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Pyramidal - Pyramidal CD (album) cover

PYRAMIDAL

Pyramidal

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.75 | 41 ratings

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TCat
5 stars "Pyramidal" is a Psychedelic/Space Rock band from Spain which was formed in 2010, and has since released 2 EPs and 3 full albums. Their 3rd album is their self titled album. Their core line up has remained the same through the years, namely Miguel Rodes on bass; Miguel Angel Sanz on electric guitar and synthesizer; Oscar Soler on acoustic and electric guitar and vocals; and Lluis Mas on drums and percussion. On the Pyramidal album, there are also some guest musicians which includes Cesar Tenorio on synths and effects throughout the album. There are 5 tracks that span a total runtime of almost 45 minutes, all of the tracks, except one, exceed the 9 minute mark.

Shimmering and scratching guitars set the mood for the first track called "Visions of An Astral Journey" and soon these are joined by the sax played by guest Arantxa Marin. The sax stops long enough for the guitar to lead some progressive riffs. Intensity grows and a short chaotic section leads into a heavy section led by guitars and a strong progressive section before things calm a bit and a slow, heavy guitar solo begins. The tempo and themes change around quite a bit but return later making this feel more structured than free form, but after a while of this, the track slips into a more stoner vibe and becomes more improvisational. The sax puffs and squeals along while the heavy guitar support push it along. While the track has a heavy stoner vibe, it uses highly progressive riffs and flows seamlessly from structured to free form several times.

"Creatures of the Ancient World" continues with the progressiveness of the previous track with complex riffs and a guitar line that builds intensity. It all breaks down soon with a more pensive section that includes a fluttering sax again from Marin. Layered wordless vocal effects give some texture to the mid-Eastern influenced theme. Soon, subdued vocals are added to the mix. A violin comes into play from another guest Judti Aliaga. The space rock vibe is clearly in play here as it floats along for a while. Suddenly before the 5 minute mark, things suddenly take off as the rhythm section kicks into full gear. More heavy riffing continues from the guitar which supplies the tricky progressive sound. A minute later, the bass ushers in an even more intense and upbeat section full of guitar and the previous theme comes back in an improvised and uptempo manner. Before 8 minutes, we enter a floating, psychedelic stage and shimmering guitars and a heavy, grooving bass line keep it moving forward to a heavy climax.

"Unconscious Oscillations" is the short track on the album at just over 3 minutes. This is a spacey track with an ascending and descending guitar line and bits of sax added in to the swirling background. Strange vocal sounds are deep in the mix.

"Digital Madness" has a more laid-back feel in the beginning, but soon the drums kick in and it grows a bit heavier. Vocals follow the descending guitar riff note for note. This repeats a few times before the tempo levels to a fast flowing sound and a soaring guitar solo begins. Guitars continue to lead this track from structured sections to improvised sections, and undecipherable vocals both sung and spoken appear at different sections. Things calm down a bit at the 7 minute mark and then intensify a bit before the track ends.

The longest track at over 14 minutes, "Alussa Infinity", starts with a fast, almost James Bond-style riff and plays off of that in the beginning. After some stop/start style riffing, the mood shifts as guitars play broken minor chords and bring the track to a slower and darker pace and an evil sounding vocal whispers in the background. This almost nears a doom metal style during this section, but it is somewhat restrained from going there completely. Suddenly, at 6 minutes, another sudden shift to a faster rhythm starts, things still remaining dark and getting more dangerous sounding. More harsh vocals come out from the background of it all. Then after 7 minutes, things get suddenly calm as a chiming guitar plays alone with a few synth effects. Soon, drums push forward into another section heavy with symphonic style synths and then the violin starts in, and this almost reminds one of GY!BE as intensity builds and the violin and guitars build things to a climax. After 11 minutes, this is reached and everything breaks down to a lone bass playing a repeating note with ominous effects go on around it. When the drums come back in, it all levels out to a free floating mood and guitars improvise to the ending.

This is really an excellent album, definitely using the traits of stoner rock, psychedelic rock and space rock, but incorporating a lot more progressive structure than you would expect all through the album and adding several surprises along the way that borrow from other genres, making music with an enormous amount of depth. Even though this is mostly instrumental with a few vocals added in more for musicality than for lyrical content, and even though the tracks are mostly quite long, this album never seems to stagnate. The music is in flux, yet never afraid to go into an improvisational mode in some place, yet moving away from that before it gets stale. The minutes fly by as you listen, get a little lost and then find yourself transported somewhere else entirely before you know it. The music runs smoothly most of the time, but the progressive elements are definitely abundant in this album, and when I say it runs smoothly, the shifts between sub-sections are handled like everything is running naturally. Anyway, I hope that makes sense. This is one of the best psychedelic/space rock albums I've heard this year, and that is because of the amount of depth and variation that exists in this album. Yep, gotta give it 5 stars. I love it!

TCat | 5/5 |

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