By Gruesome Greg
Easily the most coveted album amongst my shipment of MeteorCity new releases. Black Pyramid’s self-titled was one of my most anticipated albums of ’09, and easily my most eagerly awaited debut since the Blood Ceremony record that came out on Rise Above last year. I first heard of this assachusetts-based trio via their 7” on Belgian label Electric Earth, whose owner was kind enough to send me a promo copy. (For what it’s worth, I named it my top EP of ’08 over at THTGIR…)
The A Side of said EP is a killer track called “Visions of Gehenna,” which has been rightfully placed at the beginning of the album, following a two-minute instrumental buildup. The intro riff is one of those great slices of stoner doom riffery that belongs up on a pedestal with “Dragonaut” and “Return to Forever”—perhaps the second greatest song of ’08. The instrumental breakdown at the three-minute mark is a choice head-nodder. Hell, the whole song is one of those doomy numbers that makes you wanna bang yer head, not just nod it.
A couple songs (and one instrumental interlude later) we get Visions redux in “Twilight Grave,” a song thick with heavy fuzz of the Cisneros/Pike variety. Although “stoner doom” is a term that gets tossed around a lot, I define it as meshing the slow, down-tempo pacing of Sabbath with the bluesy-riff rock of Kyuss, along with resin-stained hoarse vocals singing of mystical creatures and outer space. Sleep had this sound down to a T. So does Black Pyramid. Should the former’s reunion consist of more than a lone festival performance in the UK, MeteorCity should lobby aggressively for the latter to land the opening slot. I would certainly support this initiative.
Alas, while Black Pyramid self-titled isn’t quite Holy Mountain Pt. 2, it’s quite possibly the next best thing. If Sleep’s the stuff that makes your bongwater bubble, then Black Pyramid is your new favourite band. Doom’s not dead, not by a mile, and these guys are at the top of the list of New Doom Bands You Gotta Hear!