Max Pie – Odd Memories – Mausoleum Records – Release: Out Now.
Founded in 2005 by vocalist Tony Carlino, Max Pie underwent a number of unavoidable line-up changes but kept on writing, rehearsing and step by step building a loyal following thanks to a rigorous touring schedule and impressive stage presence.
Originally playing classic hard rock/metal in the vein of Deep Purple and Whitesnake, Max Pie gradually evolved into the progressive heavy metal band they are today. In 2012 they released their debut “Initial process”, which was shortly followed by the second album “Eight Pieces”. Now they are back with the ‘difficult’ number three album “Odd Memories”.
Max Pie is:
Sylvain Godenne – Drums
Lucas Boudina – Bass
Damien Di Fresco – Guitars & Keyboards
Tony Carlino – Lead & Backing Vocals
Julien Spreutels (Epysode/Ethernity) – keyboards on ‘The Fountain Of Youth’
After the pompous intro you don’t have any clue what direction this album will be going. Because its film score sound leaves you guessing!
When I hear the keys at the start of “Age Of Slavery” my attention strengthens. When Tony suddenly drops in with an angry deep voice I already become fond of this stuff. But rest asured people, he also sings with his ‘normal’ vocal tone. This song has a strong backbone, due to the powerful drums from Sylvain. But the riffs from Damien are a real treat guys & dolls!
The long “Odd Future” introduces us to a more melodic sound. The dual playing of the keys and the guitar augments the melodic feel. Newcomer Lucas throws in some badass bass lines! This is how I like my prog metal! It doesn’t always have to be at top speed! I hear a bunch of Dream Theater influences here.
“Promised Land” boosts the speed and the track follows the path of happy power metal more.
I love variation on an album and the balladesque intro of “Love Hurts” adds another shelf to this musical bookcase! The track takes a U-turn and it becomes a hard riff dominated adventure! Singer Tony has improved his skills as well. His accent is not so obvious anymore (someone with a French native tongue finds it very difficult to speak English) and he sings much clearer! The strange (somewhat funky) and unexpected sounds during the break put an instant smile on my face. The keys solo makes me even jump for joy! I’m very pleased with the huge presence of the keys on this album. Mr. Di Fresco goes a few steps higher on my ‘very fond of’ ladder!
“Don’t Call My Name” with an angry sounding Tony delivers a high contrast with the acoustic intro of “Hold On”. This ballad is a welcome cool down moment and Tony is the real star here!
The band manages to meld early Rainbow keys with dance sounds during the start of “Unchain Me”. Every song has many surprising twists and turns. You can spot a new sound every time you listen to the tracks.
The album closes with the long and heavy “Cyber Junkie” and the very melodic “The Fountain Of Youth”. Vibrating bass lines and relaxed riffs (that remind me of mid ‘80s U2) are a few of the surprises here. Julien Spreutels (Epysode/Ethernity) injects some of his fabulous keyboard frenzy. An awesome instrumental part can be heard here!
But beautiful things don’t last forever and after one hour the fun ends. But when you hit that replay button, you’re in for another hour of ear candy!
YES, Max Pie did it again. This album shows another improvement to the previous slice of music. First of all, Tony’s singing is much clearer than before. Secondly is the major contribution from the keys on this album. And last but not least, the guitar playing of Damien (who also does the keys) is a real treat. The rhythm section glues all this together. The songwriting is very diverse and makes it a fun album to listen to.
People who like prog metal will have a ball when listening to these tracks.
Once again I’m proud to be from Belgium! 2015 has already given us some very nice music hailing from Belgium: remember Ostrogoth, Ethernity, Evil Invaders,….
And the second half will be a challenge for bands like Dyscordia and Epysode.
1. Odd Memories Opening 02:42
2. Age Of Slavery 05:17
3. Odd Future 07:50
4. Promised Land 04:52
5. Love Hurts 09:37
6. Don’t Call My Name 06:42
7. Hold On 05:52
8. Unchain Me 05:01
9. Cyber Junkie 07:36
10. The Fountain Of Youth 05:57
Score: 4 out of 5
Text by: Rik Bauters