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Pyramid: Validity

Validity is the fourth studio album by U.S. progressive metal act Pyramid. The lineup for this album is Gabe Pietrzak on guitars, Lance Sawyer on bass, Chris Quiriarte on drums, Adam Bentley on guitars, Joey Izzo on keyboards, Tim “Ripper” Owens (Judas Priest, KK’s Priest, Yngwie Malmsteen, Charred Walls of the Damned, Iced Earth) on vocals and guest violinist Perrine Missemer.

A TV show jingle cover opens the album with intense guitar/violin shredding and frenetic drumming, quite cool and it gives a snippet of what’s to come. The guitar work in ‘Resistance” is very good and catchy and the Sawyer-Quiriarte duo on rhythmic section sounds immensely tight. Izzo’s work is fundamental, both here and throughout the whole album. The title track and epic “Validity” is full metal force at high speed, teasing with technical and trash metal with Owens’s vocal display is as good as expected, ranging from pseudo growling all the way to high pitch Haltford style screaming, both powerful and fresh. The unique combination of guitars and violins in this type of fast progressive metal is really appealing.

“Mutiny” very dark but very melodic, and even though is hard to find hooks in the music within this genre (at least for me), this song sounds like a tougher and better version of early Ghost. Vocals, violins, and guitars are outstanding. “Stigma” takes the album into sludger territory, complex melodies and invasive female vocals make this song a less embraceable listen, however there are a few proggy instrumental moments that I do enjoy, as well as the guitar soloing.

“Core” is a song with a lot of complexity on its arrangements, it does have some cool vocal harmonies by multirange Owens and talented guitar shredding, but I don’t feel the same connection that I do with other songs on the album. “Velocious” is exactly that, a fast & furious song with all the progressive metal ingredients smartly enhanced with the violins and the vocals. The sound created for this album reminds me a little of a mix between Megadeth, Judas Priest, and Dream Theater with a pinch of that American Metal groove that modern bands have adopted and mastered. “Nepotism” starts angry and doomy sounding but also revisits those same proggy moments found in “Stigma” which are even more beautiful and memorable here… it would be nice to make them a blueprint for further albums…just a thought.

“Passage” combines those atmospheric violins with heavy metallic riffing that slowly evolves into this kind of radio-friendly song, like a modern, proggier and eviler version of Faith No More, and I might sound like a scratched record, but I am a sucker for strings so… those hypnotic violins always add the right texture for me… I confess, this type of music is not my cup of tea, but It’s so well arranged that somehow it grew on me. “A Story” is pure melody from the get-go, even the guitar soloing sounds more on the hard rock side than power or trash metal and the rhythm fluctuations are both unexpected and smooth. A 2 plus minutes epic ending has been included here, the same 2 plus minutes that made me go back and listen the album again… keyboards maybe? Violins and guitars?... all of it. “Natural Cause” is the chosen song to close the album and the complexity is immediately present, a musical talent display that includes every instrument (or band member) and their unquestionable quality, sometimes sounding like a pre-rehearsed jamming or simply a chaotic version of free style playing. A mostly instrumental track that covers a lot of ground, unfortunately too much for me.

Track Listing:
  1. The Prelude (3:53)
  2. Resistance (5:19)
  3. Validity (10:00)
  4. Mutiny (6:29)
  5. Stigma (5:44)
  6. Core (6:09)
  7. Velocious (6:37)
  8. Nepotism (6:42)
  9. Passage (6:27)
  10. A Story (6:16)
  11. Natural Cause (4:48)

Added: June 12th 2023
Reviewer: Jose Antonio Marmol
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1346
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Pyramid: Validity
Posted by Jon Neudorf, SoT Staff Writer on 2023-06-12 23:59:34
My Score:

Pyramid is a progressive metal band from New York and have been around since 2017. Bass player Lance Sawyer spearheaded the project and have released five studio albums thus far including their fourth album titled Validity.

This talented group of musicians include:
James Knoerl (drums)
Adam Bentley (guitar)
Joey Izzo (keys)
Tin “Ripper” Owens (vocals)
Lance Sawyer (bass)
Gabe Pietrzak (guitar)
Perrine Missemer (violin)
Special Guests:
Andry Lagiou (vocals on “Stigma” and “Passage”)
Mike Abdow (guitar solo on “Natural Cause”)

The band traverse through dense walls of sound, clean guitar pyrotechnics, powerful and melodic vocals, and creative arrangements. The playing from all involved is really quite masterful and the songs have enough hooks to keep one totally engaged. The first track “Prelude” is a fine instrumental, quite grandiose with varying pace changes and excellent lead guitar. It all makes for a dramatic start to the album. “Resistance” is both dramatic and subtle, complete with grand keyboard flourishes and neo-classical shredding. The guitar adds much variety which should add to the listener’s overall enjoyment. The band add chugging riffs and the guitar solos have eastern touches scattered about. The near ten-minute title track is the album’s epic, and it is indeed a fabulous tune. The song will take you through various changes and arrangements, led by Owen’s powerful vocals, scintillating rhythmic dynamics, and keyboards adding just the right amount of colour. “Mutiny” has a nice mix of heavy and lighter sounds while “Stigma” features clean guitar soloing and a near creepy vibe at times. The rest of the tunes are just as enjoyable.

Pyramid has been another nice find for this reviewer. For your melodic/progressive metal fix, you really should check out Validity and all it has to offer. Recommended.

A Sleaszy Rider Records release.

Mi Rage (2017)
Gold Tooth (2019)
Amnesty (2020)
Validity (2001)
Rage (2022)

» Reader Comments:

Pyramid: Validity
Posted by on 2023-09-26 09:26:29
My Score:

@Elastic Man I love this music album.

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