I’ve been fan of Pyramaze since the debut album but this is my first review of one of their albums for Metal-Rules.com. The band is very well-regarded among staff with very high scores for all their albums and I’m pleased to say that the new album, CONTINGENT, continues to meet high standards.
Many bands who experience from a constant change in singers might suffer from lack of a consistent vocal identity. Despite having constant changes in the form of various world-class vocalists, (Lance King, Matt Barlow, Urban Breed) the band hopefully has found their stride with Terje Haroy of Teodor Tuff. This is significant because the Power Metal scene in Denmark is quite small and tight and now the Danes have a local singer instead of an American. I’m not sure if it is huge difference but this is the second album he has appeared on.
Not an enormous amount has changed since the last album a couple of years ago, the line-up is stable, the band is still on Inner Wound with Jacob Hansen producing, and pulling double duty as guitarist as well. Keen-eyed fans will notice that the band have perhaps abandoned the cloaked wizard like figure that appeared on the last two album covers in exchange for a far more science fiction themed album art, which is logical because, lyrically the songs cover more modern and futuristic topics such as politics and information technology.
The bands signature, mid-paced, classy and elegant, keyboard heavy melodic Power Metal sound is fully intact. Huge choruses draw the listener in and sophisticated songs capture the ear without being too complex. Good riffs and good ideas permeate the songs, which several of them might even have a bit of a melancholy undercurrent. There is some orchestration and instrumentation, acoustic piano but not over-emphasized. Highlight track for me is “20 Second Century”, the band must like it too, because it is the first single.
If you are a Power Metal fan, CONTINGENT and Pyramaze are pretty flawless. That makes for five winning albums in a row without a single misfire or misstep and demonstrates the bands skill and quality they offer to fans, not to mention slowly building a very strong catalogue over the past 15 years or so.
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