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Pyramaze: Contingent
Pyramaze Contingent CD Album Review

Pyramaze: Contingent

Progressive Power Metal
4.0/5.0

With some curiosity, both Mindmaze and Pyramaze launch new albums this month for their label Inner Wound Recordings. Two bands with "maze" in their name releasing albums on the same date for the same label. Coincidence? I wonder if the metal muses are just messing with us. For the Danish Pyramaze, Contingent is their fifth album in 16 years. It boasts a stable line up, the same from Disciples Of The Sun. Additionally, Contingent is a concept album, being describes as "an epic post-apocalyptic conceptual piece inspired by current events, the human spirit to overcome struggle and diversity, and the brotherhood that lies there in." You're probably going to need the lyrics (which were not supplied with my EPK).

Pyramaze Contingent Band Photo

Pyramaze

Mostly, musically speaking, Contingent picks up where the previous album left off. In other words, Pyramaze returns with their melodic progressive power metal, wrapped in dense and intricate arrangements, and liberally seasoned with guitar and keyboard solos. That's the short description. More elaboration from here might be a moot point, but let's add a little more.

The Pyramaze sound has some signature characteristics. One is simply the depth and density of their wall of sound, coming first from the twin guitar riffage and then embellished by a cinematic synth layer. This creates an interesting combination, perhaps a juxtaposition, of sharpness with dark and deep moodiness. This in turn requires you to be attentive to what you hear, which leads to another Pyramaze characteristic, the abundance of synth and guitar solos. The latter are spirited and feisty, and so easily heard. Not so much for the synth solos which, while equally present, are not equally heard. They come with some subtlety, nearly as accent. Their greater role seems to be to provide more atmospheric density to the already deep arrangements. Additionally, Pyramaze's dense wall of sound requires you to be attentive to Terje Haroy's vocals. He has a melodic and strong voice, but that strength seems unable to rise above the mix which nearly smothers him. He's best heard in the quieter metal anthem The Tides That Won't Change, a duet with Kristen Foss, perhaps one of the best songs here.

And I'm not going to go into any detail about any particular song. If you followed the aforementioned description of the Pyramaze sound or have heard their previous material, you know what to expect. Nevertheless, with The Tides That Won't Change, a few more favorites include A World Divided (listen below), 20 Second Century, and Land Of Information. It's enough to say that Contingent finds Pyramaze constant and consistent, delivering heavy and dense, mildly dark, progressive power metal. It's what they do. Recommended.



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The Bottom Line

Contingent finds Pyramaze constant and consistent, delivering heavy and dense, mildly dark, progressive power metal. It's what they do. Recommended.

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