Life in Pictures Songs From the Sawmill

It’s easy to be cynical when the first seconds of a record are comprised of a Maiden riff. When that boat landed on Ellis Island it unleashed an epidemic crueller than any mere mortal could transmit. These infectious ideas have come to tyrannise music from east to west, speeding through its vital organs to become a permanent parasite. A screaming guitar opens an onslaught of harmonising guitars and larynx-searing vocals. During the first mandatory squealing mosh breakdown, piercing gang vocals matched with a relentless vocal melody comprises a fist-pumping sing-along that doesn’t sound contrived. With Songs from the Sawmill, Life in Pictures are able to transform cynicism into a glimmer of hope when punk rock drum beats, harmonising guitars laced with heart-stopping chug interludes coalesce into songs no shorter than four-and-a-half minutes. They have tight stops and use them peculiarly, keeping one guessing as to when the next bomb will drop. "Red Fall” contains the album’s catchiest moment when a low growl is quickly replaced with a shriek. They sporadically endeavour into crazy tech metal parts, but mostly uphold an emotionally vile metal core. (Limekiln)