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Pyramids - A Northern Meadow (2015) lossless

30-03-2015, 17:04
Rock | Alternative | Metal | Electronic | Ambient | FLAC / APE

Pyramids - A Northern Meadow (2015) lossless

Artist: Pyramids
Title Of Album: A Northern Meadow
Year Of Release: 2015
Label: Profound Lore/PFL-149
Genre: Screamo, Psychedelic, Post-Rock, Shoegaze, Ambient, Metal
Format: FLAC
Quality: Lossless
Total Time: 49:47
Total Size: 335 Mb


1. In Perfect Stillness, I’ve Only Found Sorrow
2. The Earth Melts Into Red Gashes Like The Mouths Of Whales
3. The Substance Of Grief Is Not Imaginary
4. Indigo Birds
5. I Have Four Sons, All Named For Men We Lost To War
6. I Am So Sorry, Goodbye
7. My Father, Tall As Goliath
8. Consilience

Denton, Texas’ Pyramids jettison in and out of the fringes of metal. Their self-titled debut from 2008, released on Hydra Head, was a beautiful mess, filled with lush tones that traced jagged musical directions. Sometimes, they were Emperor reconfigured as a dream pop group, other times, they sounded like someone left a drum machine running on a Lovesliescrushing track. Even though black metal and shoegaze were obvious reference points, Pyramids felt alien to both. They were like explorers making up the map as they go. After a series of collaborations with Horseback, Nadja, and Wraiths, Pyramids finally return with their sophomore album, A Northern Meadow. Here, they’ve developed a front-to-back sound that pushes their metal leanings to the forefront, while also upping the enigmatic glow of their debut. This consistency leads to their strongest effort yet.
A lot has transpired in the Pyramids camp between the two records: namely, Hydra Head shut down and Pyramids moved to Profound Lore, Hydra Head’s successor of sorts as a leader in groundbreaking metal. Vocalist and founding member R. Loren concentrated on his label, Handmade Birds, as well as his side projects White Moth and Sailors With Wax Wings, in that period too. Pyramids never really went away, but they hadn’t made a proper album in some time, so it’s no surprise that they’ve changed quite a bit. Meadow commits to layers upon layers of black metal swirls, cascading riffs never ceasing except to leap to another song. They’ve got a better grip on their ambient influences by infusing them into the guitars rather than leaning on electronics. Even their most obviously black metal song, "The Earth Melts Into Red Gashes Like the Mouths of Whales", is smoothed into gleaming waves by how the riffs float and the alternating sonorous voices of Loren and M. Craig. "I Have Four Sons, All Named for Men We Lost to War" is one of their most aggressive tracks, but sifted through their vision, it’s stripped of chest-beating primitivism. It reinforces that beauty and heaviness are not mutually exclusive.
In "I Am So Sorry, Goodbye", some of the self-titled's jagged beauty reappears. It leads off with a chopped riff dripping with melancholy, and towards the end, the melodies break apart and disintegrate like space debris in slow motion. Closer "Consilience" also explores this seductive decay, but in a smoother, more gradual fashion. Guitars spiral ever so gracefully into a black hole, dying slowly but not without one last kiss to the audience. This album benefits from one idea being taken to its limits, as opposed to the free-wheeling of their debut.
For Meadow, Pyramids recruited some crucial names in experimental music and underground metal to augment the core lineup. French black metal genius Vindsval, leader of the shape-shifting but always idiosyncratic Blut Aus Nord, takes over drum programming from D. William, who focuses on electronics. Vindsval drives a black metal pulse beneath the guitars' veil, making him a shadowy figure more in control than it seems. (Funnily enough, Loren does a spot-on impression of Vindsval’s vocals on "The Substance of Grief Is Not Imaginary".) Colin Marston, an esteemed metal producer who also abstracts metal in Krallice and Gorguts, contributes guitar, and his touches are all over the record. He, with original guitarist M. Dean, steer the bands towards death metal in the main riffs of "Grief" and "Sons", and processed through Pyramids, it sounds like Portal with prettier vocals. Vindsval and Marston both contributed to remixes that came as a separate disc on the self-titled record, and their familiarity with Pyramids' vision makes them natural allies.
William Fowler Collins rounds out the guest lineup by providing an ambient undercurrent that runs in and out of the record. This heavy roster of powerful names might send expectations soaring, but where Meadow succeeds is that no personality, from the core group or the guests, dominates. They all fall into and become one with the Pyramids aesthetic. This is in contrast to their Nadja collaboration, which, while excellent, had clear lines where both bands came in. Vindsval’s appearance drew a lot of hype from metal fans anticipating this record, but this isn’t a Blut Aus Nord record outsourced to dudes living in a Texas college town. Pyramids are their own unit, and in owning up to their oddities and making them coalesce, not clash, Meadow becomes their most confident statement.

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