This is the fifth album from Swedish sludge metallers Pyramido.
Saga was a very strong album, and now that Pyramido return with Vatten it’s clear that it wasn’t a one-off fluke.
Pyramido are heavy and crushing. Vatten exemplifies these traits and the album is 38 minutes of emotively flattening guitars and distorted atmospherics.
Anguished screams tear out of the music as lonesome leads and tortured melodies rise out from the body of the music. Although the heaviness is a constant companion, it’s not Pyramido’s only weapon in the war against silence, as they also show they can play introspectively in more of a Post-Metal way.
On Vatten the band seem to have injected a little more nuance and shading into their songs; even though they had this on Saga for sure, it seems more developed here, with the time being taken to cultivate greater mood and feeling via the leads and rhythms.
Even when all of this happens though, the heavy riffs are not too far away, and the Sludge Metal gets its way in the end. The truly wonderful moments occur when the heavy riffs are providing the emotive content, and on those occasions Vatten is at its best.
These tracks compel you to pay attention, as the groovy and emotive guitars draw you in, engaging with their fury and hypnotic delivery.
Slow, heavy and crushing is the way of Saga. Hulking great walls of guitar noise crash around you as tortured shouts assault your senses, topped off with lonesome melodies that seem at the same time both disconnected and essential to the music.
Haunting passages and gargantuan riffs share space in the songs and all the time the sense of utter Doom and despair is all-pervading. At least it would be all-pervading if it wasn’t for the quasi-hopeful melodic streak that adorns the album like a partially obscured crown, making appearances here and there to spread optimism only to be torn asunder again and again like the darkness eating the light.
Even the album cover draws you in; a promise of a hot fire on a cold night – sanctuary from the dark. All the time the frigid, gloomy woods creep ever closer and creatures stir within, hidden from sight.
This is a release that grows on you like an infection, revealing its next bleak gift with every repeated visit. Each listen brings you closer to damnation while promising redemption. It’s insidious.
Get lost in this album if you dare. You may not return, but what sweet release awaits?