|Review: Pyramaze - Immortal|
Label: Massacre Records
Year released: 2008
Genre: Progressive Power Metal
Review online: May 15, 2008
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Color me impressed. I was a big fan of Pyramaze's last album Legend Of The Bone Carver, which for some reason got maligned as a generic Power Metal album, when it was a whole lot better than that. Pyramaze's formula is heavy guitars, catchy keyboard melodies, and powerful vocals fed into slightly more progressive songwriting, and I liked it a lot. The departure of former singer Lance King was a blow, and the addition of former Iced Earth frontman Matt Barlow did not thrill me at all. A lot of people like Barlow, but I am not one of them.
Imagine my surprise at hearing his first-rate work on this album. I have to wonder if it's just Schaeffer's tepid songwriting that makes him sound like shit on IE albums, because he sounds awesome here. After a lame intro piece, they crank right into the awesome "Year Of the Phoenix", which kicks enough ass that I would rate this pretty well even if the rest of the album was crap. Thankfully, the rest of the album is not crap, and Pyramaze keep to the plan with massively heavy guitar riffs and really hooky vocal melodies. Other highlights include the killer "Touched By The Mara" and the crushing "Shadow Of The Beast". "Caramon's Poem" is a catchy tune, but I have to wonder what they were thinking writing a song about "Dragonlance" — that is so uncool.
Despite the presence of a singer I thought no good would come of, I am first to admit that Barlow just owns this album, and I am sorry to hear he has returned to Iced Earth, where he will never again produce anything this good. Power Metal fans should snap this up right away, no question at all.
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