The highly anticipated debut album from the Canadian band Pyres is a beautiful example of how moving this type of music can be if done properly. They have created a bombastic hardcore sludge album that has a heart that beats constantly throughout and exudes the angst, hatred, heartbreak and anxiety that the songs espouse. On this album Pyres brings huge hooks and grooves while staying true to their sludge roots. With a dash of progressive metal (see title track) and a flourish of wide ranging melody and rhythm this album breaks the mold of the modern sludge band as we know it today.
The album’s opening song “Proximity” opens with a slow groove that slowly builds into a powerful riff and the growling vocals of Andrew Wilson that guide us down the lonely and angry song of despair and hope lost. The second track “Deserter” changes up the formula a little bit allowing the vocals to take over the beginning of the song and then the band does what it does best with the second 2/3 of the track. They keep the rhythm and grooves moving and keep the song fresh throughout and lay down strong memorable riffs. The title song is a slow and steady blast of sludge that builds to the most solid riff on the album. The song is a showcase of how well guitarist Marc Delparte and Wilson work together being able to create such a strong bond that the fluidity of their guitar work is impeccable.
From the stoic riffs of “Atlas Cast No Shadow” to the almost perfect “Deserter” the complexity of each song is realized through the polished playing of the band. The galloping rhythm and tone of “Everbearing” is a fine example of the ability of Pyres to take control of the music and create a feeling of epic bliss through aggression. This album seems to get better and better after each listen as new bits and pieces of the intricate power of this album are realized which only increases the likability of this stellar release. Take my word for it; you will not be able to listen to this album only one time, I challenge you to try!
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Year Of Sleep vinyl is available from Granite House Records.