Rating:
6.0
Pyramaze - Immortal
30 May 2008


01. Arise
02. Year Of The Phoenix
03. Ghost Light
04. Touched By The Mara
05. A Beautiful Death
06. Legacy In A Rhyme
07. Caramon's Poem
08. The Highland
09. Shadow Of The Beast
10. March Through An Endless Rain


If I should take one risk while writing this review, say by calling Immortal one of the most unimaginative albums I've ever heard, I will have stepped into a world that seemingly eluded the members of Pyramaze during the recording process. Of course, if I were to say such a thing, I would have to defend my statement, and surely I would discover the abundance of redeeming qualities upon further listening.

Unfortunately there were very few discoveries made throughout the repeated plays, as nothing on this album presented itself as something worth discovering. The intro, "Arise", begins with ethereal female chants that soon take a back seat to Matt Barlow's narrated lyrics. In fact, almost every element in the following songs on this album takes a back seat to Barlow, aside from the occasional mandatory solo. The problem with this is that Barlow sounds completely devoid of passion, as if he's not even singing for a paycheck, let alone for the love of music. And when you're a talented band playing behind a distraught vocalist, you'd better come up with some pretty good material to support him, not a ballad to expose his weaknesses as heard in "Legacy In A Rhyme".

Again, this is another area where Pyramaze fall short. This music is just safe, commercial-driven power metal that lacks any single outstanding qualities. The solos are brief and lack variation, the drumming both simple and smooth, and ... yet another album apparently lacking a bassist. Maybe the songs on this album would have more strength if Niels Kvist didn't call in sick for the recording process! Probably the most obvious mistake was focusing too much on the clarity of Barlow's soaring shouts and not the power and unity of the instruments, which is rather unfortunate, as the band members on an individual level are more than capable of dishing out memorable performances.

To put things in perspective, if you are a fan of safely played formulaic power metal or even Matt Barlow (particularly on Iced Earth's Something Wicked - Part 2 release) this will more than fulfill your expectations and satisfy your taste buds: Therefore this album deserves nothing less than an "average" score as it is safe enough to keep it from sounding awful, yet suffers from unoriginality. In order to remain significant in the power metal scene, this band needs to seek motivation and try to produce something in the near future that contains more personality and creativity, especially now that they will be playing with Bloodbound vocalist Urban Breed, who comes with a much smaller fan following than Barlow.

Performance: 6
Songwriting: 6
Originality: 5
Production: 7


Band profile: Pyramaze
Album: Immortal


 


written by Troy Killjoy | 22.02.2010


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Staff review by
Jeff

Rating:
8.8
Since the beginning of Metal Storm (and the band can confirm it ) we've always been some fervent supporters of Pyramaze and this is not this year that we will start to praise their name. Sure they've hired one of the most fantastic singers of the Heavy Metal scene (Matt belongs in the list of my favorite singers) but I will try to focus on the music of the new album and not only on a name (even if of course we have nothing to say against him one more time!). "Immortal" is a super album of Progressive Power Metal.

Read more ››
published 09.06.2008 | Comments (15)



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Akke920 - 22.02.2010 at 20:00  
A good review IMO. The first time i listened through the album i thought it was great. Nowadays i can't stand half of the songs and i think that you brought up the points why it's like that. My rating of this album is 8 at the moment but i'll go change it to what i think about it now which is a 7.
Daggon - 23.02.2010 at 02:57  
Sincerely, I didn't give a try to this album, even if Barlow is in the vocals, somehow I don't find it interesting, but you got straight to the point, with Matt as the main singer I thought every bit of the production would focus in his voice. Well, nice review, I got the picture you wanted to give to us.
MeTalRea|istiK - 23.02.2010 at 17:09  
Great review!!thanks troy!!u the man!!
Metal Maiden - 23.02.2010 at 22:31  
Great review, Troy!!! Extremely weak album, from an extremely talented band, who for no good reason decided that relying on Barlow alone to deliver the quality of their previous two albums is a good idea...Well, they were wrong...And I am forever hoping for the return of Lance King...
Troy Killjoy - 23.02.2010 at 23:03  
Written by Akke920 on 22.02.2010 at 20:00

A good review IMO. The first time i listened through the album i thought it was great. Nowadays i can't stand half of the songs and i think that you brought up the points why it's like that. My rating of this album is 8 at the moment but i'll go change it to what i think about it now which is a 7.


