There’s a scene in Metallica’s “Some Kind of Monster” documentary where Lars Ulrich is at an art auction and he contemplates how an artist knows when he’s added enough detail to a painting, and then applies the question to making an album.”Dawn In Space” by Spanish proggers Pyramidal is an album that deserves to have the same question thrown at it, as the album runs at nearly an hour with only seven tracks covering that time.
After the perfunctory noise intro – entitled ‘Intronauts’ – eases into the gentle, jangly chords of ‘Black Land’ and immediately you’re whisked away on a space rock ride through various dimensions of 70’s-inspired proggy soundscapes. At nearly nine minutes long the song is reminiscent of classic Hawkwind, and with the understated vocals kept to a minimum the chord progression simply carries you along on a psychedelic trip until the more dynamic (for this band, anyway) ‘Kosmik Blizzard’ rolls along and adds a bit more percussive punch to proceedings, bringing to mind, ironically, Lars Ulrich’s style of drum fills.
The expansive title track adds a bit more to that comparison with a guitar line that sounds not too dissimilar to ‘Bleeding Me’ from Metallica’s “Load album”, and those Ulrich-inspired drum fills all over the place. Although the point about how much is enough with regards to the repetitive nature of these songs, it is the ten minute-plus rumblings of ‘Plastikleuten (Part I & II)’ that really push for an answer as nearly half the song is taken up with the same tom-tom roll and trippy squealing.
The final two tracks are a little more expressive, with ‘Tempel Iaru’ adding an eastern flavour to its up-tempo rhythms and Hendrix-esque riffing and soloing. ‘Mars Lagoon’ is a little more laid back with that psychedelic vibe returning, sounding like it could have come from Opeth’s “Heritage” album. There is also a hidden track that cuts back on the effects but still manages to work that hypnotic spell that all good prog rock manages to do.
Overall this is an album that won’t appeal to anybody who complained when Opeth dropped the death metal influences on “Heritage”, as it isn’t what you would call a ‘heavy’ album in that sense, and it isn’t an album you can put on just to kill five minutes as the songs are long and repetitive. However, if you’re prepared to sit, listen and let the music flow through you then “Dawn in Space” is a thoroughly rewarding listen.