Reviews february/06

Pyramaze / Legend of the Bone Carver / MAS PC0515


Pyramaze - Second album from the Danish/American concept band! Tracklisting:Era of Chaos; The Birth; What lies beyond; Ancient Words within; Souls in Pain; She who summoned me; The Bone Carver; Bring back Life; Blood red Skies; Tears of Hate.

Pyramaze has changed my mind towards the Danish power metal scene - and that said the band is just 3 out of 5 members are Danish, 2 are Americans. The genre is not very prevalent here in Denmark and I guess it has always been up to the Germans hyping that genre!
But Pyramaze is a constellation out of this world: With 2 Americans in the fold; Lance King on vocals and Jonah Weingarten on keyboards - supported by 3 Danes; main man Michael Kammayer on guitars, Toke Skjønneman on guitars, Niels Kvist on bass and Morten Gade on drums.
"Legend of the Bone Carver" is one of the best classical power metal albums I have heard in a very long time. It has elements of progressive metal as well as more powerful passages - and best of all... it doesn't give you problems breathing. There is no doubt that the band consists of very gifted and skillful musicians. Lance King’s high pitched voice is fantastic and fits perfectly with the songs written mostly by main man Michael Kammeyer. Especially “What Lies Beyond” and “She Who Summoned Me” with extra-ordinairy female vocals by Christina Øberg impresses. The album varies between the more narrative tracks such as “Blood Red Skies” and the more pure metal tracks like “Tears of Hate” - like a "perfect" mix between Kamelot, Iced Earth and Iron Maiden.
"Legend of the Bone Carver" is - according to the sent info-material a concept album and I must admit that I haven’t quite got the grasp of the whole story, yet;-) and the press material doesn't clear things more up! But Kammayer & Co. has grown a lot since their debut "Melancholy Beast" - let's hope they get the attention they deserve!

Megattack / Save the Nations / Megattack PublishingLLC


Megattack - Is back! Tracklisting:Atomation; Magic; Save the Nations; Watching you; Bad enough; Where do we go; Cheat to win; Earthshaker; Poison the Love; Miracles.

This is absolutely 80's retro! The American band Megattack called it a day almost 20 years ago - and here we go again! I know... 20 years is not quite right! The band released their debut 'Raw Delivery' in 1986 and the album gave them quite some success, unfortunately with the fall of Dream Records an exact count of sols albums is not available - "Raw Delivery" was later featured in a compilation called "Hard'n Heavy Rarities vol.2" by Racer Records. But now 2005 is the comeback of Megattack. The band still plays high class 80s US Melodic Power Metal with raw vocals - and the whole style, attitude and approach reminds me of the glorious days of Vicious Rumours.
The band consists the talent of the original 5 members: Jay Gough and Parrish Hultquist on guitars, Rick Jackson on vocals, Richard Bettinson on bass and finally Bryan Sorensen on drums. Most of the 10 new songs included here are mid-tempo with a very big 80s touch, sort of Steeler/Vicious Rumors type of material, yet the band's info material mentions Uriah Heep and Dio, but i think the twin guitar style is very much inspired by Judas Priest i.e. - not quite as significant, but a fair try for an independent release.
Ther are several songs here that deserves a mention like "Save the Nations", "Watching you", "Bad enough", "Earthshaker" and "Where do we go now" are quite impressive. The CD has a great production with a big big sound that allows the general approach to breath. And even if the guys are 20 years older than the last time - they haven't lost their skills.
This album is a highly recommended to all headbangers with their heart and soul plantet in the 80's - with an updated sound of course - but nevertheless very dated! Great!!

Vain / On the Line / LM246 CD


Vain - Good ole' Davy is back! Tracklisting:Running on empty; So free now; Drag me; Last Sin; On the Line; Turn to Sand; Lie for Love; Cover me (one more time); Slave; Keeps shining on.

I remember when Davy Vain & co. Originally released their debut "No Respect" in 1989 on the Island Record Label. The band then consisted of Davy Vain on vocals, Danny West on guitar, James Scott on guitar, Ashley Mitchell on bass and Tom Rickard on drums - it was produced by Paul Northfield and gave San Francisco's Bay Area scene a brush-up alongside bands like Sea Hags and Jet Boy.
Here in 2006 only drummer Rickard is replaced by Louie Senor all other members are intact and so are their "sleazy" approach - and tracks like "Running on empty", "Lie for Love" and "On the Line" are all played with the same enthusiasm and vitality as some of the tracks on the debut!
Vain is sounding almost as I remember them - but they are also willing to discover some new ground as well- like on the groovy "Slave" and "So free now". But first and foremost it is Davy Vain's voice that very much draws the band, being melodic, spacy, hypnotic, stoned and sometimes quite out of synch... "On the line" reminds me of the glorious heydays before Grunge and that kind of party-stoppers raised from the USA - this is what Sleaze Rock is all about - great!

© Steen Elstrup Pejtersen 1999-2006