Ya my first listen went rather well. I thought about giving it a 7.1-7.5, but after three more listens it just became too drab. As stated in the conclusion, it's still safe enough that it isn't bad, but there definitely could have been more effort put into the song structures.

Written by Daggon on 23.02.2010 at 02:57

Sincerely, I didn't give a try to this album, even if Barlow is in the vocals, somehow I don't find it interesting, but you got straight to the point, with Matt as the main singer I thought every bit of the production would focus in his voice. Well, nice review, I got the picture you wanted to give to us.


I've heard about Barlow's vocals prior to giving this album a try; I checked Youtube for some of Iced Earth's earlier releases and his voice sounds stronger and he seems to sing with more passion. On this album he gives a C+ effort at best.

Written by MeTalRea|istiK on 23.02.2010 at 17:09

Great review!!thanks troy!!u the man!!


Any time guy, and thanks for the suggestion.

Written by Metal Maiden on 23.02.2010 at 22:31

Great review, Troy!!! Extremely weak album, from an extremely talented band, who for no good reason decided that relying on Barlow alone to deliver the quality of their previous two albums is a good idea...Well, they were wrong...And I am forever hoping for the return of Lance King...


Thanks a lot. I agree, there's just no strength to make this sound anything but weak. Safe, but weak. I haven't heard their material with Lance King but the general consensus is that he's the stronger vocalist, or at least more suitable for this band's sound (which isn't all that progressive according to this album, despite the MS genre classification as progressive power metal).

---

Thanks for all of your comments!
|pyro| - 05.03.2010 at 02:36  
I like it
tec - 27.03.2010 at 17:06  
This band is quite sincere on playing progressive power. Why listening to it if you prefer black/death/doom? It's like taking a pop fan to write a piece about ambient.
Troy Killjoy - 27.03.2010 at 18:25  
Written by tec on 27.03.2010 at 17:06

This band is quite sincere on playing progressive power. Why listening to it if you prefer black/death/doom? It's like taking a pop fan to write a piece about ambient.


I wouldn't call them sincere, but that's an opinion I suppose. As for why I reviewed a power metal album when I prefer more extreme styles, it's because I was asked to write about this album for someone. My rating reflects my personal taste but the words in my review reflect my objectivity.
Eddie Misery - 07.07.2011 at 01:41  
I thought this review was great. The other review seems unfair and clearly biased b/c WOW MATT BARLOW? NEAT! Whatever. I don't give a crap about Mr. Barlow, or Iced Earth for that matter, I never have. I love power metal in all it's forms and cheesy glory (I say that endearingly!), but Iced Earth is completely unmoving and boring and overrated.

Anyway...my whole reason for reading this review was b/c I've just recently started listening to Pyramaze, and only have their first album. Melancholy Beast is amazing. So, naturally I was looking forward to buying another album, only to find that their vocalist had left after the 2nd album. I heard the song Caramon's Poem on here and was immediately turned off. Lance King's voice was as much an instrument as any other, and he used it as such, and it just...fit. I couldn't agree more with your opinion of Matt Barlow's voice, Troy, and that's just from the one song with him that I heard. Boring. No passion. My only consolation at this point is that Matt Barlow has only performed on this album (so far), and that they could still find someone not only with more passion and talent, but who fits properly and doesn't further mutate a great progressive power metal band into another cookie-cutter crapfest like Iced Earth.
Troy Killjoy - 07.07.2011 at 05:09  
Written by Eddie Misery on 07.07.2011 at 01:41

I thought this review was great.
...
I couldn't agree more with your opinion of Matt Barlow's voice, Troy, and that's just from the one song with him that I heard. Boring. No passion...

Thanks. This is the kind of album where one song (asides from the ballad) summarizes the rest of them, unfortunately.

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