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Pyramaze - Melancholy Beast (Reissue) Award winner

Pyramaze
Melancholy Beast (Reissue)
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 07 November 2017, 12:32 PM

#makekeyboardsmatteragain

Denmark’s PYRAMAZE formed in 2001, and have released five full-length albums to date. An amalgam of Melodic Metal, Power Metal and Progressive Metal, they have always managed to find a niche in their music that is unique to them alone. “Melancholy Beast” is a reissue of their 2004 debut album, so if you are not familiar with the band, you can enjoy introducing yourself to them for the first time as if it was the date of the original release. The album contains nine tracks.

“Sleepy Hollow” leads off the album, with a spooky entrance from acoustic guitars, piano and spoken vocals which are hushed and evil sounding. The lines he utters are: “What - what's the price Ichabod? The price for your systematic denial of the underworld. You see what you want to see, hear what you want to hear, slumbering behind your walls of false reality, with your life of manmade rules still intact. But what happens when you get confronted? With the shadows of the realm below. Will you lose your head?” From there the vocals and keys soar in, with layers of wondrous melody and a galloping riff. The title track is a mid-tempo rocker that builds an eerie and mysterious sound with the vocal harmonies in the verses. The backing keys really add texture to this suspense as well.

“The Journey” has that Power Metal rhythm that hits you squarely from the start. But there is a lot more going on than just this. They keep a steady sound going at all times so that the track never thins. In some ways it reminds me of early QUEENSRYCHE, though they are better with more consistent harmonies in this manner. The hash tag at the beginning of the review is there to remind you of the emotional power and beauty that the piano and keyboards have to offer. When you listen to “Until we Fade Away,” you get this exact tag. “Legend” is a seven-minute track with a commanding roar. It’s heavy and aggressive and allows King’s vocals to soar. The ambient passage that follows the second chorus is absolutely wonderful—this is mastery of craft. “Might Abyss” is even longer, at over eight minutes. This is a landmark in songwriting. They have the Progressive senses of a band like FATES WARNING and the strength and power of an iconic act like IRON MAIDEN, and Jonah buries the ivories in a burning keyboard solo.

“The Nature of Triumph” is a short mood-setting instrumental that segues into the final track, “Power of Imagination.” It’s a wonderful story telling piece of sorts that has many different passages along your journey in an array of talented musicianship and diversity. When you consider this being the band’s debut album, you have to consider it an instant classic. They have an uncanny ability to take the best of what is offered in Progressive, Power and Melodic Metal, and bend and twist it with the magic of an alchemist into something absolutely special.

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

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Sleepy Hollow
2. Forsaken Kingdom
3. Melancholy Beast
4. The Journey
5. Until we Fade Away
6. Legend
7. Mighty Abyss
8. The Nature of Triumph
9. Power of Imagination
Lineup:
Morten Gade Sorensen – Drums
Jonah Weingarten – Keyboards
Niels Kvist – Bass
Michael Kammeyer – Guitars
Lance King – Vocals 
Record Label: Inner Wound Recordings
     


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