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BEYOND THE EXOSPHERE

Pyramid Theorem

Progressive Metal


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Pyramid Theorem Beyond the Exosphere album cover
3.95 | 37 ratings | 10 reviews | 16% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2020

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Beyond the Exosphere (17:53)
2. Under Control (4:48)
3. Freedom (4:39)
4. Closer to the End (7:06)
5. Intonate (6:48)

Total Time 41:14

Line-up / Musicians

- Stephan Di Mambro / keyboards, guitar, vocals
- Sam Ermellini / guitar, vocals
- Christian Di Mambro / bass, vocals
- Vito De Francesco / drums, percussion

Releases information

Format: Digital
August 21, 2020

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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PYRAMID THEOREM Beyond the Exosphere ratings distribution


3.95
(37 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(16%)
16%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(68%)
68%
Good, but non-essential (16%)
16%
Collectors/fans only (0%)
0%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

PYRAMID THEOREM Beyond the Exosphere reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by DamoXt7942
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams
4 stars Glad to pick such a tempting album up, and simultaneously glad to bump into such a promising combo. An Ontario- oriented unit PYRAMID THEOREM (the moniker is good too!) founded in 2006 are apparently influenced by Progressive Metal vanguard Dream Theater and Heavy Prog ambassador Rush, especially upon playing style and dreamy composition, but I guess their intention would be over the mountain top of progressive metal. Their instrumental technique is beyond expression, and their composition and production is pretty dramatic and theatrical. And it's interesting they sincerely create a virtual musical world acceptable for every single progressive rock fan.

The first suite "Beyond The Exosphere" can be called as a jukebox of colourful prog-metal variation. From the very opening their brilliant melodic departure should move you completely. It's very impressive that you can be immersed in the development, not methodological but enthusiastic and sensitive. Full and good stomach with overintensive, complex but favourable phrases only through the 5 minute beginning 'Ascension', followed by 'Planetary Transit' filled with killer drumming. 'Regenesis' has much power to squeeze their serious messages and strong passion plays into your inner mind. Slightly exaggerated but upbeat inspiring sound and rhythm construction is exploring and explosive. Melody or rhythm lines are complex and diverse but very friendly in a mysterious manner. Guess their cheerful disposition would have done so? Over 17 minutes with their masterpiece is not so long actually. Their crazy crystallized performance and crazy innovative sound evolution should make you happy.

"Under Control" is one of the shortest tracks in this album but fantastic is their vitality. Melodic metal blended with catchy streams and complicated rhythmic vibes completely amazes you. Melancholic bluesy lines and lyrics all through the track cannot be depressing but drive you into something encouraging. "Freedom" has atmosphere leaning towards extreme metal but you can feel delightful texture and futuristic hope via this active stuff, like the title says. Even the following "Close To The End" with tragic lyrics sounds powerful and vivacious. Splendid, serious drumming should be your nutrition. Strict bass play beneath their soundcore is awesome. Uptempo, crying double guitar-based sound organization should kick your anxiety out. Wondering why their soundscape veils every fan softly even though it's deeply hard and heavy. The last "Intonate" would be another luxury (and one of my favourite ones). Hopeful mid-tempo bright passages seasoned with crazy metallic sound theatre are quite magnificent. Obviously suitable for the epilogue of this fascinating creation.

Lastly let me say thanks to the bassist Christian for recommending this great album. Do hope their artistic future will be more and more excellent.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Some wonderful sound innovations by this band from Toronto contrasted by some very old sounding metal music sounds and tricks. Weird! Upon re-listening to this album for the second and third times I even found myself wondering if songs #2 & #3 were recorded 30 years ago--or if it was even the same band members that recorded them!

