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Pyramido : Saga

Genuinely extreme music like the mingling of Doom and Hardcore Sludge found on Pyramido' latest isn't that popular for sure.

The development of Pyramido from Sweden has been quite impressive so far. From their acclaimed debut ‘Sand’ to the sublime follow-up album ‘Salt’, this band just kept on getting better, and they have now reached their pinnacle on ‘Saga’. Let me explain: the debut was a massive slab of Sludge/Doom but nothing out of the ordinary, apart from kicking your arse. On the follow-up album, the band turned away from the Stoner influences in favour of something more gritty and Hardcore-influenced; Sweden seems to be a hotspot for that. This development may or may not be an intentional one. The less prominent the Stoner elements, the better I’d say as far as this style is concerned, for there are enough bands playing in a Stoner-vein. Genuinely extreme music like the mingling of Doom and Hardcore Sludge found on this release is less popular for sure.

‘Saga’ is remarkable on two accounts – firstly, with regard to its vision and usage of flat-out abrasive tones, nodding at the crusty styles of music, and secondly, its dirge-like melodies and moods. This approach automatically makes the band unique in the contemporary scene. It’s certainly deliberate, be it the first, second or fifth song. The song titles aren’t mentioned here because they are in Swedish, which may hinder a deeper understanding of the band’s work (Note by the admin.: see the tracklist for translations). Nonetheless, it doesn’t get in the way of enjoying the actual music because all you need is a good pair of ears – and, ideally, a working brain to comprehend its genius on multiple levels.

Every song – and there are only five, not counting the instrumental track – is different from the others, brings something new and is structured in its own way. Yet the album is coherent in the overall scheme of things, the placement, the moods, the plodding, the ambience in between – it almost works intuitively as a whole. The little instrumental mentioned above serves to give you a moment for reflection, a relief from the harsh and tearing experience until it is resumed with a debilitating tune in the form of song number five, ‘Ingen människa är en ö’.

The vocals are forceful, angst-ridden in a way that almost resembles Grindcore/Crustcore bands, adding a strong sense of violence albeit submerged in the music. There is a shade of darkness, of impending gloom and misery, moments of reflection and breakdown, both mental and emotional. The artwork, too, is brilliant and a clear step forward from the first two albums, both varying in their expression and with different logos used each time.

‘Saga’ is a beautiful album that rejects any compromise in terms of extremity or vision, an album that takes the sound forward, evolving, plodding, yet remaining constant in its quality. Available on vinyl as well as on CD and put out by Farewell Records and Heart & Crossbone (both from Israel), it’s not just the best album in the band’s discography but one of the best albums to come out in this style of music in recent years. I solemnly hope it will get the appreciation it deserves, not just from the Doom/Stoner fans but from fans of all styles of music – Sludge has a future because it can take in sounds from different styles, be it Death Metal in the case of Lurk or even Crust/Hardcore in Pyramido’s case.

Reviewer's rating: 9/10


Tracklist :
1. Varje steg är ett snedsteg (Every Step Is a Misstep)
2. År av onåd (Years of Disgrace)
3. Fosie (appears to be a district of Malmö, the band’s home town)
4. Klockrike (another place in Sweden, though it could be translated to “Realm of Clocks/Bells”)
5. Ingen människa är en ö (No Human Being Is an Island)
6. Tiden är kommen (The Time Has Come)

Duration : Approx. 38 minutes

Visit the Pyramido bandpage.

Reviewed on 2014-01-22 by Kunal Choksi
Vanha - Black Lion
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