Atlanta, GA based metal pianist Kyle Morrison is set to release his debut, full-length album instrumental album Pianometal, on May 26, 2017 via Sony Music / The Orchard Enterprises.
An introverted classical pianist raised on 80’s thrash metal has produced a musically schizophrenic hybrid of chaos and tranquility. Kyle Morrison fronts the metal act Triphon as both the vocalist and keyboardist. Kyle has made a name for himself crafting classically-infused metal with Triphon, including a power metal rendition of CPE Bach’s Solfeggietto.
In his bio, Morrison states, It’s like Metallica and Beethoven are fighting for dominance over my musical ideas. Some days I want to play screaming thrash metal and other days I only want to hear the notes of my piano. My work is the result of this constant tug of war.
Kyle seeks to further expand the role of keyboardists in metal. I’m not the type of guy to simply trigger a few samples. I’m ripping solos, arranging strings, and creating classical piano motifs in order to add an entirely new dynamic to modern metal.
For his debut release, Morrison enlisted a who’s who in the world of metal including Dirk Verbeuren (Megadeth, Soilwork), Francesco Ferrini (Fleshed Apocalypse), Sean Z (Daath, Chimaira), and Elias Holmlid (Dragonland) as well as vocalists Sean Zatorsky (Daath, Sinsaenum, Chimaira) Adrienne Cowan (Seven Spires, FirstBourne) Sergio Pacheco (Triphon) on the sole track with vocals, Mammoth.
Just because piano is the main focus, that doesn’t mean that the album lacks in the power and brutality of modern metal. Listen to the chaotic opening track Centrifuge, featuring Verbeuren’s double bass drum attack and a Dragonforce-esque frenzied approach. Hymn of Blasphemy has a dark orchestral approach featuring Ferrini of Fleshgod Apocalypse. There is a very cool proggy breakdown midsong that reminds me of Jordan Rudess of Dream Theater.
There is lots of guitar shredding as well with a blistering solo from Paul Jacovino on The Cosmos I: Martian Dusk. The aforementioned Mammoth, the sole track featuring vocals on the album has a very cool interplay of vocal styles with the growls of Sean Z and the soft and powerful melodic pipes of Cowan (one of the best young up and coming talents in metal today).
Elias Holmlid lends his own considerable piano chops to the epic power metal infused track Ocean Black. The albums final track, The Road To Eternity is a sweeping orchestral journey that combines power, prog, and symphonic elegance to create one of the albums finest moments.
Normally, I require vocals with my metal but with PianoMetal, Morrison proves that the main focus on piano and instrumental orchestral music can be just as powerful as a guitar riff or a metal scream. If you enjoy metal that combines imagination, , impressive chops, creativity and the ability to shred then Kyle Morrison will be a name to watch.