Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Pyramids: "A Northern Meadow"

This album has been getting some hype so I though I would give it a listen to see if it's worth downloading. First listen the mix seemed thin and the very Porcupine Tree like vocals did not help thicken things up . So I got up and grabbed the ear buds. This album must be played loudly. I know every album from the 80s used to say that in the liner notes, but that's how this is going down. At first it sounds like a more dreamy take on Enslaved if the keyboardist solely handled the vocals and I am normally a fan of clean vocals. Not to say the guy doesn't have a decent voice, the melodies just wander around the song rather than working with it. He floats off into his head voice like Jeff Buckley if  he was falling asleep rather than drowning. There are some growls they are mixed very low. The drummer is one of the stars for sure and the guitarists get an A for originality when it comes to using a unorthodox guitar tone to play metal with.

"The Earth Melts into..." finds a more tremolo picked guitar that veers from the opener where the swirling angular intangible nature of what Pyramids do can bring to mind Cynic, they do use sounds loosely connected with black metal, but I would not say they are a black metal band. Progressive metal sure. Some of the floating vocals begin to work with the music rather than against it, though
it's not until the third song that the band really begins to gather some heft.I am surprised that these guys are on Profound Lore, it seems that they are a step away from being like Dredg at times. When cool effects are applied to clean vocal in heavy music the result is always outstanding, ask Ozzy and Uncle Al. Even though the vocal locks in even more into an actual hook on the fourth song , the nature of the music makes my attention space out as they float into the background.

The first riff that seems like black metal to me and it's for the fleeting intro is "I Have Four Sons..." . The mumbled emotive vocals plead around the angular dissonance. It's not as dark as I normally prefer my metal, but there is a jarring feeling you get from not being able to distinguish dream from waking life that I get from listening to this that makes it worth my while. The fractal mathematics this drummer seems to be counting out the beats to these songs, gets weirder on "I am So Sorry, Goodbye". The only draw back is the song does not have much in the way of form aside from the intersecting math rock riffs until the vocals give a glimmer of melody.

"My Father, Tall as Goliath" just falls out of the droning outro of the preceding song in an abrupt manner. The singer wants the song to be more straight forward than the rest of the band. They come to an intersection where they find a compromise between the two different directions.The albums ends strong. They don't converge into one epic metal chug, but rather dance elusively around each other. in some ways it's like what Krallice does but more melodic and what Liturgy is aiming for on the new on just without the rap influence. I'm impressive with the sonics of what they have thrown together here, it's not the Canadian band's first rodeo, but it is a good jumping on point for first time listeners. I'll give it a 9.5 , we will see how this grow on me once I give it a spot in the iPod.

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