Pyramaze perform a high energy set of metal

Another year, another open-air metal festival... or so you would think. With this being only Bloodstock Open Air's second year there is still a lot to prove, and with a beefier line-up and a strong opener in the form of the American/Danish power metal band Pyramaze, BOA 2006 got off to a flying start.

Musically speaking the band are pretty much spot on for what they are; their mixture of power metal with "proggy" touches hits the spot just fine on this late summer afternoon and provides the energy and upbeat stylings needed to entertain the audience who you wouldn't blame for going off to the beer tent at this point. The band include both songs from their debut 'Melancholy Beast' (which many in the crowd seem to prefer) and this year's 'Legend Of The Bone Carver', of which the title-track of the latter is undoubtedly the finest moment of their set, mixing precision and bombastic energy into a highly entertaining five minutes. The pace of the band's set is insistent and infectious and the forty-five minutes, which to be honest I was expecting to find a little dull, flies by all too soon.

The band's performance impresses as well in terms of their energy and crowd participation, for this early in the day the crowd they draw (still admittedly rather small given the quality of the material) and the enthusiastic response the band garner, is very impressive. Pyramaze themselves are clearly having a great time in their performance and this interplay between band and crowd gives the set an energy. Vocalist Lance King leads the way in entertaining and warming up the crowd and although perhaps, yes, the response is a bit muted away from the barrier, he does an admirable job given the all-too-small crowd size.

Whilst it is easy to forget bands such as this when they are dwarfed by the sets of later bands such as Friday night headliners Edguy; Pyramaze were undoubtedly a pleasant surprise and gave the crowd a solid forty-five minutes of entertainment. When a band manages to impress enough that they can make a complete newcomer want to see them again and buy their albums, you know you've seen a good one.