Published on July 3rd, 2017 | by Justin G.
Pyramaze: Contingent (Inner Wound)
(Mostly) Danish melodic/progressive/power metal band Pyramaze is back with a new album, titled Contingent. It’s their fifth album to date, and the second since Terje Haroy (ex-Teodor Tuff) joined on vocals and Jacob Hansen (yes, that Jacob Hansen) joined as guitarist/bassist and producer. The previous Pyramaze album – 2015’s Disciples of the Sun – was an absolute triumph, and that’s exactly what I expected of Contingent.
The things that worked so well on Disciples of the Sun – the early Dream Theater heavy prog side, the melodic but not ultra-catchy power metal side, the meticulous production and that overall epic atmosphere – are all present and accounted for on Contingent. That and one of the most powerful and dynamic voices in this genre. Seriously, anyone who can make Lance King and Matt Barlow look like runners-up is a force to be reckoned with.
I haven’t spent enough time with the lyrics to know if Contingent is a concept album, but the album does have an overall sci-fi vibe and some recurring themes. Part of that is Hansen’s production, which (like it does on recent Amaranthe and Pretty Maids albums) has this sharp, futuristic feel. And part is what appears to be a suite of songs bookended by two instrumental “Contingent” tracks. It feels very cohesive, and again, very epic. “Kingdom of Solace,” “A World Divided” and “20 Second Century” are standout tracks, but Contingent is very much an album that’s better taken as a whole.
Time (and repeat listens) will tell if Contingent has surpassed Disciples of the Sun as the better album, but Pyramaze definitely hasn’t taken any steps backward here. This is one of the year’s best overall albums, and one that any serious fan of bands like Circus Maximus, Pagan’s Mind, MindMaze, Teramaze (you know, the ‘maze bands), classic Dream Theater and Symphony X really needs to hear.
Summary: Just a killer melodic heavy metal album