posted on 8/2009 By:
There's just something about the hazy heft of great stoner doom that matches up perfectly with the luminous days of Summer. For many us, there's not much that can trump a hand that involves barbecues, beer drinkin' and burly riffs courtesy of bands such as Internal Void, Unorthodox, Iron Man, et al. Well, you guessed it: time to add another name to the ever-expanding guest list, because Northampton, MA's Black Pyramid go down just as smoothly as any of the other musical brewmeisters on your current stoner/sludge playlist.
The inaugural full-length from these three purveyors of mass travels a very similar road to the early 90's era Maryland doom sound that folks such as myself love to float alongside when the mood is sunny. The main focus is to essentially "smoothly bludgeon" the listener (in an agreeable manner, of course) with heaps of Sabbath-ian riffs guided along through clearly audible bass bubblings, numerous vivid leads, and the fluidly driven push of a titan behind the drum kit. Beyond that, any other bells and whistles are pretty unnecessary, so shelve any expectations of extended Electric Wizard psychedelic trips of the brain, or 12-minute Mammatus-styled jams that make you feel like you've warped into another world; Black Pyramid's approach to the style is much more direct, and their objective is tactfully delivered through a collection of stout tunes that all hit around the 6-to-7-minute mark, save for one short intro and a pretty little acoustic blip ("Celephais") that serves as an interlude between the band's re-recorded demo material and four brand-spankin'-new songs.
Because of its more direct candor, some of the album's subtleties can take a few listens to fully blossom. But trust me, once things get more familiar through repeated listens, you'll slip right into this gem like a favorite old flannel shirt. "The Worm of Ouroboros" is a personal highlight because of its more brazen ripper-rock slant, and I love the dark, slightly more mellow approach to the closing "Wintermute," but there's really not a stinker in the entire patch. At no point does a player stumble or flub a transition, and guitarist Andy Beresky's decidedly Matt Pike-styled "gravelly crooning" adds a perfect level of additional grit to the formula to further drive home the record's agreeability.
Black Pyramid have delivered yet another great record for the sludgy/stoner/doom masses to enjoy during the stretching Summer days of '09. If you're the type of person who's always ready for a new brew that seamlessly melds piles of heavy, hazy riffs with sweet hints of agile leads and a strong groove finish, you need to give this little concoction a shot. Black Pyramid hit heavy, so I say crank that shit up.
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