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Doesn't stand up to its hype - 65%

yentass, December 22nd, 2009

The following words you're about read might not have the virtuose and poetic syntax of the overwhelmingly praising reviews of this release you'd run into around the web, but as far as quality goes, fancy words and vivid metaphors only cover up for something that doesn't justify its hype in this case.

"Sand" is practically the first material they've ever released - I don't count their demo since all its three songs reappear on "Sand" - and tragically sounds like one, with too numerous mistakes that I can't ignore which were done out of lack of experience rather than lack of talent. And rest assured they have some - Pyramido sound very organic as a band, they have their goals set and the determination to reach them by any means neccessary, which is impressive on its own, if only they had the most vague of clues what these means are.

First of all - this album is laced with generics. Cliche and uninspired riffs are coming in barrages throughout the entire album, and moreover - with no solid direction, as if they've tried to grab and showcase everything this genre had ever offered, posing more like a tribute band than a full-time one - and even that is being done in a very dull way, with too much filler to mention. Apart from being redundant, "Sand" also lacks the organic quality - the riffs are often being stacked upon each other like tetris blocks, without bothering how they would sound in the summary, as if terms like "logical build-up" or "continuity" became obscene. As a result, the listening experience suffers from serious "bumps" throughout the way that are totally uncalled for, and tends to get mildly excruciating. I'd certainly would not recommend to listen to "Sand" if you take the term "stoner doom" literally.

Overall: I hope they enjoy the push they get from the critics while they have it, and could use it to their benefit. They do have the potential to become big in this genre and I'd certainly monitor their progress as they gain experience, alas as far as this album goes - it's completely expendable. If you still want to check it out - keep your expectations fairly low.

[Favorite Bits: None]

Pyramido - Sand - 80%

Phuling, August 20th, 2009

Man, I’ve struggled a lot with this review. Every once in a while I come across an album that is extremely difficult to review, for whatever reason, and most of the time I don’t know why. And this is one of those time where I can’t for the life of me figure out why I’m having difficulties putting my thoughts on "Sand" on paper; it just is. But nonetheless I have to write the darned review eventually, so let’s just get down to business. This is the debut album by the hairy lads of Pyramido out on a prominent doom label. And with one more album contracted it’s obvious Totalrust Music heard the band’s potential.

In all of its slow and heavy churning the music does have its fair share of diversity. It’s extremely difficult to label it with a particular subgenre of doom, as it has a sludgy, crusty, stoner-esque, southern vibe to it. And since I’m not even a novice when it comes to doom I don’t know what the hell to make of it. Sure, I absolutely love the slow, angst-ridden metal genre, but that doesn’t mean I know a lot of it.

Right from the get go Pyramido establishes their particular dry sound. No pun intended, but there is something utterly dry about it. You can almost feel the sand grains in between your teeth as your standing in the middle of a sand storm. But it’s dry in a good way, ‘cause it gives the act a sound of their own. And this sound consists of various influences come together; be it the old school vibe of Black Sabbath, the drugged sludge of Noothgrush or the death metal of early Entombed… All this while retaining a hardcore/crust edge with a southern twist. I know it seems messy, but it doesn’t sound messy, it sounds like a coherent mix of extremely varied influences. The torturous screams adds a very desperate edge to the monotonous pounding and proloooooonged riffing.

Everything fits in quite well vocally, musically and artistically (that elephant is just as crazy as the music), but nonetheless "Sand" does have its downers. I would’ve liked some more variation in the vocal department. Sure, he spices things up a little bit, but some deeper backups would’ve been awesome. Despite the variation in riffing and drum patterns the songs do have a tendency to flow in and out of each other, making it difficult to tell them apart at times. It doesn’t matter that "Cutthroat" has that groovy angst feel, that "Calculating doom" has such a tempo change or that "Above our heads" whips up a semi-industrial vibe, I can still have difficulties hearing when one track ends and the next begins.

To sum it all up this is a seriously crazed, psychedelic record that has many different nuances deeply imbedded in the sludgy stoner doom, if you just pay attention you’ll hear it. A mix of Grief, Electric Wizard, Noothgrush, Black Sabbath, Entombed and Counterblast - seriously! It is definitely promising and it’s a wicked debut, but there’s still some ways to go before they really hit the spot. And why the hell didn’t you include the lyrics?

Originally written for http://www.mylastchapter.net