Pyramids mesmerized quite a few with their last album, 2006’s Following The Tracks, Forcing Motion Through Phases. Their second full-length, Through The Hourglass, showcases a slightly different approach for the band. The album comes off as more straight-forward than the Following The Tracks. I guess that is relative though as Pyramids can hardly be described as your traditional hardcore/screamo band.
The band mixes instrumental passages into the framework of their songs quite masterfully. It recalls the genre-defying style of a band like Envy most of all. For better or worse, much of Through The Hourglass follows the blueprint of Following The Tracks. The feeling of embarking on a journey envelopes the listener during both albums. But, while it might make for a seamless listening transition from one album to the next, Through The Hourglass is difficult to approach because of those same similarities. Simply put, Through The Hourglass struggles to find the same unique footing that Following The Tracks was able to latch onto quite easily.
The final three songs of Through The Hourglass are able to touch a nerve. With piano, feedback and jagged screaming, “The Phoenix” is the band’s most ambitious and experimental song yet. The eight minute “Two Eternities” rises and falls so man different times it is nearly impossible to keep track. Album closer “Time With An Ending” closes out the album in a flurry of chaos and screams. The album’s ending serves as its most powerful statement.
It’s a curse to release such a tremendous debut. Through The Hourglass is compelling but simply falls short of the expectations that Following The Tracks created. I can imagine if this was my first introduction to the band that I would be giving it much higher praise though. Still, as far as emotionally draining albums go, Pyramids seem to have the market cornered.