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Pictorial Wand - Face Of Our Fathers CD (album) cover

FACE OF OUR FATHERS

Pictorial Wand

 

Symphonic Prog

3.56 | 54 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

J-Man
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Verse of Despair

After hearing all of the praise for Pictorial Wand's sophomore album, I couldn't wait to experience Face of our Fathers myself. This Norwegian project is a one-man-band of sorts, being entirely composed by Mattis Sörum, who also plays guitar, bass, keyboards, and percussion. Although I had pretty high expectations for the album, many of them were far exceeded. Calling Face of our Fathers incredible is no understatement, constantly boasting top-notch musicianship, breathtaking vocal melodies, and haunting compositions. If you like somewhat operatic symphonic prog with heavier touches every now and again, this is a highly recommendable release. The talent of Mattis Sörum is undeniably stunning - the music that he's created is remarkable and well-worth all of the praise that it's garnered. Although the album isn't quite a masterpiece, Pictorial Wand is surely a band to keep your eye on in the coming years.

The music on Face of our Fathers is a cross between gritty southern-symphonic prog in the vein of Kansas, the theatrical aspects of early Genesis, and heavier operatic tendencies in the vein of Ayreon or Pain of Salvation. It's a satisfying and original mix of classic prog and more modern prog metal influences. The instrumentation is often unconventional for modern symphonic prog, frequently featuring violin and cello, which even further adds the apparent Kansas influences. Every one of the seven songs is on the longer side, with the lengthiest being over 12 minutes. Thus, this is a rather long album, clocking in at almost 70 minutes. There are a few parts that "drag" a bit, but they are, thankfully, few and far between. The vast majority of Face of our Fathers is a miraculous journey worth taking. As I've mentioned earlier, the talent exerted from Mattis Sörum is amazing, and the other musicians are terrific as well. It's especially worth noting the vocalists Tore Christer Storlid, Gry Tronslien, Julie Christensen, and Petter Selliseth. These vocal harmonies are just breathtaking, and are utilized perfectly. Any person who enjoys great vocal arrangements will be in heaven with this. Vocally, I'm often reminded of Pain of Salvation especially.

The production, while slightly unprofessional, is still excellent. Everything is clear and easily audible. It's great to hear some a group who doesn't fall into the over-produced symphonic prog trap.

Conclusion:

I was expecting a lot from Face of our Fathers, and I can confidently conclude that this is every bit as good as I thought it would be. If you like good ole symphonic progressive rock with some modern amenities, this is the album for you. It's every bit as great as the beautiful artwork that accompanies it. 4 stars are well-earned for this modern masterwork. Great job on behalf of everyone involved - I can't wait to hear more!

J-Man | 4/5 |

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