Listening to this album is like being on a train, a train that you know is going to crash. But even knowing this, you just sit there and wait. Slowly you look out the window and lament all that passes by almost without knowing why. As the music builds up your heart rate increases, the song climaxes, people scream, and frantically everything ends. As does the album, which is an economical thirty-two minutes long.
Pyramids is a Philadelphia based "emotional hardcore band" comprised of former members of A Petal Fallen and The Holy Fucking Spirit; their first album, Following the Tracks, Forcing Motion Through Phases, is, from what I gather, a concept record involving a descriptive narrative of a half-metaphorical train ride.
From the opening chaos of "Stationed" to the final whisper of "Lucid," this album flows with an elegant mix of beautiful post-rock and furious screamo, a formula that seems to be on the rise with many bands such as Envy and Gantz also releasing albums in a similar vein. That said, Pyramids are not formulaic in the slightest. The opening track, "Stationed," is a perfect representation of the album as a whole. Starting with a minute of chaotic hardcore and tormented screams before reigning in it with a lighter post-rock inspired section, which then, complete with meandering guitar work, builds up until the end of the song where its as furious as the initial minute. The track finally breaks apart, unable to contain itself; it ends in a wall of screaming guitars.
Many of the tracks utilize the "quiet-to-emphasize-the-loud" technique, which as I've mentioned earlier has became quite popular recently. Pyramids stand out in this field by knowing the exact moment to unleash the loud, usually bringing the emotional impact of the music crushing down upon you. This is particularly evident on the album's centerpiece, the nine-minute epic "Sleep Spindles & K-Complexes," with its brooding and calm instrumental first half building to one of the albums most stunning sections, many times holding back only to let loose with even more rage.
However, this is more a perfection of a specific style rather than anything dramatically innovative. It's not quite reinventing the wheel, but Pyramids add enough of there own flair to make them stand out from the crowd. The album may be a tad on the short side at only thirty-two minutes, but considering the consistency of the album this is forgiven. Easy recommendation for fans of Envy, Gantz, Cease Upon the Capitol, Suis La Lune, and City of Caterpillar.
Envy, Gantz, Cease Upon the Capitol, Suis La Lune, City of Caterpillar Etc
7.7 / 10
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