Reviewed: August 2005
Released: 2004, Nightmare Records
A new name on the scene, transcontinental power metallers Pyramaze made a sizable splash in 2004 when their debut album MELANCHOLY BEAST hit the shelves. I missed it the first time around, but power/prog metal specialists Nightmare Records have wisely picked it up for re-distribution this year, giving another round of metalheads a chance to hear this band.
Formed by guitarist Michael Kammeyer, Pyramaze consists of 3 Danes and 2 Americans, most notably extraordinary vocalist Lance King (Balance of Power, Mattson, Gemini). Lance has always been the best thing about the bands he’s in, and with Pyramaze, he finally seems to have found a band that is equal to him ‘cause MELANCHOLY BEAST is a top-shelf power metal album. Beginning with the excellent “Sleepy Hollow”, Pyramaze quickly establish their M.O. of muscular power metal riffs and soaring vocals, mixed with a ethereal (but not over-powering) keyboards and a first-rate rhythm section.
Technically, I could name each song on the album as a standout because the band has an uncanny ability to put at least 1 great idea into each song. Some ideas work better than others, but there is not a single bad song on this album. Still, “Until We Fade Away” is kinda dull and focusing on unicorns in “Legend” doesn’t do anything to dispel the idea that power metal is gay, but for a first album Michael Kammeyer proves himself to be an accomplished songwriter who can only get better.
The fact is, Nightmare Records has put out a ton of great stuff of late, and MELANCHOLY BEAST is no exception. Pyramaze has the potential to be a genre-leader for many years to come.
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