1. "Beyond the Exosphere" (17:53) Some absolutely brilliant, gorgeous, and powerful musics side-by-side with some rather blasť run-of the mill metal--which is disappointing as this could've been one of the year's stellar epics. Still, my second favorite song on the album. (32/35) 2. "Under Control" (4:48) Time warp! we're in the 1980s! (8/10) 3. "Freedom" (4:39) More old metal! What happened to the band that made that excellent opening epic? (8.25/10) 4. "Closer to the End" (7:06) some cool effects--like the choral vocals and the alternating machine gun bass and kick drum riffs alternating with Mellotron "ohs." My third favorite song on the album. (13/15) 5. "Intonate" (6:48) great multi-voiced vocals throughout. The best song on the album. (14.5/15)

Total Time 41:14

B+/4.5 stars; a near-masterpiece collection of songs, some reaching metal prog perfection while others feel as if they were pulled out of some 1980s metal-by-numbers playbook.

Review by Kempokid
COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
4 stars I tend to find it great whenever I get requested to review some modern prog metal album, since while I've been very vocal about my dislike for the direction it's headed as a whole, these requests always tend to reveal the material in the genre I find more enjoyable to an extent, and this one's definitely no exception. As is fairly standard for these sorts of albums, there's no doubt that there's a lot of extremely clear influence taken from past giants of the genre, in this case Dream Theater, but as is also practically the standard these days, it's also a lot better than any of the material that DT have put out over the last 10 - 15 years or so. The fact that there's also some clear Rush influence in this further helps separate it from the sea of DT clones to an extent, with the sometimes catchy, more straightforward melodies and hooks giving the album some more lasting impact, rather than simply feeling like yet another band soloing for the sake of looking cool and proficient at their chosen instrument.

From the moment the opening epic Beyond the Exosphere kicks off, it immediately becomes clear how Rush inspired the band, with the opening few seconds sounding incredibly similar to Fountain of Lamneth before breaking into more traditional prog metal territory. The epic as a whole is honestly pretty well structured, constantly ebbing and flowing while also progressively becoming more intense with each build up, managing to actually sound worthy of being the length it is, rather than simply sounding like a regular track but long. I also get some occasional Symphony X vibes from the vocal delivery, the more powerful nature of it, which is another thing I quite appreciate, further separating itself from the overt similarities to Dream Theater. This also happens to be a rare case of a prog drum solo not being a complete waste of time, being rather short, yet also contributing to the progression of the song in the way it brings for a somewhat darker tone that ends up leading into an extremely solid groove as the song explodes into an absolutely amazing, climactic few minutes that completely reminds me why I used to have such a love for the genre. The song on the whole is just a really fun time to me and definitely sets the album up nicely.

The rest of the album unfortunately is a step down from this first track, although is still pretty good for the most part. Main issue with this part is that it sounds more like a dramatic, densely produced 80s metal album, rather than having the prog qualities that made the opening track as good as it was, but even so, it's not bad, albeit not too memorable for tracks 2 and 3 either, being vaguely nice to listen to rather than anything I have the desire to look deeper into. It's in Closer to the End where things get back on track, being yet another more straightforward song with a clear cut chorus and everything, but I really like it, it feels like there's a bit of genuine emotion behind it and evokes almost apocalyptic imagery with how downright grandiose and epic it sounds, especially with the choral vocals. Intonate closes the album off decently, with the vocals being of particular note here with the great harmonies bringing an additional powerful edge to the track, solidifying the sense of finality that it's able to bring to the close really nicely, especially when combined with the amazing symphonic outro.

Overall, it's stuff like this that ends up reminding me why prog metal was a genre I loved so much at one point, as while this may not be an album with anything particularly new or shocking, it takes from its influences rather well to make an enjoyable listen, especially when looking at the epic on it and the way it actually fully feels like it deserves all 17 minutes. While not really an album I'd recommend to change someone's mind about the genre, I do think that this is an album you should check out if you're a fan of Dream Theater and Rush, since it's clearly the audience this band seems to cater towards, and it pulls it off rather well.

