Where have they been? Danish band Pyramaze has been under the radar or, perhaps better, missing in action for better than seven years. Since then there's been personnel changes with founding member Michael Kammeyer bailing, producer Jacob Hansen joining, and a new and fourth vocalist in Terje Har°y. Now the band releases their fourth studio album Disciples of the Sun.
Considering the caliber of past work and the acclamation received, you would expect more of the same from Pyramaze. Truthfully, after seven years, my recollection of previous album Immortal is sketchy at best, remembering only the depth of Matt Barlow's vocals. But once more Pyramaze offers their mixture of melodic, heavy, and power metal with maybe a slight touch of progressive metal.
My first impression of Disciples of the Sun was two-fold, that it was both dense and heavy. The former comes from the twin guitar riffs and keyboard layer, probably more the first. The latter comes from those same riffs, but also the booming drums underneath. Throw this element back into the first, add the vocal layer, and the density swells. This presented a rather odd conundrum for me. I found myself torn between simply listening to the music in it's own right and doing some critical dissection to understand what Pyramaze was doing. And that was with the first spin.
Second time around, I did some of both, seeking and listening for the certain nuances within a song that caught my interest or kept my attention. One is the breakdown in the latter third of the title track where the symphonic keys come and lead into a rich guitar solo. Another is the melodic guitar line over piano at the start of Back For More, with a good groove underneath. However, the former gets thumped down in the bulk of the song. But the guitar solo in the back half soars. Which leads to a general observation about Disciples of the Sun: the guitar solos are darn epic throughout. I'm thinking the best part of the album. Inside Fearless, from the mid point on the riffs and leads are basically face melting. A few other songs of note. If you like a good combination of riffs and bass line, with a proper peppering of drums, Unveil is a stand out track. It's also one of the more subdued songs, laid back in a heavy sort of way, and that's in the midst of the density. But some sense of lightness you have to wait until the end and Photograph. It's largely quieter guitars with vocals, and synths underneath. Ultimately, Disciples of the Sun is a welcome return to form for Pyramaze: creative melodic heavy and power metal. Whether it's better or even different than past works will probably be decided by the long time fan intimately familiar with their work. Otherwise, check it out. You might like it.
Disciples of the Sun is a welcome return to form for Pyramaze: creative melodic heavy and power metal. Whether it's better, or even different than past works, will probably be decided by the long time fan intimately familiar with their work.
It's been sometime since I heard from Iced Earth. My last Iced Earth review was nine years ago for 2008's The Crucible of Man - Something Wicked Part 2. With all the music that gets pitched my way on a daily, and yearly, basis I'm not ... [ Read More ]