Some bands make your job so hard to review, Pyramaze was such a band, as from the get go I found myself struggling to review it without drawing myself away from the raw explosion of the music to give a down the line review. So here it is as honest as I can.
Pyramaze are a rocking progressive metal outfit from Denmark. Formed in 2001 this progressive melodic metal outfit explode out with “Land Of Information” which sets the album with a symphonic intro build up that has a big feel, emphasized by the choruses and vocal harmonies that penetrate and set the stage for what is a great album.
“Contingent” is an album with a very clean production quality, and yet able to capture the talent and energy of the band. They manage to package a wide variety of stylistic influences into their songs and the album as a whole. Very few bands grab me from the start and this is one of those bands, they hit the ground like Thor’s mighty hammer. It’s atomically excellent. Vocals are great and powerful, the recording allows for clean pronunciation. Terje’s vocal ability is certainly a high light of the album. The album flows smoothly into “Kingdom Of Solace” that again highlights the creativity and song writing prowess of the band. If you a fan of lots of great lead guitar work, and amazing keyboard musicianship in your metal, reach out and get this album.
There is artistic excellence throughout. I know I might be coming across totally like a crazed fan, but the fact is I don’t mind, “Contingent” as an album is that good…..read more closely…..THE ALBUM IS THAT GOOD!
Oh man, “Star Men” is an epic song, again Pyramaze show their genius at work. Love the piano melody at the beginning, and the chugging rhythm, a wonderful musical expression that has a massive feel to it. It has a big movie score feel to it. Again they score 10/10 on their vocal harmonies, if anything they have that ground covered very well throughout. Hahaha then they hit you with, “A World Divided”, and you like spinning like how could they improve on the last song. Again the artistry of making music is portrayed with excellence. It has a raw momentum to the song, which drives strong. Again, another great example of a progressive music piece that defies normality and reaches high and succeeds with an eerie faultlessness. The dramatic intro of the titltle track, “Contingent – Part 1” is another powerful Orchestrated piece that serves as almost an intermission piece half way through the album. Almost as if the album has been divided into two parts, or two movements.
So the second half of the release is set up with “20 Second Century”, it blasts the album once again with a powerful delivery, some great drumming and driving rhythm; Again showing the bands versatility and musical reach. This song has a unmistakably new school approach towards progressive metal.
“Obsession” and “Her Apparent” work well together, though similar the unmistakable awe jaw dropping chorus and vocal harmonies are standout. The vocal artistry is brilliant in these in these songs and one would truly be dead to music brilliance if their music does not by any means get the blood pumping and the heart racing for more.
Well as I said earlier it seemed like the album was divided into two parts, but let’s make that three with “Contingent Part 2”. As you see my excitement for the album, I started writing right of the cuff, been drawn into the energy and drive and artistic brilliance of the band. Though “Under Restraint” might not be as a strong platform for part 3 as “20 Second Century” it still shows a band that can write strong emotional pieces filled with movements and great lead guitar solos. One of the most beautiful songs on this album is, “The Tides That Won’t Change” with Kristen Foss providing lead vocals. Its emotionally powerful, and is predominately a vocal song. Terje and Kristen share vocal duty with memorable and powerful effect. It’s a lovely piece that will stand a long time in my head.
“Symphony Of Tears” the last song on this album wraps up the story perfectly with its driving musical punch. Love it when a album ends on a strong song, it just helps strengthen and solidify a album, and often can cover the weaknesses within a release, which this album really has none in my books. Nevertheless it just highlights the artistry and excellence of the band from start to ending.
So in conclusion, listening through now a couple of times I can say this, Pyramaze’s release, ”Contingent” is flooded with musical sophistication and energy that shows a confident team of musical individuals. They paint a landscape of beautiful and wonderful sounds that are highlighted by the strong vocal artistry of Terje which has a strong emotional charge to his voice. Your ears need a serious wax cleaning if you don’t find this album appealing, or heart racing. Its heavy, it progressive, it’s melodic and danceable. Even my wife came in and said this is so good, and indeed it’s THAT good! When you can turn brutality and heaviness to sound so good in metal that in its auditory landscape it creates such an unmistakable sound of beauty that makes progressive metal available and accessible, it’s truly something that is extraordinary. It’s an album filled with life, inviting, Symphonic, modern, fresh and new. “Contingent” blends Symphonic and progressive metal and other stylistic influences with seamless ease into a solid musical release.
Written by Donovan de Necker
01. Land Of Information
02. Kingdom Of Solace
03. Star Men
04. A World Divided
06. Contingent – Part I: The Campaign
07. 20 Second Century
09. Heir Apparent
10. Contingent – Part II: The Hammer of Remnant
11. Under Restraint
12. The Tides That Won’t Change
13. Symphony of Tears
Terje Haroy – Vocals
Jacob Hansen – Guitars, Bass
Jonah W. – Keyboards
Toke Skjønnemand – Lead Guitars
Morten Gade Sørensen – Drums
Record Label: Inner Wound Recordings, April 2017
2004: Melancholy Beast [Replica/Nightmare]
2006: Legend of the Bone Carver [Massacre/Nightmare]
2008: Immortal [Locomotive. Re-issue: Inner Wound Recordings 2014]
2015: Disciples of the Sun [Inner Wound Recordings] (review)
2017: Contingent [Inner Wound Recordings]
Video for: “Contingent” (Album Teaser)
Lyric video: ’20 Second Century’