Life In Pictures - By The Sign Of The Spyglass (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Life In Pictures

By The Sign Of The Spyglass (2005)


Metalcore couldn't be more of a consistent genre. Upon my first listen to a metalcore CD, I cross my fingers in hopes that the album will lack any sort of instrumental opening with hellish guitars. Life In Pictures manages to open their album By The Sign Of The Spyglass without a full track dedicated to such monotonous and predictable sounds, though a decent portion of the song "All My Pirates Share The Grave" does feature them, as well as seemingly oceanic noises. A "metal" storm at sea, if you will.

Life In Pictures' vocals exist as the main distinguishing factor between them and every other metalcore band, because surely the, at times, cheesy guitar licks (see "All My Pirates Share The Grave") are too much to handle. Overall, By The Sign Of The Spyglass does emit intense guitar work, something that's become admirable for this genre when present.

As far as how they stand up to the other metalcore acts around today -- all 2,329,406 of them -- Life In Pictures have come a long way since their formation in 2000. Since then, they've played with bands from Converge, Every Time I Die, and Cave In to Embrace Today, Champion, and Throwdown, and gathered a pretty solid and varied fan-base along the way.

Sing-a-longs, double bass, semi-unique vocals (think Every Time I Die during their Last Night In Town days)? By The Sign Of The Spyglass has all of that and more. This hour-long release -- Clockwork Recordings' first to date, by the way -- is a refreshing change of pace from the more predictable, Slayer-inspired metalcore bands.

The very end of the album's last track, "The Last Of The Blind Man" encases the band's most efficient, intense sound. With a little more consistency throughout the album to its last track, Life In Pictures would be well on their way to joining some of metalcore's greats.