Album review: PYRAMAZE – Epitaph

AFM Records [Release date 13.11.20]

“Epitaph” is the sixth album in sixteen years from Danish metallers, Pyramaze.

This is a band who rebuilt their line up in 2015, after significant loss of key members in 2011.

That shakeup reflected an uncertainty of direction and an uneven series of albums since the 2004 debut, with music journalists unsure if they should stick the word ‘Power’, ‘Prog’ or ‘Melodic’ before ‘Metal’ when describing the band’s music.

It’s taken the new band three albums to reach the kind of equilibrium that results in this new offering, “Epitaph”. It sits outside those narrow “Prog” and “Power” definitions, spreading its wings over everything “Melodic” and “Metal”.

Openers ‘Stroke Of Magic’ and ‘Steal My Crown’ offer immediate evidence of a song-writing style unfettered by band strictures or obligations to formula. ‘Knight In Shining Armour’ and ‘Bird Of Prey’ simply soar, and you can hear guitar, bass, keys and drums in flight, carrying Terje Haroy’s vocals to a fabulous climax. They are exceeded only by ‘Particle’ and its combination of melodic abandon, razor clawed guitar and a finely wrought hook, pumped up to epic proportions.

Many more highpoints follow here… the thundering musical theatre of ‘Transcendence’, the uncompromisingly hard edged vocal crescendos that cut through the sweet melodic sweep of ‘World Foregone’, and the passion, clarity and punch of ‘Time Traveller’ the album’s 12 minute magnum opus (with guest appearances from erstwhile band members, Matt Barlow and Lance King), that fittingly closes the album.

And through all this material, through the rise and fall of melody and tempo, you can hear a band whose grasp is now unquestionably the equal of their increasingly ambitious reach. ****

Review by Brian McGowan

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