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Mirror - Pyramid of Terror Award winner

Mirror
Pyramid of Terror
by Max Elias at 04 August 2019, 8:54 PM

MIRROR starts their album the way a lot of metal albums start; with a soft, clean intro. Or rather, a song with a clean intro; ‘Pyramid of Terror’ doesn’t take long to boil over into a NWOBHM-inspired madcap frenzy. The riffing is galloping but tinged with melodic flashes, and the crashing drums conjure images of armies riding to war. The vocals are decently high-pitched and understandable, but have a bit of roughness to them that keeps them engaging. ‘I Am The Freak’ gets right into the action with a chugging palm-muted verse riff. The lyrics are a bit cheesy, but they are sung with conviction. The neoclassical bridge around 2 minutes in that gives way to a sweep-pick heavy, operatic solo is a well placed bridge between uptempo grit and the slower plod that the song shifts to when that solo concludes. A reprised intro riff takes the song from slow to chugging again. A lot of lead guitar work here; there are three solos across 5 minutes or so of music.

‘Secrets of Time’ is sort of a ballad, although there are no wistful arpeggiated guitars or crooning vocals. But it certainly slows down compared to most of the rest of the album. And especially in the choruses, gone is the tinge of roughness in the vocals in favor of more operatic screams. In keeping with the ballad theme, ‘Master of the Deep’ starts with a gripping, minute-long unaccompanied solo, which gives way to a catchy, classic 80s metal riff. The vocals on this song sound familiar, but I can’t decide who they remind me of. Maybe a blander Dio? Towards the end, about four and a half minutes in, the tempo shifts from mid-paced stomp to galloping Maiden-like attack.

‘Running From the Law’ is pretty standard NWOBHM—galloping main riff, lyrics about being an outlaw, etc.—but the arpeggio fills during the choruses are perfect. They compliment the vocal line exactly and are there just long enough to make their impression. ‘Apollo Rising’ is likewise what anyone familiar with 80s metal (or anyone who’s been listening to the album so far) would expect to hear, although the ending solo brings some nice harmonic minor tonality with it. And if the last two songs were a bit slow for you, ‘Black Magic Tower’ is a blazing whirlwind of gallops and furious drumming, that opens on a solo that sounds like it was leftover from the end of ‘Apollo Rising’. The middle eastern melody is replicated in the vocals, complete with some truly impressive vibrato.

The song breaks about halfway through for a more groove-based take on middle eastern-inspired metal. And like ‘Apollo Rising’, the song ends on an extended lead section. Taken together, the two songs work flawlessly, but even as a standalone track, ‘Black Magic Tower’ is my favorite on here.

MIRROR definitely believe in ending with a bang, as ‘The Last Step Down’ is uptempo, jubilant classic metal. Most of the melody comes from the vocals, but the wailing guitar melody that plays during the bridge is impossible not to hum along with. The song is not that long, but fits in an expressive lead before returning to the bombast. In conclusion; this is a great album and contains varied enough approaches to be interesting all the way through. But I have a difficult time calling this or any other classic metal revivalist album ‘original’, since it’s all built on the greats of the day. Usually in cases like this I just maintain that originality takes a backseat to quality. I definitely recommend this album, and watching what the band does in the future.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Pyramid of Terror
2. I Am The Freak
3. Secrets of Time
4. Master of the Deep
5. Running From the Law
6. Apollo Rising
7. Black Magic Tower
8. Nitocris
9. The Last Step Down
Lineup:
Jimmy Mavromatis - Vocals
Tas Danazoglou - Bass
Constantinos C. Blynd - Guitar
Nikolas Sprits Moutafis - Guitar
Danny Koullis Georgiu - Drums
Record Label: Bad Omen Records
     


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