Pyramaze

Pyramaze – Epitaph Review

Pyramaze – Epitaph Review

“There was a time when Pyramaze threatened to become my favorite prog-metal band. With their Melancholy Beast debut highly impressing, and follow up Legend of the Bone Carver completely blowing me away, I was very much on the Pyramaze war wagon and looking forward to more flawless victories. Sadly, vocalist Lance King departed, and third album Immortal was a step down despite heroic vocal efforts by Matt Barlow. Seven years went by before we got the next album, this one featuring the unknown Terje Harøy on the mic. Disciples of the Sun was a big comeback for Pyramaze, showcasing a new direction and an abundance of impossibly catchy songs. Two years later however, the band took another downturn on Contingent by trying to create a bigger-than-life concept album with a movie soundtrack sheen that ended up feeling more pretentious than interesting. This brings us to their sixth outing, Epitaph.” Grave new world.

Nightmare – Aeternam Review

Nightmare – Aeternam Review

“France’s Nightmare are no strangers to the heavy metal scene. The band’s origins go back four decades to their foundation as a punk outfit in 1979. Over the next few years, the punk stylings gave way to the burgeoning heavy metal sound of the early 80s and the band released a couple of full-lengths before going on hiatus in 1988. But Nightmare‘s best work was yet to come.” Dream warriors.

Vanishing Point – Dead Elysium Review

Vanishing Point – Dead Elysium Review

“It looks like Olde Man Huck and I are carrying the entire prog-power burden on our creaky, arthritic shoulders these days. With Awake by Design and Assignment already offloaded, I’m lugging the new Vanishing Point opus to the finish line all by my aged lonesome. This long-running Aussie prog act has been silent since releasing Distant is the Sun way back in 2014 and I’d given them up for dead, but here they are with their sixth album Dead Elysium and a new drummer and bassist in tow.” Unvanished.

Awake by Design – Awake by Design Review

Awake by Design – Awake by Design Review

“Progressive power metal is a challenging genre to really nail. If you go too light, it feels insubstantial and sugary. Go too heavy on the prog and tech aspects and you lose accessibility. U.K.s Awake by Design have been refining and developing their sound since 2009, and on their self-titled third album they treat you to an hour and 17 minutes of melodic prog-power with nods to Kamelot and Pyramaze.” Sleep waking.

Magic Kingdom – MetAlmighty Review

Magic Kingdom – MetAlmighty Review

“Having never heard of Magic Kingdom prior to this review, I was surprised to find out that the band’s existence dates back to 1998 and to find out that Mr. Lance King himself had at one point been involved with the band according to Metal Archives. MetAlmighty finds the band slinging power metal tunes that should satisfy fans of bands like Theocracy, Gloryhammer, and the various incarnations of Rhapsody.” Magic, monsters, and monarchs.

Ivory Tower – Stronger Review

Ivory Tower – Stronger Review

“I stumbled across Beyond the Stars, the sophomore outing by unsung German prog metallers, Ivory Tower. Though they weren’t doing anything Dream Theater hadn’t done 500 times bigger and with more drum solos, there was something oddly endearing and earnest about the band’s material. I never saw or heard about another release from them until Stronger bobbed up in the promo bin unexpectedly. I doubted it was even the same band, but it is indeed.” Swole spire.

Holy Tide – Aquila Review

Holy Tide – Aquila Review

“Musically, Holy Tide sounds a lot like Pyramaze, specifically Immortal and Disciples of the Sun. Vocalist Fabio Caldeira reminds much more of Disciples’s Terje Haroy than the inimitable Matt Barlow, largely due to the lack of Barlow’s gruff edge. The main reason for the Pyramaze comparison, though, is the keyboards. Both Pyramaze and Holy Tide make heavy use of that once-maligned instrument, smartly toning down the guitars when the keyboard takes the lead and vice-versa.” Big stuff is big.

Savage Messiah – Demons Review

Savage Messiah – Demons Review

“During high school, I loved our local hard rock station, Funky Monkey, and it was integral in the development of my bad musical taste. The best feature was the tough guy voice that gave you the name of the band and the song title after each track had played, allowing me to quickly categorize which bands I did and didn’t like. But when I got my first iPod, all of that changed. Sure, I had a giant book of CDs that I had kept hidden in my car for when the radio wasn’t cutting it, but being able to load a tiny device with tons of songs was a game changer. Before long, I’d left most mainstream rock and metal behind and was listening to all things cheesy and trve.” The more things change….

Lance King – ReProgram Review

Lance King – ReProgram Review

“Lance King, the former vocalist of Balance of Power and Pyramaze and pride of prog-metal lovers everywhere, has been too quiet for too long. Running Nightmare Records seems to keep him plenty busy, as his last solo outing was 2011s A Moment in Chiros, but 2019 finally sees the man flexing his golden pipes once again on ReProgram. Backed by a large supporting cast of musicians from acts like Pyramaze, Anubis Gate, and Darkwater, Lance’s second solo outing tracks the kind of highly melodic prog-power style he’s known for, while exploring concepts of self-identity, belief systems and the influences that shape our thinking.” Hail to the King.

Hollow – Between Eternities of Darkness Review

Hollow – Between Eternities of Darkness Review

“I first encountered Sweden’s Hollow when I found their 1997 debut Modern Cathedral in a local record store and bought it solely because of the cool artwork. It featured an interesting blend of traditional and power metal with a slightly proggy sheen, and though it wasn’t exactly a blockbuster release, it had a few songs that really stuck with me. Fast forward to 1999 and the still very unheralded act returned to drop a truly stunning followup on an unsuspecting world with their sophomore release, Architect of Mind.” Back from the void.