PYRAMAZE — Immortal

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PYRAMAZE - Immortal cover
4.26 | 18 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 2008

Filed under Power Metal
By PYRAMAZE

Tracklist

1. Arise (1:02)
2. Year of the Phoenix (4:57)
3. Ghost Light (6:08)
4. Touched by the Mara (5:54)
5. A Beautiful Death (4:28)
6. Legacy in a Rhyme (4:04)
7. Caramon's Poem (4:57)
8. The Highland (5:40)
9. Shadow of the Beast (6:04)
10. March Through an Endless Rain (2:08)

Total Time: 45:27

Line-up/Musicians

- Matt Barlow / vocals
- Michael Kammeyer / guitars
- Toke Skjønnemand / guitars
- Niels Kvist / bass guitar
- Jonah Weingarten / keyboards
- Morten Gade Sørensen / drums

- Lance King / vocals (on live bonus tracks only)

About this release

Released by Locomotive Records.

Digipak edition comes with 2 bonus tracks:

11. The Birth (6:41)
12. What Lies Beyond (4:43)

Thanks to adg211288 for the updates

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PYRAMAZE IMMORTAL reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

Warthur
The third Pyramaze album finds Matt Barlow of Iced Earth stepping in to tackle lead vocals on a one-time-only deal, his style being well-suited to this more aggressive and punchy take on Pyramaze's prog-tinged power metal style. (In fact, there's points on here where things start resembling the most power metal-flavoured moments of Symphony X's early work.) It's still Dungeons & Dragons fantasy metal through and through - there's even one song, Caramon's Poem, based on the Dragonlance series of D&D tie-in novels - so don't expect anything especially grim or serious. At the same time, I find it an enjoyable consolidation over Legend of the Bone Carver.
adg211288
On Pyramaze's third album. Immortal, it can be said that we have two talents joining together. The first of these is of course the main Pyramaze song writer, Michael Kammeyer, whose songs impressed me greatly on the band’s previous album, Legend of the Bone Carver. The second is the voice of Iced Earth’s Matt Barlow, making his first and sadly his final appearance on a Pyramaze album given his decision to rejoin his former band. Legend of the Bone Carver was an excellent album but due to me being a big Iced Earth fan, and with no disrespect to Lance King (the original Pyramaze singer), I had high hopes for this album. And I can safely say that all my expectations for it were met.

Since I’ve began with talking about Matt Barlow I’ll begin this review proper with the vocal performance. Matt is on very top form on this album. In fact I have to say that this is one of the best performances that I’ve heard from Matt. I’m not going to reference Iced Earth much here since this is a Pyramaze review, but it is my opinion that Matt is better on Immortal than on some of the Iced Earth albums he's sang on. It's especially superior vocals from him than on Iced Earth's own 2008 album The Crucible of Man. He is powerfully and emotional where required and he can do much more extreme vocals than Lance King could. A versatile and highly talent frontman.

Ok, back to Pyramaze. Although the album begins with an intro track it doesn’t completely suck, but neither is it really any good. It’s not really a song, just a build up of music that leads into (but doesn’t surge into as if they were part of the same composition) Year of the Phoenix. It's neither here nor there really. If you like the album as a whole you'll probably play it as a whole and listen to it, it's not something that will catch the attention as a standalone piece.

Music wise the guitar riffs have really improved on Immortal. Kammeyer and fellow guitarist Toke Skjønnemand proved their talent as players already but everything about them is better this time around. The music is much more progressive as well. They’re been labelled as a power/progressive band by many, myself included, since they first showed up on the metal scene but always before it was a case of the power metal influence overpowering the progressive. No longer so, because while for the most part the songs do follow standard structures the actual music being played is very technical and not always strictly played in a power metal style, as in for example The Highland, where the band takes on some influences from folk music, and in Legacy in a Rhyme which is an emotional ballad that features no elements of metal music at all. I must just say that Matt’s best vocals are on this song, even though some of the heavier tracks are technically better from a metal fan's perspective. Overall though genre wise it would still be accurate to class this as primarily a power metal release, but I expect more progressive things to come from Pyramaze in the future.

The best track on Immortal is easily Ghost Light, which mostly uses Barlow’s rougher vocal skills and lasts for over six minutes. The only way I can describe it is as a song with truly epic proportions. But what makes this album really special is that all I just said in this paragraph was just personal opinion. Every song with the exception of the intro and outro tracks is up to this very high standard. Overall heavy, yet versatile and most importantly absolutely fantastic.

Extra note on the special edition of Immortal now. There are two bonus tracks (actually three songs) that have been recorded live. Originally they were the first three songs from Pyramaze’s previous album, Legend of the Bone Carver, but this time Era of Chaos and The Birth have been combined into a single track, which in my opinion should have been done in the first place. The second bonus track is What Lies Beyond. While good songs these songs just don’t stand up to the versions from Legend of the Bone Carver. It’s not Matt Barlow singing either, it’s Lance King and while very good on the studio versions his voice just isn’t quite cutting it live on these takes. I should have liked to hear Matt sing these as a studio tracks bonuses instead of live takes but regardless of whether of not you find these bonus tracks to your liking, it’s the main music of Immortal that you’d want to buy it for and as such is why the score I'm going to give the album doesn’t suffer from my lack of interest in this bonus content.

(Review originally written for Heavy Metal Haven)

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