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Pyramaze - Disciples Of The Sun Award winner

Pyramaze
Disciples Of The Sun
by Daniel Fox at 16 April 2015, 11:27 AM

7 long years it has been since PYRAMAZE’s last album, “Immortal”, with the famed Matt Barlow at the vocal helm. Come 2015, the band has seen half of the original lineup revamped; still remains Jonah Weingarten on keyboards, Morten Gade Sørensen on drums and Toke Skjønnemand on guitars, but have welcomed about longtime-friend and producer Jacob Hansen on guitars and Terje Harøy on vocals. “Disciples Of The Sun” assuredly marks the beginning of a new era for the band, adopting a new and fresh musical trajectory.

Who would replace the former members were always at the forefront of the minds of their fanbase. A Danish band, with the exception of American Jonah, Jacob Hansen is well-known in the metal echelons of his home-country and abroad for working with and producing many of Metal’s greatest bands; DELAIN, ABORTED, ANUBIS GATE and EPICA among them. Already the band’s producer, the transition to guitar simply made sense. As for vocals, many considered Matt irreplaceable; such cynicism does not have a place in the metal world, for the band pulled in Terje from Prog/Heavy band CROSSNAIL (formerly TEODOR TUFF).

On one hand, the decision to pick a relatively-unknown singer to take the vacant vocal position could be considered risky, but it was the best-possible decision the band could have made, because “Disciples Of The Sun” is chock-full of uplifting and powerful heavy-hitters, to which his voice is perfectly-suited. The introduction of epic proportions sets a spanning, cinematic scene for chugger “The Battle Of Paridas”. One of the album’s heaviest moments right off the bat, the track soon gets into the lyrics, where Terje’s power is obvious right away. Come the chorus (in fact, any chorus on the album, especially that of “Fearless” or “Hope Springs Eternal), the man’s voice lets loose with raw, unrestrained energy. Not losing their trademark, soaring atmospherics either, which are incredibly present in this track, as well as in the infectiously-catchy “Back For More”, PYRAMAZE proves that they have successfully moved forward without losing any trace of their identity.

In hearing the wonderful lyrics for the album, written with absolute poetic flair in “Genetic Process” and “Hope Springs Eternal”, I learned that ANUBIS GATE’s very own bassist/vocalist/lyricist Henrik Fevre was asked to write the new album’s lyrics, given that Michael Kammeyer, the previous writer, had left. And they fit the music PYRAMAZE has lovingly-crafted ever so perfectly; uplifting crescendos and dramatic cascades the ideal vehicle. Heavy-hitting, Progressive Power Metal the band’s tried-and-true engine, not one track on the album hints to any monotony; each piece has its own vibe, and is a story all in its own. For one, “Perfectly Imperfect” booms with a series of Stoner-like opening riffs, before transitioning into soaring and gloriously-melodic choruses. The track to follow, “Unveil”, however, provides some of the more ‘Proggy’ moments on the record; the key-change in the last chorus leaving me light-headed, and probably best display’s Terje’s impressive range. As for the most balls-to-the-castle-wall Metal track on the album, “Hope Springs Eternal” is the package, containing the album’s fastest, most aggressive, most blistering riffs; but in a gracefulness only Scandinavian metallers have perfected, transitions to long-lasting, memorable and melodic choruses.

For my own personal pleasure, the band picked the right year to release “Disciples Of The Sun”, being able to look forward to new NIGHTWISH and new KAMELOT albums as well, for if Metal were a competition, the genre heavy-weights would have serious competition. PYRAMAZE is, quite frankly, the come-back I’ve been waiting for.

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. We Are The Ocean
2. The Battle Of Paridas
3. Disciples Of The Sun
4. Back For More
5. Genetic Process
6. Fearless
7. Perfectly Imperfect
8. Unveil
9. Hope Springs Eternal
10. Exposure
11. When Black Turns To White
12. Photograph
Lineup:
Morten Gade Sørensen - Drums
Jonah Weingarten - Keyboards
Toke Skjønnemand - Guitars
Jacob Hansen - Guitars
Terje Harøy - Vocals
Record Label: Inner Wound Recordings
     


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