Pyramaze - Epitaph review



Reviewer:
6.5

36 users:
7.11
Band: Pyramaze
Album: Epitaph
Release date: November 2020


01. Epitaph
02. A Stroke Of Magic
03. Steal My Crown
04. Knights In Shining Armour
05. Bird Of Prey
06. Your Last Call
07. Particle
08. Indestructible
09. Transcendence [feat. Brittney Slayes]
10. Final Hour
11. World Foregone
12. The Time Traveller [feat. Matt Barlow & Lance King]


Epitaph is the latest album from the Danish power proggers Pyramaze. Now, I can say that I've liked every record from Pyramaze that I've listened to. However, the last record didn't really blow me away. It was put together really well, but ended up feeling a bit generic. Does Epitaph change that?

Well, it all starts off pretty good. The short piano intro builds up nicely towards the first real song, which is overall a nice and energetic beginning for the album. It reminded me a lot of the beginning of Disciples Of The Sun. However, immediately after that initial start, Epitaph goes down the same path as the previous record, which means that we get a lot of songs that end up feeling very similar. It's not bad music, but it's rather unexciting. Every once and a while you hear a spark of potential though. The end of "Your Last Call" is a perfect example of that. The piano and drum parts accompany each other really well. It's a groovy and catchy section that makes you wish these moments were more common on this record.

The progressive elements from the previous records seem to be pushed more to the background. Epitaph often feels like a more straightforward power metal album. Pyramaze clearly tried to make a record full of catchy choruses; the problem is that all these choruses tend to sound very similar. so it all feels a bit predictable and generic. On my first listen of this album, I could already predict where songs were heading in terms of lyrics and instrumentals. It rarely surprised me, and as a result it couldn't captivate me.

The production on this record is polished and solid, similar to the previous records but with a bit more low end added in the mix. One tiny remark: I wish the vocals were a little bit more pronounced in the mix. Sometimes it feels like they get a tad overwhelmed by the instruments; it's nothing deal-breaking, but still worth mentioning.

Now, I don't want to sound all negative here, so let's get to some positives. I mentioned earlier that a lot of the choruses weren't really winning me over, but there are a couple that managed to do that. The aforementioned first track ("A Stroke Of Magic"), "Bird Of Prey" and "Your Last Call" all have an enjoyable chorus to them. Those 3 tracks are coincidentally my favourites on this record. Additionally, the performance of the band is good throughout this record. It really shows in those rare moments where you get a glimpse of what could have been.

I'll be honest, I find Epitaph a pretty difficult album to review. There's only so many times you can say that it's not really an exciting record. All in all, It's not bad, but not memorable either. It has its moments, but they are too far and few between, and the lesser focus on progressive elements results in a big loss of personality. The type of record we got has been done better by other bands. This year we've had a few examples, Eternal Idol's newest record for instance (more on that in a later review). but most notably Dynazty's The Dark Delight. While that record isn't perfect, it's been one of the records I've listened to the most this year, with songs that are easily distinguishable and catchy as hell. It basically is everything that Epitaph wanted to be, but unfortunately didn't achieve.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 5
Originality: 5
Production: 7


 



Written on 01.11.2020 by You know I'm right, you just haven't realised it yet...


Comments

Comments: 11   Visited by: 82 users
01.11.2020 - 17:30
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
I remember them being quite a good band, sad to hear that they've kinda fallen off.
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01.11.2020 - 17:40
JoHn DoE
I like this band, gonna listen to the album when it comes out November 13 for us mere mortals , see for myself if they've fallen off or not.
I liked their last album, I do not get it why so many bash it.
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01.11.2020 - 19:02
tominator
At best deranged
Written by JoHn DoE on 01.11.2020 at 17:40

I like this band, gonna listen to the album when it comes out November 13 for us mere mortals , see for myself if they've fallen off or not.
I liked their last album, I do not get it why so many bash it.


I thought the last one was ok for what it was. Like I said, it didn't blow me away but I enjoyed it more than this one. For me this one misses the spark that I experienced with some of their other records.
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01.11.2020 - 19:20
skeksis25
Disciples Of The Sun was really good. Contingent was ok. I ll wait until the release to see if this album is good or boring.
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01.11.2020 - 21:06
MeatWolf
I tend to disagree, it's year 2020 and if I hear a good power metal record these days, I'm quite grateful for that already becasue how many good bands are still breathing? And what kind of 'originality' do you expect in a niche like this today when pretty much everything has been played and not just once? I'm quite happy they dropped the prog, best tracks from their new era starting with Disciples were streamlined power metal bangers with big vocal lines and that's what these guys are really good at. Same case here, Knights in Shining Armour, Indestructible, Transcendence, World Foregone, all top tier flawless earworms. The duet with Hayes is especially brilliant, she and Terje compliment each other perfectly. Other tracks are mostly good as well but I didn't like the closing epic and I don't see why you left it without mention, it's a really proggy piece, quite different from the rest of the record, and it also features Lance and Matt to scratch the itch for the old fans.

My only complaint here would be a not exactly perfect mastering by Jacob Hansen emphasized on the mids and leaving out the highs, making it kinda difficult to pick the details. Second time he does that this year, the new Amaranthe record sounds exactly the same, but Epitaph suffered from it more since it has some sweet symphonic arrangements which I can sometimes barely hear even with my headphones.

Your mention of Dynazty is legit but they are much closer to Amaranthe kind of vibe so I wouldn't make a direct comparison. I enjoyed The Dark Delight a lot but it's a much more hit and miss kind of record than Epitaph (more diverse though, indeed). Eternal Idol however is merely another Frontiers band which says enough.
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01.11.2020 - 21:14
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Written by RaduP on 01.11.2020 at 17:30

I remember them being quite a good band, sad to hear that they've kinda fallen off.


