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Pyramaze - Epitaph Award winner

by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 29 November 2020, 11:45 AM

From their Facebook Page, Danish Progressive Metal band “PYRAMAZE are devoted to making music that mirrors their souls, combines all of their influences, and stimulates the mind and spirit of their listeners. PYRAMAZE continue to make music that is dark, thought provoking, all with a sense of fearlessness! The band will forever be committed to making the melodic art of a group that understands the importance of staying true and faithful to one's passion. “Epitaph” is the band’s sixth studio release and contains twelve tracks.

The title track leads off the album. It’s a short, just under two-minutes of beautiful piano notes from Jonah and some light symphonic elements as well. It feels slightly sad to me, but also epic in its ominousness. “A Stroke of Magic” begins with slow, heavy and aggressive sounds, like a mountain is coming down. The vocals of Terje are raspy and done with a good deal of vibrato. The melodies flow in the chorus, and those symphonic elements are ever-present. Following a guitar solo, it ends on the same ominous feeling. “Steal my Crown” opens with some ambient keys and background vocals. When the main riff drops, it oozes melody. They really push the melodies in the chorus, as those background vocals are very rich.

“Knights in Shining Armour” opens with some lead guitar notes combined with piano and then doses of shining keys. It’s a bit faster moving. Terje’s vocals are commanding here, and I love the piano in the background. Once again, it’s the chorus where the band really shines. IMO, they are sometimes tricky to pull off, but PYRAMAZE has proven how to do them well. The bridge after the second chorus is thick with guitar and keys, and the guitar solo that follows takes you to another world. It builds to a crescendo with double time kick drum.

“Bird of Prey” begins with a slower pace and some melody in the guitars. This song will really get you. It’s so damn catchy. The vocals are emotional here, and you begin to drift away in bliss. It touches your very soul and fills any holes you might have in your heart. Forget your worries and just get lost in the melody here. “Your Last Call” begins with a bit of a faster pace, and equal doses of keys and guitars. The harmonic leads are nicely done. Just after the half-way mark, it takes an alluring pause of piano, followed by an emotional guitar solo. “Particle” begins with heavy guitar parts and some glittering symphonic elements. The vocals are super smooth in the verses, and the thick bass notes add some depth to the sound. This song waxes and wanes…at times beautiful while at other times heavy and dark.

“Indestructible” opens with a slower pace and those symphonic elements are in the forefront here, followed by piano notes. The vocals are poignant at first, but Terje really lets loose in the chorus. The backing vocals have more layers than a wedding cake. The guitar solo here is very sweet…slow and emotional. “Transcendence” is the shortest on the album with vocals. This mid-tempo groover rings high with both heavy elements and striking elements of hope as well. The female guest vocals by Brittany Slayes (UNLEASH THE ARCHERS) are absolutely beautiful. “Last Chance” is three-and-a-half minutes of energetic riffing and powerful symphonic elements. It burns down to your soul.

“World Foregone” begins with pretty strings and piano notes, leading to a heavy charge of guitars and vocals. It builds to a big crescendo, talking about “how long, how low can we go on, the world’s forgone. “The Time Traveller” closes the album, and it’s an opus, at over 12-minutes in length. It begins with a full-on attack of guitar, bass, drums and keys right up in your face. The sound shifts several times throughout, including a dazzling keyboard solo. Only four minutes in and at this point they have used every instrument but the kitchen sink. At the half-way mark, it drops to just piano notes, strings and very charming vocals. Just when you think they are done, they come around for more. What a fantastic song to end an album on.

What strikes me most about “Epitaph” is just how well it’s constructed. I would imagine that the band members are inside reach other’s heads, knowing just where to go next. Every note and every passage is so well thought out, and each member contributes equally. This is the mark of a seasoned band that exudes energy and passion in their music. This album has it all…catchy, monstrous melodies, dazzling displays of musicianship, and ominous conclusions. Surely, it’s a contender for Album of the Year.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Epitaph
2. A Stroke of Magic
3. Steal my Crown
4. Knights in Shining Armour
5. Bird of Prey
6. Your Last Call
7. Particle
8. Indestructible
9. Transcendence
10. Final Hour
11. World Foregone
12. The Time Traveller
Morten Gade Sørensen – Drums
Jonah Weingarten – Keyboards
Toke Skjønnemand – Guitars
Jacob Hansen – Guitars
Terje Harøy – Vocals
Record Label: AFM Records


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