Best tracks: Beyond the Exosphere, Closer to the End

Weakest tracks: Freedom

Review by rdtprog
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Heavy / RPI / Symphonic Prog Team
4 stars The adventure of this band started in 2007 by musicians that were big Rush and Dream Theater fans, They must have listened to the latter closely because it sounds a lot like the leader of that genre. The guitar playing is also very much Petrucci influenced, and the drum playing is impressive throughout the whole album. The first 18 minutes epic is a slap in the face with all the trademark of a solid symphonic prog metal song combining technique and melody to make you jump out of your seat. The first part of the song is highlighted by one of the coolest drum solos I have heard followed by an ambient passage where the song picks up his pace slowly with keyboards. It would be a difficult task to surpass the quality of that first song in the next short songs of the album, but the band succeeds to keep the momentum with some solid songwriting letting all musicians take their spot including the keyboards. In the end, you can hear some Symphony-X influence, but despite the fact that the band clearly shows their influences on their sleeves, they still managed to craft their own sound with more dynamics and melody than a lot of Prog Metal bands.
Review by nick_h_nz
COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
4 stars [Originally published at The Progressive Aspect]

I'm indebted to Cydemind for introducing me to Pyramid Theorem. I'd never heard of the latter, until the former shared a link to Pyramid Theorem's latest album to introduce their fans to the band they'd be touring with. My memory puts that on Bastille Day 2017, but that may well be the Mandela effect. Regardless, I was immediately impressed by the just released Element of Surprise, which sounded to me like a wonderful mix of Rush and Extreme, but with a harder and heavier edge. They stood out to me then in a prog metal scene full of Dream Theater clones. While that band did appear to still be an influence, the music of Pyramid Theorem never sounded derivative, the way so many prog metal bands of that ilk do. Quite frankly, most prog metal bores me ? but Pyramid Theorem offered something that did indeed have an element of surprise, and was a thoroughly enjoyable and original headbanging romp and stomp.

So, three years down the line, Pyramid Theorem's third album has been released ? Beyond the Exosphere. My first thought, before listening to a note, is to admire the cover art. As much as I liked the music of Element of Surprise, I didn't like the cover art at all. So, with the cover for Beyond the Exosphere being quite possibly my favourite so far this year, I was worried that maybe the inverse might now hold true, and I'd find the music of this new album less inspiring, especially given, three years down the line, I listen to even less prog metal now than I did back then.

From the first notes, it is clear the Rush influence is still key. The album opens with the epic title track, and it's introduction clearly evokes long form songs from the '70s Rush catalogue, though with an entirely contemporary and metal sheen. The first two minutes make an impressive entrance, before the music kicks back a gear, and then another. Thus begins an incredibly melodic passage. All my worries float away, as it becomes clear that Pyramid Theorem may well be influenced by Dream Theater, but they still remind me more of Rush and Extreme. In fact, the way the various parts of the title track are quite distinct is very Rush-like, and it's very cool, maintaining interest incredibly well.

There are ambient moments and some impressive solos. I loved the drums at the very beginning of the track, but the solo is incredible. A lot of people are not fans of drum solos, and even someone like me who loves drums has to admit that some can be rather boring ? but I can't believe anyone could listen to this one and not be impressed. A key to this, I guess, is the length. Pyramid Theorem seems to instinctively know just what is the right length. No passage of the song is too short or too long. The whole thing just works marvellously. Around halfway through the song is possibly my favourite section, which mines a similarly groovy and almost jazzy vibe to that of Dutch band Sky Architect (I'm fairly sure Pyramid Theorem will not be aware of Sky Architect, so this is obviously my inference, rather than any influence).

Honestly, I could make this review just about the title track, so much happens within it. The album is worth it for this one track alone. But that is, of course, a double-edged sword. By putting it first, it does give the remaining tracks some very big shoes to fill. I can't help but be reminded of Rush again, and their classic album 2112. When I first listened to that album, I was so overwhelmed and enamoured by the title track, I almost ignored the remainder of the album. It took quite a long time before I realised how enjoyable the other tracks were. So is the rest of the album a step down? Well, yes, but that doesn't mean that the remaining tracks are no good. And I don't think it really matters. Again, the album is worth it for the title track. The other songs are merely icing on the cake. Given there is definitely more Dream Theater in this release than the previous, another comparison could be to A Change of Seasons. That release is worth buying just for the title track. Not one of the live tracks is as good, but they are still good. Icing on the cake.

