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Pictorial Wand

Symphonic Prog

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Pictorial Wand A Sleeper's Awakening album cover
3.55 | 46 ratings | 4 reviews | 22% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2006

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Prologue
2. The King & his Land pt. I
3. The Gate of Lost Souls
4. Pride - The Path of Thorns
5. Envy pt. I - In Shadow
6. Envy pt. II - Broken Glass
7. Wrath pt. I - A Wandering in the Dark
8. Wrath pt. II - The Beast Within
9. Gluttony - Corrosion of Flesh

CD 2
1. Sloth pt. I - Retrospective Visions
2. Sloth pt. II - Red Sunset & a Drowning Fly
3. Greed pt. I - The Golden Path
4. Greed pt. II - Warning not Heard
5. Lust pt. I - The Temptress of Unchastity
6. Lust pt. II - A Sleeper´s Awakening
7. The King & his Land pt. II - Pensiveness

Line-up / Musicians

- Tomas di Sansimone / drums
- Idar Eidsaune / bass guitar
- Paal Selsjord Björseth / piano, organ, harpsichord
- Per Christian Jörstad / cello
- Synne Teiseth Norbeck / flute
- Staale Storlökken / synthesizer solo
- Sigrid Inderberg / flute
- Hanna Haugan / cello
- Mattis Sörum / electric & acoustic guitars, electric sitar, organs, keyboards & orchestra arrangements

- Petter Selliseth, Ingrid Strid, Lise Granden Berg, Gry Tronslien, Eva Marianne Olsson, Stian Leknes, Mattis Sörum, Martin Adams Kvam, Nina Utbjör Guldal / voices

Releases information

2xCD Unicorn Records UNCR 5027 (2006)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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PICTORIAL WAND A Sleeper's Awakening ratings distribution

(46 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(22%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(52%)
Good, but non-essential (15%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

PICTORIAL WAND A Sleeper's Awakening reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by TheGazzardian
3 stars Do you love music with a theatric flair? Are you a fan of the occasional metal-like riffing? Do you love the combination of rock and classical instrumentation? Then this could be the album for you!

It starts off with some mood-setting music, before a narrator comes and sets the groundwork for this tale - the tale of a king who was cruel to his people, in a faraway land that has since been long forgotten. The second track starts off along similar lines, the acoustic guitar being overtaken by electric guitar and keys before the first minute is out. This is the sound of the album - delicate bits and heavier bits interwoven to create a theatric atmosphere.

But that atmosphere doesn't end there. Before the second minute, vocals appear in English that is just-so-slightly accented. The guitars and keys return, and then a second, female vocalist adds her weight to the words. Oh yes. This is why Pictorial Wand appeals to me. The multiple vocalists adding different textures to the music, the heaviness adding weightiness when it is needed, flutes, strings, and keys creating more pastoral, medieval sounding sections. The melodies oh-so-pleasant to hear.

By the end of the second track, we are introduced to one more flavour of this album. A spacey section with keyboards and a woodwind instrument, with a child (who does an excellent job) reading from a book at the instruction of a woman that I presume is his mother or his nurse. It seems that he will be accompanying us on this story too, and the way that his parts are done, I always get the feeling that he is watching what is happening from a distance, as if he is almost further away then we are, and this increases the feeling of me being a part of the story. As if I am witnessing these events that he will later read a simplified version of from his book. (Although to be fair, based on some of the passages that he reads out, it may simply be that he is reading a story that lines up well with what is happening in the rest of the music, for some of the passages don't seem at all related. Like, for example, the one about the hungry mouse and the gluttonous pig.)

The album pretty much follows this template throughout. Unfortunately, it suffers from one feature - it's length. While I enjoy the album very much, it doesn't quite reach the lofty heights that would require me to recommend it to another. It reaches nearly 2 hours of music, and in that two hours, stays pretty close to what I described above in the second track. For this reason, I can only give this album three stars, with a strong recommendation to fans of theatric rock and roll.

Otherwise, check out Trans-Siberian Orchestra's Beethoven's Last Night. Similar in style, but much easier to digest.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars PICTORIAL WAND is the one man project of Mattis Sorum from Norway. He does have plenty of guests helping him out though on this his debut. Interesting that he completed this recording while going full time to University taking music. Well it did take 3 years to make but still I find that quite impressive.

As some know i'm not big on concept albums especially double concept albums like this one. Apparently it deals with the seven deadly sins as heard in the first person through this king. There's so much to like here and i'm surprised at how heavy this is at times. Also the vocals bring Daniel Gildenlow to mind for me quite often. There's narration usually to begin a song and often by a male child. A fair amount of atmosphere as well as flute and cello. There's even some electric sitar on one track. The female vocals are well done too.

This is an ambitious project to say the least. If I was even remotely into concept albums this would be easily 4 stars, but the almost 2 hours of music with the focus on the concept is just not my bag. I'm very impressed though and I understand his latest is even better than this one. 3.5 stars.

Latest members reviews

4 stars To tell you the truth, I only approached this album because the concept about the seven deadly sins always was of extrime interest to me. But in the end I was surprised to notice that the lyrics and the concept itself only were secondary, in the end. Why? Because of the music! Now, don't get m ... (read more)

Report this review (#93961) | Posted by scandosch | Tuesday, October 10, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I must say, I hesitated to buy this one. The artwork on the cover is not all that. But one listen in the shop convinced me to take this one with me and put it in a favorite pile in front of the player. The cd itself is a concept album, and the title speaks for it self. It's very difficult to c ... (read more)

Report this review (#84832) | Posted by Hét LICHAAM | Wednesday, July 26, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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