Melancholy Beast Pyramaze - Melancholy Beast (Nightmare Records) 2004

1. "Sleepy Hollow" (6:11)
2. "Forsaken Kingdom" (5:27)
3. "Melancholy Beast" (6:11)
4. "The Journey" (5:47)
5. "Until We Fade Away" (4:36)
6. "Almighty Abyss" (7:11)
7. "The Legend" (8:04)
8. "Nature Of Triumph" (0:50)
9. "Power Of Imagination" (6:29)

Pyramaze is a Danish band featuring American singer Lance King (ex-Balance of Power). Of course with King behind the mic, it is inevitable that Pyramaze will be compared to Balance of Power, especially since both bands play a similar style of metal. "Melancholy Beast" is a bit heavier than Lance's former band, however. According to their press kit the band is inspired by the likes of Maiden, Iced Earth, and Kamelot. To those influences add in a healthy does of Fates Warning as well. It may sound trite, but this combination of bands is exactly what Pyramaze sound like. I can't honestly say that they sound exactly like anybody, yet they're not reinventing the wheel (or the steel) either. They do, however, combine the intensity of power metal with some progressive song writing to come up with a combination that is quite intriguing. As a matter of fact, it was so intriguing that I played the disc through twice in a row. Of course the careful blend of heavy guitars, melody and King's smooth vocals are the key ingredient to the band's successful sound. Lance puts on his best vocal performance ever on this disc. Overall just a great disc. If you like Balance of Power you certainly will not be disappointed with this CD either.

Pyramaze - Legend of the Bone Carver (Nightmare) 2006

1. "Era Of Chaos" [intro] (1:17)
2. "The Birth" (5:52)
3. "What Lies Beyond" (4:26)
4. "Ancient Words Within" (5:37)
5. "Souls In Pain" (5:16)
6. "She Who Summoned Me" (5:53)
7. "The Bone Carver" (5:06)
8. "Bring Back Life" (4:55)
9. "Blood Red Skies" (3:30)
10. "Tears Of Hate" (5:59)

Disc number two for Pyramaze is a step up from their first CD. Pyramaze mix power metal and some progressive influences to come up with something that is melodic, yet heavy. This could very well be the heaviest CD that Lance King has been a part of. Some of the guitarwork here is furious, reminding me of guys like Jon Schaffer and Gus G. The songwriting is infectious as well, with loads of memorable vocal melodies and riffs. Perhaps my favorite songs is "Souls in Pain" with it's instantly likeable hooks. As the title implies, "Legend of the Bone Carver" is a concept album. While I haven't dug too deeply into the story, there seem to be some spiritual parallels here, not unlike some of C.S. Lewis' novels. "Bone Carver" is a story is of a boy born or unknown origins to save his world from evil. Together with some strong songwriting, "Legend of the Bonecarver" may very well be the best Lance King project yet.

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