation of organised chaos. If you can get passed the ridiculous title They've Got Their Magnums. I've Got My Magnums. We're Gonna Shoot This One Out, there is some semblance of memorable melody but it does get lost in a generic and endless sea of toughguy metalcoreness.
The duo of They Swarmed Like Locusts and the also terribly titled Let's Get Metal are the album's highlights being quite memorable for the most part and showing good structure and dynamics, even if the riffs are generic and lacking at times. Traces of death metal appear in Fuel For The Underground which give it some character, and there is a distinct Unearth live vibe throughout The Executioner and For The Abbots but it certainly won't revolutionise the genre by offering something that hasn't been heard before. I'm not even going to waste my keystrokes on the pointlessly and thankfully brief Your Face On The Dartboard.
Given how disjoint this album is, and how either haphazard or generic it all appears riff wise, there is no distinct identity in most of the songs which lends the album to becoming a single blur from start to finish. It is unfair however to say that it's all bad, because the reality is that it isn't the case. There are some memorable and down right good things going on at times on They Swarmed Like Locusts, but they are mostly lost in a sea of mediocrity. Die hard fans of all things metalcore are will most probably get more out of this than anyone else who is just about over this musical trend altogether.
(Stomp Records/Stomp Distribution)