Fem could easily be described as one of the heaviest albums ever released! Think of funk dragging its feet. Or Arnold Schwarzenegger’s lunchbox. With Pyramido you won’t get the usual hackneyed “congregating-at-a-sacrificial-altar- doing-bonghits-with-satan-while-worshipping-riffs-and-watching-vintage-biker-flicks” patter that is commonly hinted at when describing this kind of music. What you will get though is honest, soulful, yet aggressive and crushingly heavy music with strong roots in DIY-culture and lyrics dealing with the struggles of everyday life and a desperate hope for social change. One could almost say it’s beautiful……Almost!
Pyramido was formed in the southern Swedish city of Malmö in 2006. Five different individuals getting together, sharing a common passion for heavy, distorted and slowed down music. In the early days of the band’s existence they played a generic take on sludge/doom metal with influences too obvious to mention. Over the years however, Pyramido has steadily evolved, eventually becoming the more diverse and not so anxious band you see today. Songs started to take shape more confidently, the quintet slowly transforming into a new musical being with dreams of touring and breaking new musical boundaries.
This transformation started to show on the bands third record Saga, a more permanent statement built upon with the 2016 follow up Vatten, on which the influences from the band members combined passion for music of all kinds started to make its way into Pyramido’s (cr)rusty soundscape!
This, their fifth album, entitled simply Fem (the Swedish for the number five – clever, eh!) was recorded and mixed during the autumn of 2018, with engineer John Rönnerblad. Written over the course of a few years, Pyramido took the time to let the material breathe and evolve naturally, not being afraid of trying out new tempos, melodies or ideas sometimes foreign to the genre. Drawing inspiration from the delicate melodic figures of dreamy 90’s indie rock, the folky fuzz of vintage Swedish psychedelia and the bittersweet harmonies of Henrik Berggren and Broder Daniel, Pyramido then proceeded to submerge all that with their trademark heaviness and aggression, to the point where only hints of the aforementioned delicacies were alive and breathing!
Pyramido’s version of stoner/sludge/doom isn’t exactly straightforward. Heavy on the reverb and feedback and with vocals that are more akin to a black metal album, the result being a somewhat heavy-hearted and melodic sludge metal/hardcore attack, once perfectly described as “…a warm hug rather than a punch in the face“.
Someone else at the time suggested that it was slow and moody, permeated with a strong sense of the earlier, heavier school of shoegaze courtesy of Curve, Lush, My Bloody Valentine, but nailed onto a bedrock of crunchy, stoner doom guitar vibes.
Yep, that pretty much captures it!