Pyramaze - Immortal review
|Release date:||May 2008|
02. Year Of The Phoenix
03. Ghost Light
04. Touched By The Mara
05. A Beautiful Death
06. Legacy In A Rhyme
07. Caramon's Poem
08. The Highland
09. Shadow Of The Beast
10. March Through An Endless Rain
If I should take one risk while writing this review, say by calling Immortal one of the most unimaginative albums I've ever heard, I will have stepped into a world that seemingly eluded the members of Pyramaze during the recording process. Of course, if I were to say such a thing, I would have to defend my statement, and surely I would discover the abundance of redeeming qualities upon further listening.
Unfortunately there were very few discoveries made throughout the repeated plays, as nothing on this album presented itself as something worth discovering. The intro, "Arise", begins with ethereal female chants that soon take a back seat to Matt Barlow's narrated lyrics. In fact, almost every element in the following songs on this album takes a back seat to Barlow, aside from the occasional mandatory solo. The problem with this is that Barlow sounds completely devoid of passion, as if he's not even singing for a paycheck, let alone for the love of music. And when you're a talented band playing behind a distraught vocalist, you'd better come up with some pretty good material to support him, not a ballad to expose his weaknesses as heard in "Legacy In A Rhyme".
Again, this is another area where Pyramaze fall short. This music is just safe, commercial-driven power metal that lacks any single outstanding qualities. The solos are brief and lack variation, the drumming both simple and smooth, and ... yet another album apparently lacking a bassist. Maybe the songs on this album would have more strength if Niels Kvist didn't call in sick for the recording process! Probably the most obvious mistake was focusing too much on the clarity of Barlow's soaring shouts and not the power and unity of the instruments, which is rather unfortunate, as the band members on an individual level are more than capable of dishing out memorable performances.
To put things in perspective, if you are a fan of safely played formulaic power metal or even Matt Barlow (particularly on Iced Earth's Something Wicked - Part 2 release) this will more than fulfill your expectations and satisfy your taste buds: Therefore this album deserves nothing less than an "average" score as it is safe enough to keep it from sounding awful, yet suffers from unoriginality. In order to remain significant in the power metal scene, this band needs to seek motivation and try to produce something in the near future that contains more personality and creativity, especially now that they will be playing with Bloodbound vocalist Urban Breed, who comes with a much smaller fan following than Barlow.
|Since the beginning of Metal Storm (and the band can confirm it ) we've always been some fervent supporters of Pyramaze and this is not this year that we will start to praise their name. Sure they've hired one of the most fantastic singers of the Heavy Metal scene (Matt belongs in the list of my favorite singers) but I will try to focus on the music of the new album and not only on a name (even if of course we have nothing to say against him one more time!). "Immortal" is a super album of Progressive Power Metal.
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