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The Dutch Saxon... - 79%

DeathRiderDoom, November 27th, 2009

Picture – Heavy Metal Ears

Surprised no one has reviewed this album yet. Picture are a legendary Dutch heavy metal band (probably the most successful of the 80’s scene – opening for all the major acts on their dates through the Netherlands – and touring Europe with Saxon in ’81) and this offering, along with the seminal 1982 follow-up ‘Diamond Dreamer’ is amongst their most celebrated. What we have here is pretty much Saxon style heavy metal. Ballsy, straight up, no fucking around traditional metal, with little other influences coming in. fists in the air moments abound, and the music is generally confrontational and free spirited sorta stuff. This is a great, fun, straight forward album that’s definitely advisable for fans of the traditional – go get it and let the good times fucking roll.

This album is pretty addictive – the catchy tough riffage, and classic solos in tracks like ‘Unemployed’ just urge headbanging – and I’m sure this would have been popular heavy metal party music across the Low Countries in the early 80’s. The simplicity and toughness on the riffs just keeps me coming back, and secures this one a spot amongst favorites. While the aforementioned is a slower, fist pumper – other efforts speed things up a wee bit. ‘I’m Just a Simple Man’ keeps the Saxon vibe happening with sped up riffage, rumbling NWOBHMish bass, and some guitar play that while simple, is flirtatious and enjoyable to the hilt. Solid rock n roll style vocals on this one, and comparisons to Motorhead may not be entirely too inappropriate. Most of the songs are quite similar (again – Saxon) but utterly enjoyable and just great traditional metal.

What comes through in this album is just badass rockin-ness and confidence. ‘Night Tiger’ is simplistic and repetitive – but buy does it rock. Totally good time party music that kicks ass. This band just knows what they want to play – and they play it well. Riffage here reminds me of ZZ Top or something (see what I mean about “rockin-ness” and “good timey”). Utterly repetitive but totally awesome. Thundering drums and some great little guitar licks here. This confidence is perhaps best displayed in tracks like the awesome ‘No No No’ – killer traditional metal – drenched in classic rock attitude, but with an assault of speed metal riffs, thundering drums, and perfectly delivered hoarse vocals. Again the band sounds like Motorhead quite a lot here – but you can tell they’re not trying to – it’s just that they happen to be on the same tip. Utter confidence and passion for rock n roll in any case.

I’m not really too sure what else to say apart from the fact that this is legendary Dutch traditional metal – and for a reason; it kicks butt. Comparable to bands like Saxon, Motorhead, Fisc, Faithful Breath and a vast majority of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal – so if you like any of this stuff, go ahead and grab this album. With regard to comparison to their other works – I’d say it’s pretty much exactly the same as ‘Diamond Dreamer’. These guys really are the Dutch Saxon; all their albums (that I have) are the same, all songs pretty much the same – but they know what they want – and they rock hard. Toughness is the key word here – and simplicity. But hey if it’s good enough for Saxon – it’s good enough for these Dutchies. An advisable introduction to the band, along with their follow up (the aforementioned ‘Diamond Dreamer’), this is just really neat old school metal done well – strongly rooted in rock n roll simplicity – it will sit nicely alongside anyone’s NWOBHM records. Do your ears a favour and grab it.