|Review: Pyramaze - Legend of the Bone Carver|
|Legend of the Bone Carver|
Label: Nightmare Records
Year released: 2006
Genre: Progressive Metal
Review online: May 22, 2009
Reviewed by: Christopher Foley
for:Legend of the Bone Carver
Album number two from Pyramaze proved to be their finest in my eyes, setting a standard that subsequent releases will always be measured against. Blending together the prog sensibilities of acts such as Pagan's Mind or Communic, and blended finely with Iced Earth and a spot of Zonata, Pyramaze weave a damn fine sound - one that is entirely its own. Of course the vocals from Lance King are pretty much the deciding factor as to whether you should read on – much like Marmite you either love or hate the guy. I fall into the category of loving him, having found his work with Balance of Power exceptional. Legend of the Bone Carver has a sublime sound to it, largely due to a wonderful keyboard sound, multi-layered vocals and a divine atmosphere. The guitar tone has a distinct Iced Earth feel to it, and a few of the riffs do make IE spring to mind – although this never verges on plagiarism, see this more as homage. A concept album based around the birth of the legendary bone carver who has some pretty damn special powers, the lyrics give a fantastic feel to the story and this all works really well on the headphones.
Opening up with a fucking cool spoken intro over a back-drop of dramatic keyboards and orchestration, "Era of Chaos" sets the scene for the rest of the album. "The Birth" bursts open in sublime fashion, boasting great harmonized guitars coupled with the phenomenal keyboard work of Jonah Weingarten. From here onwards things just get better as we go along, from the epic chorus of "What Lies Beyond" and the keyboard wizardry of personal highlight "Ancient Words Within" with its almost Lost Horizon-like mid-section, right up to the masterfully executed ballad "She Who Summoned Me". Then we hit another highlight; "The Bone Carver" with its kickass opening riff and quality chorus. Lance's vocals are really cool on this track, using his awesome mid-range to fantastic effect. One of the weaker tracks is the folky "Bring Back Life"; despite some of the ace ideas carried over in this track it doesn't reach the heights of what came before it. "Blood Red Skies" is very similar to the intro with its spoken vocals, just a couple of notches cooler, this track is both grand and epic, guaranteed to crawl down your spine. Leading us nicely into the final chapter of this release, "Tears of Hate" features one of the coolest pieces of music recorded for this album. Just listen to the melody implemented 52 seconds of the song, it truly soars.
This is an album I hold in high regards. The use of the keys really sets this apart from the crowd, which is something that later became instantly identifiable as Pyramaze. Sadly this was the last album to feature Lance King, as we would see Matthew Barlow of Iced Earth take the stage for their next release. Immortal of course turned out to be a stellar release although clearly overshadowed by Legend of the Bone Carver. With Urban breed at the helm it will be interesting to see how their next release can stand up against Legend if they were to weld together both the outstanding keyboard work of this release, and the thicker guitars from Immortal we could really be on to something special. However as it stands Legend is a stunning album, with magical keyboard use, awesome arrangements, excellent vocals and some top tier songwriting. Prog/Power fans this is a dead cert, don't be without. Highly Recommended
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