Originally written by Harley Carlson.
This may come off as being completely arrogant or cocky, but many consider me to be a metal guru of sorts and, for the most part, I would have to agree with them. Even the highest division of metal gods, however, are not knowledgeable of every fact and therefore are entitled to slip up from time to time. Recent events have burdened me with a similar situation. One might believe that being the huge fan of Balance Of Power that I am and, for that matter, vocalist Lance King’s long list of other projects, that it would have occurred to me that it was possible he had other collaborations up his sleeve that I was unaware of. (Here’s where I let my gift get the best of me.) Well, apparently I have been listening to such a band for over a month now and never had a clue one that he was the voice behind, Pyramaze. And I paint myself devoted? Hmmmph! I am quite disappointed by this major oversight, so if you would please excuse me, I must now go and beat myself up over this.
Based primarily out of Denmark, Pyramaze (the combination of pyramid and maze?) features members of Wuthering Heights, Aurora, and obviously Balance Of Power. Playing a unique brand of progressive power metal, the band’s sound is a conglomerate of vintage Queensrÿche, mid era Fates Warning, and present day Edguy. With their debut offering Melancholy Beast, Pyramaze have forged a brilliant masterpiece that will surely demand massive recognition within the scene. Calling King’s Nightmare Records home, the band sits comfortably in the company of Antithesis, Gemini, and Empyria, just to name a few.
With Melancholy Beast, melody takes center stage over technicality, as every last song is a memorable sing along that guarantees to have you pressing the repeat button and cranking it up to eleven. This is not to imply that the performances are at all rudimentary. Tracks like “The Journey”, “Power Of Imagination”, and “Mighty Abyss” all host dazzling musicianship with blazing keyboard and guitar riffs/solos. Drumming is bombastic and intense most of the way through, but it does let up occasionally and take a backseat to beautiful moments like the instrumental “Nature Of Triumph” and the stunning ballad “Until We Fade Away”. Pieces such as these shine on their own without the need to be flashy.
Over the years Lance King has proved beyond a doubt that he is a vocalist to keep your ear on. Everything he touches seems to turn to gold and Pyramaze is no exception. Melancholy Beast is a fresh and bold power metal album that stands the chance to land a place on my Top Ten of 2004. Get your hands on this disc, now!