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Pyramaze - Contingent Award winner

Pyramaze
Contingent
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 14 March 2017, 9:19 AM

PYRAMAZE is a Progressive Melodic Metal band formed in 2001, in Denmark. Following three full-length releases in 2004,2006, and 2008, seven years passed until the 2015 release of ”Disciples of The Sun.” “Contingent” is their forthcoming release in 2017, and contains thirteen tracks. “Land Of Information” leans in with a grand, symphonic build up, plenty of keyboard presence and a big chorus and lots of vocal harmony. Modern, fresh and displaying an amalgam of various styles, it has an overall impact akin to an asteroid strike…first lighting the skies in a trail of colors, and then striking the earth with a tremendous explosion. Terje’s vocals are center stage in “Kingdom Of Solace,” leading a charge of instrumental composition that swirls with confidence and sophistication. The exchange of lead guitar and keyboards is like a battle of two astral giants from a universe unknown.

“Star Men” is an exercise in might and power, fed by a wonderful piano melody and a chorus that shoots for the sky but ends up in the heavens above. The vocal harmonies are simply sublime.  When I think of the word beauty and how it relates to the medium of music in particular, “A World Divided” would be the perfect example. Yet at the same time, it has a commanding roar fueled by impeccable drumming and subtle Progressive elements dancing in the background. Let’s talk about the title track in its two mini-movements of instrumental music. Part One (“The Campaign”) is a demonstrative bridge that ties in the concepts of the album quite nicely, while Part Two (“The Hammer of Remnant”) is more poignant and prophetic in its delivery, reminding you of what the spirit inside of you is capable of accomplishing amidst adversity.

“20 Second Century” brings in more modern elements with the straightforward melodies of bands like MERCENARY, DGM and MUTINY WITHIN. If you can deny this chorus you might not have a pulse. “Under Restraint” is absolutely gorgeous. The bass, guitar and drum strikes hit you hard while the piano and vocals provide the sweet frosting that you always want to eat first. Kristen Foss provides lead vocals in “The Tides That Won’t Change;” a piano and voice song that swoons with emotion and memorability. The exchanges between she and Terje Harøy is something I don’t think I could ever tire of hearing. I have always maintained that heaviness and brutality is the easy part of Heavy Metal, but creating something with pure frail beauty is where the talent really lies. What a lovely song, truly. “Symphony Of Tears” closes the album and wraps up the tale with a heavy, punchy rhythm underneath sparkling lights that illuminate the skies above you.

When Progressive Metal can be this accessible, it is something special for sure. The prowess of the band is omnipresent, and the heaviness is there as well, yet they let the album breathe instead of stifling you with too many tempo changes and overly technical performances that can sometimes feel cold. Indeed, it is warm, inviting, and full of life and vigor. Forward looking, and with no boundaries, the synergy of Progressive, Symphonic and Modern elements offer what is best about several styles of Metal into one album, with a bounty of wondrous tracks.

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

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Land Of Information
2. Kingdom Of Solace
3. Star Men
4. A World Divided
5. Nemesis
6. Contingent - Part I: The Campaign
7. 20 Second Century
8. Obsession
9. Heir Apparent
10. Contingent - Part II: The Hammer of Remnant
11. Under Restraint
12. The Tides That Won't Change
13. Symphony of Tears
Lineup:
Terje Harøy - Vocals
Jacob Hansen – Guitars, Bass
Jonah W. - Keyboards
Toke Skjønnemand - Lead Guitars
Morten Gade Sørensen – Drums
Record Label: Inner Would Recordings
     


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Edited 01 October 2020
 

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