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Pyramaze - 2006 Legend Of The Bone Carver



ARTIST: Pyramaze
ALBUM: Legend Of The Bone Carver
LABEL: Massacre Records
SERIAL: MAS CD0515
YEAR: 2006

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Lance King - vocals * Michael Kammeyer - guitars * Toke Skjonnemand - guitars * Jonas Weingarten - keyboards * Niels Kvist - bass * Morten Gade Sorenson - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Era Of Chaos * 02 The Birth * 03 What Lies Beyond * 04 Ancient Words Within * 05 Souls In Pain * 06 She Who Summoned Me * 07 The Bone Carver * 08 Bring Back Life * 09 Blood Red Skies * 10 Tears Of Hate

RATING:

WEBLINKS: www.pyramaze.com


Background
Interesting name for an album.. for sure. Is it derived from a book, movie, or a person? Who's to know. Only Pyramaze can tell us, and they attempt to do so on this their second outing 'The Legend Of The Bone Carver'. This Danish/American outfit combine all aspects of hard hitting power metal into the space of an hour, trying their best to convey the story of the Bone Carver. This album is quite different to their debut 'Melancholy Beast' from two years ago, the band having progressed significantly in terms of songwriting and musicianship. According to guitarist Michael Kammeyer, this album is a concept story, set in a medieval world, where good is being eradicated. Evil rules but soon a child is born without parents.. a divine birth. The album tells the story of his evolution, determining his fate and journey through life, and finally to reveal if he is the one, who will restore balance. His journey will uncover many answers alongside many strange and frightening events that will take place. The plot kinda sounds like Star Wars, but I bet George Lucas never had a soundtrack quite like how Pyramaze have presented it! Pyramaze are 4 parts Danish, 2 parts American (King and Weingarten). Lance King, previously with bands such as Balance Of Power, Gemini and more recently Avian and Shining Star is the perfect voice to accompany the music which has been written mainly by guitarist Michael Kammeyer. Their brand of progressive power metal borders on dark themes and complex soundscapes, and it would need to be, considering the content of the album. Musically similar to Crimson Glory and Kamelot, Pyramaze have moved more into the epic tradition that has been so ably demonstrated by Roy Khan and co. Yes, they can turn on the speed when necessary a la Rhapsody, but when they do so, it is done with finesse.


The Songs
The movie soundtrack/narration intro of 'Era Of Chaos' precedes 'The Birth', a subdued but nonetheless powerful way to kick start us off. The melodic guitars and orchestral arrangement announce the arrival of our unfortunate hero. His journey commences forth on 'What Lies Beyond', and off into the distance he gallops upon a bed of riffing guitars and tempo-challenged drums. 'Ancient Words Within' is a superb fast paced track, the mid-section slows up a bit and contains a soaring solo, tailing off toward the end. Dense and powerful are two words to describe 'Souls In Pain', played with intensity, whilst slightly different is 'She Who Summoned Me', featuring Christina Oberg on shared lead vocals with Lance. This is luscious atmospheric stuff, taking us back to Queensryche's 'Empire' days. Our hero's story continues on 'The Bone Carver', here you can listen to Jonah Weingarten let loose on the keys, wailing away in true Derek Sherinian fashion! 'Bring Back Life' is the killer track on the album, the guitars and keyboards combining to generate a Celtic-sounding John Sykes flavoured blanket of thunder. The middle interlude wanders around in dreamland for a short while before we are on our way again in a thunderous mood - take a bow Messrs Kammeyer and Skjonnemand. The spoken word voiceover returns on 'Blood Red Skies', our hero further down the path of life, as he narrates his findings thus far over a deeply atmospheric arrangement.. 'let the war begin' he whispers.. On 'Tears Of Hate' the war is indeed fought and concluded, our hero restoring peace and order to his world. His name is now etched in history, his deeds carved in legend, his whereabouts and ultimate fate a mystery to one and all, but his legacy for peace and a new way of life is a lasting testament.


In Summary
The story of a hero saving the world has been repeated many times in the past. The concept is ideal for progressive metal, the dark and somber soundscape a picture-postcard environment in which to wield the tapestry of ideas presented by Pyramaze. It is ironic that the theme of the story echoes similar sentiments about Earth's current predicament. If only we had a similar hero to lead us away from evil. In the meantime, dine out on a Danish delight that won't do any damage to the waistline, but may give your ears and wallets a severe workout instead.


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