Pyramaze - Legend of the bone carver 4.5/5
1. Era of chaos
2. The birth
3. What lies beyond
4. Ancient words within
5. Souls in pain
6. She who summoned me
7. The bone carver
8. Bring back life
9. Blood red skies
10. Tears of hate
I've seen many contrasting opinions concerning Pyramaze's debut 'Melancholy beast' over the last few years. There are many who feel the CD is a near masterpiece and others who feel it's nothing more than standard/unspectacular power metal. My feelings have always been somewhere in the middle, as there are some fantastic songs on 'Melancholy beast' ("Legend" and "Mighty abyss" for example), but a good portion of the CD failed to wow me like it has so many other power metal fans. Regardless of my feelings for the debut, I found myself greatly looking forward to Pyramaze's 2nd CD 'Legend of the bonecarver'.
Thankfully, my anticipation has been fulfilled and I'm happy to say that 'Legend of the bone carver' is easily of one of the best CDs released in 2006 so far! It's an extremely well written concept album and the story is incorporated into the music brilliantly. The story is about how evil is taking over (in a medieval time), but one day an unknown/divine child is born (with no mother or father). The child's life experiences revolve around whether or not he is the one that can bring back good. He ends up discovering he can bring fallen heroes and loved ones (who died by the hand of evil) back to life by carving ancient writings into their bones. Together they seek to destroy the wicked and peace is eventually restored. The child (bone carver) then becomes a legend.
Besides an increase in quality, there are some differences between 'Melancholy beast' and 'Legend of the bone carver'. For one, while 'Melancholy beast' is straightforward power metal (with a neo-classical side), there are both progressive and symphonic elements that are very present on 'Legend of the bone carver'. Minus the symphonic/orchestral arrangements, I would label them progressive power metal quite similar to Lanfear's 'Another golden rage' (my top CD of 2005!). But just as with 'Another golden rage', the progressive elements that are heard with 'Legend of the bone carver' are mostly in the background yet make for a more complex, interesting and exciting listen. Both CDs are equally upbeat with exceptional vocals too, and those who found my Lanfear recommendation more than satisfying can be assured that this CD is highly recommended as well.
The CD starts out with "Era of chaos", which is a short intro that contains narration (discussing the balance between good and evil). Drums get track 2 "The birth" going and the strong symphonic presence is then instantly noticed. The following and catchy "What lies beyond" might be my favorite song on the CD! Excellent chorus and guitar work that again bring's Lanfear's 'Another golden rage' to mind. With exception of the one slow song (ballad) "She who summoned me", the CD is fast-paced progressive/symphonic power metal at its finest and I can't help but love every minute. Special mention must be made of "Tears of hate", as the riffs in the opening moments of this final song are absolutely spectacular.
So why not the perfect rating? Well, there are 2 reasons; first off, as much as I like the symphonic/orchestral elements on the CD, there are times when they are too high in the mix and I would've preferred Lance King's amazing vocals more upfront. Also, I really feel one ballad was needed on the CD, but "She who summoned me" doesn't leave a lasting impression on me like it should. It's a decent song, but certainly not up to the caliber of the remainder of the CD. These are minor flaws however, and I have extreme praise for this talented band and especially 'Legend of the bone carver'. Power metal is in its prime folks, and CDs like this one are just constant reminders.
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