I did tried somehow 10 years ago few albums, did not work, so I ignore it but when ms news came out I did listen some songs, well not I hate it but I am not impressed, will not listen this album
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02.11.2020 - 00:38
tominator
At best deranged
Written by MeatWolf on 01.11.2020 at 21:06

I tend to disagree, it's year 2020 and if I hear a good power metal record these days, I'm quite grateful for that already becasue how many good bands are still breathing? And what kind of 'originality' do you expect in a niche like this today when pretty much everything has been played and not just once? I'm quite happy they dropped the prog, best tracks from their new era starting with Disciples were streamlined power metal bangers with big vocal lines and that's what these guys are really good at. Same case here, Knights in Shining Armour, Indestructible, Transcendence, World Foregone, all top tier flawless earworms. The duet with Hayes is especially brilliant, she and Terje compliment each other perfectly. Other tracks are mostly good as well but I didn't like the closing epic and I don't see why you left it without mention, it's a really proggy piece, quite different from the rest of the record, and it also features Lance and Matt to scratch the itch for the old fans.

My only complaint here would be a not exactly perfect mastering by Jacob Hansen emphasized on the mids and leaving out the highs, making it kinda difficult to pick the details. Second time he does that this year, the new Amaranthe record sounds exactly the same, but Epitaph suffered from it more since it has some sweet symphonic arrangements which I can sometimes barely hear even with my headphones.

Your mention of Dynazty is legit but they are much closer to Amaranthe kind of vibe so I wouldn't make a direct comparison. I enjoyed The Dark Delight a lot but it's a much more hit and miss kind of record than Epitaph (more diverse though, indeed). Eternal Idol however is merely another Frontiers band which says enough.


I'm the first one to agree with the notion of it being difficult to completely reinvent a genre. Honestly, I don't expect that from an album, but like I said in the review it misses a lot of diversity. All those earworms you mention feel so predictable once you've heard one of the other songs on this album. Usually I get really annoyed with that, but that wasn't necessarily the case here (apart from Knights In Shining Armour which actually slightly annoys me) otherwise the score would have been lower. Disappointment is the word that fits here better. I feel like this band can do so much more than just extremely predictable power metal songs and they've proven that in the past.

The strength of The Dark Delight for instance, is that it spices things up every couple songs. From the poppy sound of Heartless Madness to the folk influenced "The Man And The Elements" and the arena rock inspired Waterfall. All songs that are catchy as hell and easily distinguishable. And like I said in the review, The Dark Delight isn't faultless, but it sure as hell keeps things moving and feels much more energetic and inspired than Epitaph ever does. That's also the main reason why I mentioned Dynazty. For me that's the texbook example of how you can make a record that doesn't necessarily break new ground (because it absolutely doesn't), but clearly has songs which were made with a strong idea for how to make every song sound unique from the rest of the songs. After 2 listens (one of which as background music when I was gaming) I could already distinguish almost every song from each other. 3 listens I've given to Epitaph (none of which as background music) and songs are way less distinguishable from each other.

That's my issue with this record, all the songs sound like they are made from the same "mold". And that didn't click at all with me. Don't get me wrong, I imagine the album gets along ok-ish as background music but as a pure listening experience, I feel like there are way better options to choose from.

Why didn't I mention the last track? Because it's really forgettable. I honestly thought that mentioning that wasn't necessary given that I pretty much felt the same way for most of the other songs.
And I had already mentioned that in the review. Plus, one song that's a bit more proggy, doesn't make an album suddenly a progressive power metal record. That way I should say the same about the latest Eternal Idol album as well, because that also has a more progressive feeling ending track.

Speaking of which, you said: "Eternal Idol however is merely another Frontiers band which says enough". What do you mean by that? Do you mean it's not that original either? I actually agree with that ( in fact I started writing the review for that album this afternoon and it's exactly what I mentioned in it). But I can already say that I did enjoy it more than this album. And also, that it tried a lot more to make the songs sound different from each other.

I find Epitaph a generic power metal album with songs that don't stand out from other albums released in the genre. But most importantly don't stand out from each other either. And it suffers heavily from it. I'll say this, I often find myself humming songs from Dynazty's latest. And the last couple of days the same thing happened with songs from the new Eternal Idol record. Not once did that happen with a song from Epitaph. It simply didn't click at all.
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02.11.2020 - 21:46
skeksis25
What I´ve heard is much more interesting than Contingent. My complaints are, like someone wrote up, the production and the length. Its a bit long for what offers. And dont expect much innovation, its power metal after all.
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14.11.2020 - 16:55
MetalManic
It was my first experience of the band. Suffice to say, I enjoyed it more than what seems to be returning fans with mega expectations. Very solid album. The vocal performance was excellent. Considering the vocal talent of Jacob Hansen on guitars/bass, I had being expectations of this frontman. I wasn't disappointed.
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www.MetalManic.com
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15.11.2020 - 19:10
R.Boxma
Written by JoHn DoE on 01.11.2020 at 17:40

I like this band, gonna listen to the album when it comes out November 13 for us mere mortals , see for myself if they've fallen off or not.
I liked their last album, I do not get it why so many bash it.


Sooo, what do yhou think of it???
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15.11.2020 - 19:19
JoHn DoE
Written by R.Boxma on 15.11.2020 at 19:10

Written by JoHn DoE on 01.11.2020 at 17:40

I like this band, gonna listen to the album when it comes out November 13 for us mere mortals , see for myself if they've fallen off or not.
I liked their last album, I do not get it why so many bash it.


Sooo, what do yhou think of it???


I like it, I rated it a 7,
I knew I commented on it, but it' the album thread.
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I thought the two primary purposes for the internet were cat memes and overreactions.
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