Now Is The time
Released: 2011, Self Released
Quite often when I see self-released albums in my mailbox, I cringe. Many are quite good, but with others it is evident why they have not found a record label. This is not the case with Pyramada (not to be confused with Pyramaze). Released in November of 2011, I am now just getting to this, and man let me say right now they deserve a label. The band is from Fairview, New Jersey, forming in 2007 and plays a unique blend of modern hard rock and melodic metal mixed with some classic old school rock and metal.
The promo material naturally somewhat misrepresents their sound, so do not buy into them being a hybrid of Metallica, Alice In Chains, and Pink Floyd. The actual hybrid would be closer to a cross between Alice In chains and Kiss, with an alternative spin. With the exception of maybe one song, the album is a triumph. Pyramada has found a way to tread the line between modern and classic in a way that is original and prioritizes strength of song over technical sophistication. “Believe” is clearly the song that gives them the AIC tag, particularly in the Layne Staley influenced chorus. “Walk Away” is the stand up and shout fast one, made for live venues and simple enough for the band to really pour energy into the track. However, album opener “Madman” is the stand out track for me while “Hear Me” borrows the infectious melody from “Tonight You Belong To Me” off of Paul Stanley’s solo album, perhaps too liberally, but so be it. It’s still a great tune. They also modernize and intensify Three Dog Night’s “One”, but not being much of a fan of the original tune, I can say that Pyramada’s version is only marginally better.
From a mix standpoint, the album sounds pretty good with everything easily heard and balanced. Admittedly, Pyramada leans closer to hard rock than metal, but there are enough metal moments to satisfy fans of Kiss and AIC. At times, the album comes across as a bit too simplistic. Certainly I would have loved to hear a few more ripping solos and fast riffs, like on “People Talk”. For the most part, the songs move between slow and mid-paced. But in the end, these are minor quibbles because I will take a strong song any day over soulless wankery. I suspect though that Pyramada’s brand of metal is not one that really fits into the popular subgenres of metal these days, namely Black, Power, Progressive, and Death, thus finding a label could be tough. So best of luck to them finding a label that can market and promote their type of music, because it is a welcome pasture when fatigue from all that is heavy calls for respite through metal of a different beast. Recommended for fans of AIC, Kiss, and post-grunge.