Pyres – Year of Sleep | Review

Right from the first few riffs of opener “Proximity Anxiety” you’ll notice that Canada’s Pyres sound a bit like Savannah’s finest riff mongers Baroness. In fact, the sludge-laden presence of Baroness looms unashamedly large throughout every song here. The sound is indeed familiar, but I don’t see it as plagiarism, I guess all this worship is merely them showing reverence for their influences, and these include Mastodon as well. See, sometimes Pyres errs toward a more aggro and barbaric approach that brings to mind killer records such as ‘Leviathan’ and ‘Blood Mountain’ , although, they tend to focus more on groove and less on prog tendencies.

In addition to a few riffs that remind us of Baroness, sometimes Andrew Wilson’s gruffly vocals also sound uncannily like John Baizley’s vocalizations just before the transformation into the rock croon that dominates the latest ‘Yellow and Green’ album. On tracks such as the stunning “Atlas Cast No Sound” those similarities are very much evident.

‘Year of Sleep’ also has a nice, comfortable flow and the four-piece toss in plenty of sweet harmonies that have the potential to linger for days in your head, the colossal “Deserter” is full of such memorable hooks that wouldn’t sound out of place in a killer album like ‘Blue Record’. And in the end, the powerful “The Everbearing” caps the album with the same primal roar of old Mastodon, charging the listener with some sludgy, powerful riffs.

Overall, this is a good debut and shows a lot of potential so, hopefully, this is only the first in a long line of strong and interesting records from this Canadian group.

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