Pyramido – Salt ….   Leave a comment

I have never felt the need to review albums using fancy words, metaphors and colorful descriptions when you can just say one thing – “HEAVY.” Maybe that is one of the reasons I dig bands like Pyramido; there is no beating around the bush here , the band is just seriously demented psychedelic-doom in the vein of Grief, Electric Wizard and Noothgrush. The band is doomy, sludgy, crusty, stoner-esque, and while their music is laced with generics, there is also something extremely well calculated about their brand of doomy sludge. The first album ‘Sand’ was a killer début, although not perfect by any means but its faults obviously came from the lack of recording experience and not a lack of musical talent. Those minor hiccups have been fixed with this, their sophomore offering, titled ‘Salt’. Musically and production-wise its a smoother ride this time around while remaining just as heavy, if not even heavier than they were before. ‘Salt’ seems to push other influences or styles of playing to the front this time around or at least that is how I hear it. There is less of the Electric Wizard and more the Eyehategod, Goatsblood, Iron Monkey, and early High On Fire coming through the tunes on this album so I guess you could say it’s out goes the doom, in comes pure crusty, dry- retching, abrasive sludge. Don’t expect a different sound, this still sounds like the same band that recorded ‘Sand’ but they have gotten even more sonically abusive now.

The madness begins with ‘Walking Blind’ that has ugly riffs and a loose and shaky groove. Guitarists Wendel and Dan H unleashed some of the sickest cacophony you have ever heard. The drumming is a deathly plod for most of the 7 minute track which really heightens the tension and dense atmosphere. The bass playing cuts while the vocal is a maddening assortment of mid to high-pitched sneering growls. A nice tempo change is introduced along with several breakdowns that range from the atmospheric to the hypnotic. The intensive, relentless sludge attack grinds to a halt eventually and while this is a massive ugly piece of maggot-infested sludge-metal, it is probably the most commercial tune on the album which says a lot for this albums power and brutality. The following track, ‘Left To Rot’ combines energetic drumming, Grief-like riffing, and injects it with seriously ugly grooves. The twin guitar work becoming an even more important feature of the band in this tune. Not many bands have twin guitar interplay of this calibre especially within the sludge-metal genre; It is not just two dudes riffing, there is riffing from one guy, melody lines from the other and they seem to be constantly re-inventing the same riff, time and time again.

Three tracks in and it is instrumental break of sorts with a tune called ‘Saltstoder’ and it is the odd tune on ‘Salt’ with whispered vocals and synths. There is also a great melody line that keeps this from being just a simple interlude but it is also the least-listenable of the bunch but I think that is because it is just so different from the other tracks that your brain struggles to adjust to it after the earlier 14 minute onslaught of sludge. However it is still a good tune in its own right and if that was a change in mood, the bludgeoning sound of the next track ‘Onward’ is different again. This track is meandering compared with the rest of the songs here; The smokey riffage and the use of a more complex than usual arrangement makes this one hell of a dramatic track and what seems to be becoming their trademark style – they always seem to be continually building in intensity. Without a doubt, this is one of the albums most intense ‘neck-breaking’ moments and one of the albums most ethereal at the same time.

If there was any questions surrounding their twin-guitar abilities, they are soon answered by the next tune, ‘Hollow Words.’ They once again prove themselves to be masters of their craft with a multi-dimensional track and blistering guitar work. This track has everything, LSD-laced doom-metal, black metal malice and they even throw in a high-speed section about halfway through the piece. Such variants are rare for a sludge act anyway but when they delivered so effortlessly and precise as this, it leaves you floored. There is never a moment on this album where you feel like this is just another sludge-doom act recycling riffs from Grief or Sourvein, this sounds fresh, unique and at all times invigorating. If there is a filler track on the album, they saved it for last with ‘Dr. Milton (Destroyer of the Worlds)’ and even then, it still wipes the floor with most other bands. I think the problem here is it just sounds like a collection of the same ideas that has already been used on the album but that is only an extremely minor gripe.

In my review for their first album, I wrote “The band plays with a kind of Doom Blues feel with the Sabbath meets modern-day Sludge sound complimented by a singer who sounds like he just escaped from a mental hospital. Like all the songs on here,there isn’t a huge amount of riffs but each one of the riffs crushes you into submission. If you like Sludge/Doom played with a lot of crusty anger, then check it out.”  Well the same message applies here only they are even more highly recommended now. ‘Salt’ is one of the real contenders for ‘sludge-metal’ album of the year…..9/10

Pyramido @ Facebook
Official Pyramido site
Pyramido @ MySpace
http://www.totalrust-music.com

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Posted May 25, 2011 by doommantia in Pyramido

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