When I first came across this band, it was an innocent thread in an obscure (pun intended) prog metal forum, a name I didn’t recognize, a type of thread I usually skip over. The only thing that stopped me was the last person to post, a fellow member whose opinion I respect very highly when it comes to music, so I popped my head in. Seems a guy by the name of jonnysuperfan was doing a little promotion of this band, and I skipped the samples to read the responses….
“Listening now, WOW!! Sounds fantastic!!!”
“Holy shit! This sounds incredible.”
“I liked what I heard….I’m in!”
These are from some guys I trust, so I bought the album song unheard, and hit play the moment it was downloaded. Next thing I know the music sucker punches me, I falter and hold my own, but that was just the beginning, I suddenly realized I was screwed. The onslaught is relentless. Wave upon wave of instrumental force beats me; I can only take so much, and go down. Then the last song comes on, the 29 minute long The Dream. It pins me down, and goes for blow after blow, never holding back until I am out cold. I lie there, eyes glazed and a sticky string of drool hanging from the corner of my mouth. I never stood a chance.
OK, that may be over-romaticizing things a bit, but seriously, these guys kick some ass. Hailing out of Richmond Hill, Ontario, Pyramid Theorem consist of brothers Christian and Stephan di Mambro on bass and guitar respectively, Vito de Francesco on drums, and Sam Ermallini on guitars. Vocal duties are shared by all except de Francesco. Their first release was an all instrumental EP titled Voyage to the Star, then the release of the single Another Day Slips By was followed by a self titled album.
Musically these guys bleed promise, talent, and skill. Their influences are the spectrum of prog heavies, including Dream Theater and Rush, and it shows, but it goes beyond too. There is a heavy, gutsy edge to a lot of their instrumental work, which is brilliant on all sides, especially the guitar work of Ermallini. Though I have read many different opinions on who he sounds like, the only vibe I got off him was a proggy Randy Rhodes, fast, raw, yet skilled and with soul, but all the guys shine here, they all counter each other perfectly. They ebb and flow from heavy to melodic to insane with gentle ease, transitioning without breaking stride. There is some budding genius at work on this album. The epic piece, The Dream, is a 29 minute assault, an aural journey that leaves one breathless, all of their influences bleed out on this one, but are portrayed with the band’s own edge, just killer. Primitive Design is a wonderful piece that to me favors more the proggy side, darting here and there without committing, just awesome. The highlight on the album for me though was the last part of Another Day Slips By. After the lyrics end, the members group together for a buildup sequence. Then a soul tearing guitar piece is ripped off, culminating in a stunning musical climax. Moments like this one are why I listen to music.
If I was going to take a hit at the album, it would be on the vocal elements. They are good, it’s just that they haven’t seemed to have caught up with the incredible music yet, hopefully this is something the band matures into, but this is a very minor thing, the overall package is simply incredible. To say these guys show promise is a gross understatement, there is something truly special happening on this album, it shines through in every note.
Now, just for your enjoyment, here is the opening track from their album!
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