The first thing to say is do not let the quite uninspiring band name of Belgian metallers Max Pie put you off from investigating what is in the form of their new album a rather thrilling and dramatic adventure and sound. Eight Pieces -One World is a captivating heavy metal release, an album bulging at the seams with muscular and almost carnivorous tracks soaked in fiery melodic invention and potently expressive passion. To be honest it came as a complete surprise but as the saying goes ‘do not judge a book by its cover’, or in this case the name, as you will miss out on one of the treats of the year.
Formed in 2005, Max Pie started off with a classic hard rock/ metal which was said to frequent the same well as of Deep Purple, and Whitesnake. Obviously over the years something riled up their hunger, invention, and attitude as proven by the new album, its tracks attacking and chewing on the senses with a destructive rabidity whilst infusing irresistible and captivating melodic metal bred flames. It is a scintillating mix which catches you by surprise and then force feeds some of the most contagious and riotously inspiring songs heard this year through to the heart.
Following their acclaimed debut Initial Process of last year, the Mausoleum Records released Eight Pieces – One World takes no time in tearing up the senses, the line-up of vocalist Tony Carlino, guitarist/keyboardist Damien Di Fresco, bassist Olivier Lemiere, and drummer Sylvain Godenne, initially laying a sonic wash on the ear as Cage Of Sins stakes its claim on the listener before with no thought of mercy unleashing a rhythmic and riff sculpted intensity. Immediately there is compelling temptation at work especially as once into its rapacious stride the music is joined by the excellent vocals of Carlino, his tones equally coarse and clean echoing the sound. References to Kamelot and Symphony X seem to come with the band and going by song and release you can easily add the likes of Fates Warning and Periphery, such the numerous textures and spices conjured.
The stunning start is soon matched firstly by I’m Sealed and then Earth’s Rules which is one of two songs featuring guest Simone Mularoni of DGM and Empyrios on guitar. The first of the pair teases djent rhythmic manipulation, riffs churning up nerves and thoughts so that warm inviting vocals and melodic enterprise can dance over the victims with soothing invention. Across the constant snarl of bass and drums assisted by equally predatory riffs, the guitars weave a sonic narrative which twists and sculpts its distinct tale upon aggressive canvas. Its successor with keys seducing with elegance and almost emotive mischief starts off with another predatory inducement before opening up progressive/classic metal arms to reveal a lake of evocative warmth and fire sourced melodic fascination. Though neither quite rivals the opener, they leave an enflamed greed for their and the following unpredictable and now assumed glories, which without exception the rest of the album delivers.
From the excellent evocative sonically coloured power ballad I’m In Love, tracks like the carnivore Vendetta rampage and seize full control of the passions, its rabid grip of primal rhythms and treacherous riffs irresistible whilst being ridden by the paint box of absorbing synth hues and the again impressively delivered and varied vocals. It is not all about aggressive intensity at any point though as the magnificent The Side Of A Dime shows with its Middle Eastern seductive promise courting emotions and heart from within the tumultuous web of rhythms and riffing voracity. The best track on Eight Pieces -One World, the encounter is a blistering expanse of inventive and urgent cajoling which rewards submission with beautifully crafted melodic heat and passion driven splendour.
As both the engaging Addictions and the equally engrossing Don’t Tell Me Lies with its gothic breath and sinister wink of the sonic eye bear evidence of, the skill and imagination of each member and their individual aspect within songs impress on the passions with clarity whilst combining to offer further irrepressible bait emphasising that though classed as heavy metal, band and album have a presence which crosses the desires and appetite of multiple genres within metal. Eight Pieces -One World is an excellent treat; as said an unexpected and surprising one but a creative coup which will be drawing out a zealous ardour for a long time to come. Slip yourselves pass the name and discover one of the gems of the year so far.
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