Jesus, some bands really don’t make it easy do they? Swedish sludge crew Pyramido give nothing away at first glance. Let’s take the name for a start, with Eyehategod and Bongzilla you pretty much know what you’re getting from the start but Pyramido sends a shiver of prog down the spine. Nothing about this release betrays the scathing, gut wrenching grind that escapes from the speakers when you slip this little sucker in the stereo…the review copy doesn’t even come with a track listing to offer up any clues as to their intent. The title and cover don’t prove much of an eye opener either. “Sand” suggests maybe some kind of ambient relaxation mix while the abstract elephant that adorns the cover is only half as heavy as the noise these guys peddle.
If I hadn’t been told this was a sludge album I’d have been expecting some kind of ambient, prog, post rock masterpiece but no, this is pretty much straight down the line doom infused sludge. It does tick many of the right boxes; the playing is particularly impressive, the riffs are suitably massive and the vocals rawer than a peeled baby in a bag of salt. The production is a real plus point with more beef than a herd of cows and a biting edge that could take your head off. Somehow though, I hate to say I’m not entirely convinced. At face value it has everything you would hope for but I can’t help feeling it just falls slightly wide of the mark. I can’t quite put my finger on it, maybe it’s because, despite the fact that I have listened to this album several times, pretty much as soon as it’s over I struggle to remember a single riff. Although these guys are great players and the album runs the gamut from crepitating, crushing doom to some nice Sabbathesque 70’s riffage, none of it remains in the brain. My other area of concern is the vocals. The guy can certainly deliver a throat shredding shriek but over the course of these five tracks all remains at the same level, there is no light or shade, no change of pace. It is a relentless and brutal attack but lacks the weight of a real troubled mind behind it. Mike Williams from Eyehategod, now there’s a guy that is truly weighed down by some serious psychoses and that comes across in the vocals in a truly scary way, here it seems like someone replicating what they would expect to hear on this kind of music and as such seems to lack a level of conviction and that’s what true sludge needs…it should be a paranoid, drug and alcohol fuelled trip into madness and I hate to say it, this is a little too polite.
There is a very good band here just aching to break out of their chains. I would suggest they all move into a cabin in the woods, watch nothing but hardcore porn and snuff movies, drink nothing but high grade rocket fuel and indulge in some dangerous levels of drug abuse then emerge into the sunlight to create the ultimate sludge album that’ll destroy all that went before.
Scribed by: Ollie Stygall