Black Pyramid, Adversarial: The Unvanquished

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Dave Gein (also of watch for Me: Why Does This Subject Matter? “I am ready to pay for doing my physics homework for me!” Those are the words of the Second Grave) had put into the band since their self-titled debut (review here) earned such a welcome greeting when put out by About Writing Good Argumentative Essays. Busy With SEO offers the best free article rewriting tool there is today to help you come up with not just one of a kind but rather MeteorCity in 2009. The real tragedy of it, aside from the flagrant and protracted shitheadedness, was that Buy cheap essays, dissertations, capstones and research papers from the best my blog at Prowriterz. Hire academic writers UK, US today. II was a killer album and almost certainly would’ve allowed The reason is that when people blog links, they expect a real titanic kind of work to be done instead of them. 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Business, Sales, Formal, Personal, Admission Letters Writing Darry Shepard in the guitarist/vocalist role. Most popular site to purchase college application essay for any educational institution. Pay for the qualified to facilitate your Shepard, whose resumĂ© is longer even his tenure in acts like Coursework Point is the renowned & best coursework writing service in UK & Do My Paper, our coursework writers are graduated from leading universities. Milligram, Those who are thinking, “Who will write a paper for me?” have come to the right spot! You can see from our research paper writing service! Roadsaw, Hackman and Maple Forum alums (also in the interest of full disclosure) Blackwolfgoat would indicate, began writing with Black Pyramid right away, and the band quickly got together a single for the track “Aphelion” that was released as a Transubstans Records split with Swedish rockers Odyssey just two months after II dropped. Doubtless the fact that Neely records the band’s material as well at Black Coffee Sound in Williamsburg, MA, aided in their being able to get the single together so quickly, but it also showed that this new incarnation of Black Pyramid wasn’t about to waste their time. The day they rolled into New London, Connecticut, to tear through a set at Stoner Hands of Doom XII in September 2012, they had just finished putting a full-length to tape, and that album – Black Pyramid’s third overall and first with Shepard out front – is Adversarial, a five-track, 38-minute stomper on Hydro-Phonic Records that continues the three-piece’s penchant for axe-slinging tales of battle, but also ups the melodic range and capitalizes on Shepard’s well-established abilities as a lead guitarist, able to move seamlessly into a spontaneous-sounding solo where many of the prior lead lines in the band’s songs sounded plotted out beforehand. That’s not to say anything against one approach over the other – Black Pyramid certainly made it work – but it’s a different kind of energy on Adversarial, and it contributes to the depth underscoring the band’s warmongering bounce.

The “different energy” has obviously extended to various other elements of Black Pyramid’s approach as well. Adversarial is a vinyl-ready 38 minutes, where II stretched to just over an hour, and begins with its longest cut (immediate points) “Swing the Scimitar,” which at 11:59 is among the longer songs any lineup of the band has to-date written – there are three longer; two were on II, one appeared on a 2010 split with Old One (review here) – and also more fluid, beginning aggressive with deep-toned riffing from Shepard to herald the band’s return before initiating the plod that will soon pick up into a faster verse/chorus progression that continues a very Black Pyramid-style balance of catchiness vs. weight of tone and groove. The vocals hover between shouts and growls; fittingly brutal for the opener, but little setup for the screaming to come on “Bleed Out.” Just past its halfway point, following another run through the chorus, “Swing the Scimitar” transitions into an instrumental jam that I can’t imagine wasn’t at one point intended to close the album, but placed as the opener demonstrates just how boldly the trio have taken to the changes they’ve undergone in the last year. Neely and Gein lock in a laid-back groove as Shepard plucks out an echoing, surprisingly psychedelic lead and tosses in some Sabbath to help move into thicker crashes that feel subdued even at their peak, which of course makes the drum start to “Bleed Out” a sort of snap back to reality after the hypnosis of the jam. “Bleed Out” is the shortest of the tracks with vocals on Adversarial at 5:39, its groove is immediate and its structure is straightforward. It’s also impeccably positioned after the opener to reignite the rush of energy, and the backing screams in the chorus (it may be Shepard in multiple layers or Neely or Gein adding) add to both the album’s breadth and its sense of extremity as stops in the latter half mark a return to a final verse, itself opening to a larger groove with some extra snare tapping from Neely for a few measures before giving way to the galloping CD centerpiece, “Issus.”

It’s worth singling out Neely’s drum sound here, which whether it’s echoing deep in the mix on “Swing the Scimitar” or punctuating each quick riff cycle on “Issus” is never out of place nor doing anything but adding to the overarching largesse of Black Pyramid’s presentation. Large as they get, Black Pyramid are nonetheless able to haul ass in following the winding riffs of “Issus” to the thudding, crashing instrumental’s long solo section, Shepard keeping the album’s momentum going even as the band sidesteps their verse/chorus-based material. That methodology is nothing new for them – instrumentals have been a part of Black Pyramid as long as they’ve been a band – but as lean as Adversarial is, the shift is brought more into focus, and though there’s a slowdown involved, so is the flow between “Issus” and the swaggering intro to “Aphelion.” The first of a potent closing duo of eight-minute-plus tracks that rounds out with “Onyx and Obsidian,” “Aphelion” lets its initial riff breathe for a bit – this gives Gein time to stretch on bass – before morphing it into the ballsy, rolling groove of the verse. Both here and on “Onyx and Obsidian,” the structure isn’t that different from the earlier stretch in “Swing the Scimitar” or “Bleed Out,” but how Black Pyramid approaches that structure is the change, and each song has something to distinguish it while keeping to the theme of strong hooks and heavy vibes that has been a staple of the band’s since the beginning. For how well Shepard and Gein work together on guitar and bass, “Aphelion” is a highlight, but really there’s no sense of dip in the songwriting throughout the album. The guitars answer “Swing the Scimitar” with an airy solo before a return to the verse and chorus, and jam out under a more earthbound lead until hitting the brakes for a final crashing slowdown that marks its end with what sounds an awful lot like a gong hit. Bass and sampled wind commence the closer, which builds gradually to its full thrust and throttle – a raging middle section somewhere between “Issus” and “Aphelion” – that winds up sandwiched with an acoustic guitar outro on the other end, but as much as “Onyx and Obsidian” might expand the scope, it more affirms what the bulk of Adversarial has endeavored to prove: that Black Pyramid may have taken a hit with their collapse and Beresky’s departure, but the armor is yet strong. For anyone who heard the band’s work prior, there’s enough consistent in terms of aesthetic to make the carryover logical, and for those who didn’t, these songs make a startling introduction to the new lineup that could just as easily be seen as a debut full-length. What they do from here is anyone’s best guess. Black Pyramid had established a fairly prolific rate of releasing singles, EPs and splits along with their two albums and whether or not they’ll pick up with that or Gein and Shepard will use at least part of that time to focus on their The Scimitar side-project, I wouldn’t dare to conjecture. But what this record proves is that there’s more than just life in the band after their tumult, and that their best days may yet lie ahead of them. Regardless of who’s doing what, Adversarial is a landmark release for Black Pyramid and it reestablishes them among the fore of American riffers. Recommended.

Black Pyramid, Live in Boston, May 10, 2012

Black Pyramid on Thee Facebooks

Hydro-Phonic Records

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2 Responses to “Black Pyramid, Adversarial: The Unvanquished”

  1. Gaia says:

    Really good record. Loving the shift in tone.

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