Pictured came together in 2007 in Quimper, Brittany, by the hands of Niko Beleg (guitar and vocals), Thomas Coïc (drums), Sébastien Le Bellec (guitars) and Sylvain Coïc (bass) who were completely determined to thrash the French scene with their Melodic Death/Thrash fusion. After their first self-produced demo, Son of the Night, in 2008 and then a full produced demo (The Dwelling) in 2010, Pictured set its sights on recording their debut proper album The Strand of Time.

Annihilation is a relatively new band hailing from Portugal, who recently released their debut album, Against The Storm. After listening to it in its entirety I would have to categorize their style as being heavily influenced by early-mid 90’s death metal. The opening track, “Tortured with Hate” starts things off with the sound of breaking glass, which spirals into a dizzying array of heavy riffage, blast beats and some dual vocals, very much in the vein of Krisiun mixed with Morbid Angel, then crescendos into some dark harmonies which add a nice touch. From there the album proceeds in a similar fashion of heavy guitars, massive double bass drum work, blast beats and various tempo changes.