Review: Pyramid ‘Beyond Borders Of Time’

Appearing in my review gateway, as if transported from some cosmic realm, is Pyramid, a heavy, progressive, psychedelic, instrumental power trio hailing from Nuremberg, who are poised to blow the minds of heavy rockers around the globe with their second full-length, Beyond Borders Of Time. Whilst not always my preferred style in heavy music, I’m usually always down for some good instrumental psychedelia as I tend to listen to it late at night while working on art or writing and here, I’ve certainly found a ten-ton leviathan.

Pyramid 'Beyond Borders Of Time' Artwork
Pyramid ‘Beyond Borders Of Time’ Artwork

Pyramid, Michael Kümpflein on bass and synths, Lukas Schomann on drums and Shane Saban on guitar immediately put on display a mastery of their individual instruments along with a collective sense of space, mood and groove as the album offers all of this and more over the course of its seven tracks.

Opening with The Medicine Man, a sublime, slow burn filled with killer tones and nodding grooves that conjure up pretty immediate comparisons to Yawning Man, if not a bit heavier and more bashing in the middle section. The track soon evolves into a prog-psych finish of the highest order, while Sunbeam offers the listener, initially, an airier, spacey vibe that is deftly anchored by Kümpflein’s superb bass groove. All three musicians sound fantastic as they seem to be telepathically synced, taking the listener on the highest of audio journeys which culminates in the crushing, spacey mass of the heavy-as-fuck breakdown.

The aptly titled Fainting is the auditory equivalent of being trapped in a wormhole as this track literally feels like one is traveling through the space and time continuum. The tripped-out, effects-drenched, guitar from Saban commandeers the spaceship for the majority of its eight and a half minutes, but again the otherworldly bass of Kümpflein, coupled with Schomann’s classy crash-and-bash rhythms are the true anchors as they continue to supply this insane, hypnotic groove throughout with its epic zenith, sending Fainting out on a weighty, yet melodic conclusion.

the band display their keen sense of space and groove as they build a cosmic melodic trip…

Petrichor is a spaced-out, organic interlude, fitting of its name as a ‘petrichor’ is the aroma of the earth after rain, and this track certainly feels like the audio counterpart. Solarflare also sounds like its title as Pyramid slowly unfold, the song creeping into the listener’s consciousness. Again, to my ears, the bass serves as the literal gravity which allows an almost improvised feel to the guitar and drums, the track then eventually erupts into a cascading, head-spinning, melodic outro

The penultimate Krypta is a massive, fuzzed-out, rumbling colossus. The bass tone is at once spacey, and also a throwback to nineties rumble, recalling Quicksand’s first album Slip and the massive bass tones of Sergio Vega as well as Scott Reeder from Kyuss. This track is certainly the heaviest on Beyond Borders Of Time and bears the closest resemblance to rumbling, quasi-old school, stoner and desert rock like the aforementioned Yawning Man, or Monkey3.

Closer Prototype brings the record to completion in a fitting fashion as again the band display their keen sense of space and groove as they build a cosmic melodic trip that carries the record to its conclusion, leaving this listener feeling like I’ve slipped into another dimension.

So much of stoner rock and heavy psych these days feels ubiquitous, but Pyramid, while traveling in familiar musical territory, chart their own cosmic course due in no small part to the stellar musicianship of the band members, and the unreal tones they display throughout. I usually don’t heap quite this much praise on all-instrumental bands, but they really take it to the next level on Beyond Borders Of Time.

Label: Subsound Records
Band Links: Facebook | Bandcamp | Spotify | Instagram

Scribed by: Martin Williams