Now, I just mentioned there is more Dream Theater in this release, and it is something I have to note because it's not so much to my liking. The final moments of the title track definitely start to sound a little more Dream Theater influenced, and the following Under Control has a definite Dream Theater vibe. Given that band's popularity (and please note, I do actually like Dream Theater myself), I suspect that may make this second track a favourite of many listeners, but for me it becomes the least interesting ? as I like it more when Pyramid Theorem show the originality and flair they clearly possess. Attention all planets of the Solar Federation. Dream Theater have assumed control. Freedom brings things back on track for me. Still a clear Dream Theater influence, but I really like this track, and I love the vocals. And the bells. The bells! How awesome are they? And some more amazing drums on this track.

Closer to the End has an epic feel to it, if not length. Stabbing keyboard flourishes, choral vocals, and repeated staccato riffs all impose a real sense of drama. The keyboard playing is scorching and keeps up the intensity. If this is Dream Theater, it's The Astonishing ? but as that's probably my favourite Dream Theater album, that's fine with me. And as much as I keep mentioning Dream Theater, I need to reiterate that Pyramid Theorem never sound like one of those soulless clones of that band. There's still so much going on in here, and I'm going to mention Extreme again, as I hear that again. This track doesn't have any overt funk to it, the way so many other Pyramid Theorem songs do, but it's still there ? hidden underneath the bombast. This is a groovy wee tune, and I completely dig it. If there's a standout track on Beyond the Exosphere apart from the title track, it's probably this one.

The album ends with Intonate, closing things out in style ? albeit a lot of that style is again very reminiscent of Dream Theater. The drumming towards the end is sublime (yes, I've mentioned the drums a lot in this review ? I love the drum sounds on this album!). Overall, I really like Beyond the Exosphere, and more so than its predecessor. However, I do have some concerns for the future. Despite my enjoyment, it's hard not to hear how much more of the Dream Theater sound is creeping into the music of Pyramid Theorem. That's not necessarily a bad thing, and it may help sell more records, but I rather hope the band tones it down for their next album, as otherwise I fear they may be in danger of becoming another Dream Theater clone. Then again, perhaps Pyramid Theorem have merely used the Dream Theater vibe to unite the album, and give it greater cohesion? Element of Surprise was an eclectic delight with an element of surprise to every song. Beyond the Exosphere may still be somewhat multi-faceted, but it holds together as an album far more. It will definitely be interesting to see where the band goes from here?

Latest members reviews

3 stars It must be tough being an upstart progressive metal band these days. You likely spent years of your life studying music and perfecting your technique hoping to make music no less ambitious than your idol Dream Theater. And, when it came time to commit your skill to producing distributable music ... (read more)

Report this review (#2485079) | Posted by ssmarcus | Monday, December 14, 2020 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Beyond the Exosphere, by the Canadians Pyramid Theorem, is a forceful work, where high-voltage developments are nuanced with short and effective elements of the highest sensitivity and devoid of greater instrumental clothing, but as intense as the most vibrant moments. In the powerful musical pr ... (read more)

Report this review (#2454788) | Posted by Hector Enrique | Thursday, October 8, 2020 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Despite always being a big fan of what some call "heavy prog" (Rush, Porcupine Tree etc.) I've never really paid much attention to progressive metal. Now I've listened to this album, I now realise what a massive mistake that was. This album has really got me into the genre, and I've enjoyed it s ... (read more)

Report this review (#2446056) | Posted by FatherChristmas | Wednesday, September 9, 2020 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Hot Damn- Run, Don't Walk! Evolution of Brilliance It wasn't that long ago PYRAMID THEOREM posted videos ("Drive" anyone?) featuring smokin' hot 80's metal riffs and half-naked smokin' hot ladies plus classic hot cars. Not that there's anything wrong with that. You could hear the influ ... (read more)

Report this review (#2445223) | Posted by Steve Conrad | Sunday, September 6, 2020 | Review Permanlink

4 stars PYRAMID THEOREM are a promising progressive metal band. On this album the band plays a style that reminded me of DREAM THEATER. The album opens up with a long song that kept my attention because it did not sound the same for the entire length of the song, instead it kept me interested and I re ... (read more)

Report this review (#2445210) | Posted by progtime1234567 | Sunday, September 6, 2020 | Review Permanlink

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