Patrick : Pictura Poesis is a Dutch symphonic death metal band which was formed in 2012. In addition to the musical inspiration coming from all sort of influences (e.g. Dream Theater, Nightwish, Septicflesh), the band takes a lot of inspiration from literature and art (paintings). It is also where they drew their name from: 'Ars Poetica' by Horace. The six have already released an EP in 2013 and 2014 and now come with a full-length: 'Miseriae Mundi'.
In the music you hear influences from a variety of the metal spectrum: death metal holds the upper hand, but you also get elements from gothic, thrash and black metal. The danger of all these different influences is that it becomes a hodgepodge, but the bombastic orchestral music does not imply a gallimaufry. The vocals of Bas van Esch are deep and threatening (but could use a little more variation), there is a lot of room for the keyboard and the tracks are complemented by samples of marching soldiers and a crackling fire (the instrumental 'Nightfall'). The keyboards do not only play a role in setting atmosphere, but also have a lot of emphasis (‘Visions Of Death (Ego Sum Bellum Pt II)’, ‘Plains of Existence’). Personally, I prefer it when music is heavier, aggressive and more intense (Fleshgod Apocalypse, Septicflesh), that the keyboards have less emphasis and the guitar are more emphatically present, but I realize that that is a matter of taste. You may also need to ask if, from a band with two keyboard players and one guitarist in their ranks, it is realistic to expect that the synthesizers take on a less explicit role.
The band itself say they take a lot of inspiration from literature and paintings, but with titles such as 'Legions Of Doom', 'De Witt' (about the murder of the De Witt brothers) and 'The Bockereyders', history can not be unmentioned either. All tracks have English lyrics, except 'De Witt', which is sung in Dutch and the last spoken section of 'The Bockereyders'. It may sound al little weird to internationally listeners.
'Miseriae Mundi' is an album with which Pictura Poesis presents them well. The band comes up with good songs and knows how to put the whole concept down. I would love to see it all more intense and heavier, but the emphasis on the symphonic will appeal to more than enough people.