REVIEW: Pyramids On Mars – Cosmic Angels (2022)

PYRAMIDS ON MARS – Cosmic Angels (2022)

Release date:  May 31 2022

There are, at minimum, two special things about Cosmic Angels by Pyramids On Mars:

  1. Pyramids On Mars is one guy – Kevin Estrella – who played or programmed everything.
  2. This one is pretty cool.  “All song ideas written in one take, stream of consciousness.  No edits.”  Wow.

Entirely instrumental, Cosmic Angels is an enjoyable, atmospheric album that passes in no time flat.  In the real world, it’s 44 minutes of music, but if you close your eyes it goes by in a flash.

The easiest influence to point out on one listen is Joe Satriani.  There’s something here about the tone and chords on “Interstellar” that scream “Satch”, but it’s not all about the playing. There’s a balance to the instruments and an inviting vibe.  Kevin Estrella does have his own ideas here, and they are a delight to listen to as the song grows and evolves.  Multiple influences abound, and varied ones at that.  Estrella thanks a number of them inside:  from Rush, Queen, Devin Townsend and Peter Steele, all the way down to Bach and Vivaldi. Some of the Rush influence comes out on the second track, “Phonix From the Ashes”, which you can hear in the arrangement and bass line.

We could go on and on about influences, but it makes more sense to just listen for yourself and let the album unfold.  In essence:  if you like the kind of progressive instrumental rock that guys like Satriani create, then Pyramids On Mars should appeal to you.  Your brain is already wired to get it.  There’s also a futuristic, science fiction element to the album.  There are songs about aliens and UFOs, and you get this impression even without lyrics.  Some melodies are inspired by the violin, others by dolphin song.

Highlights:  the cosmic “Interstellar”.  The rhythmic and lethal “On Dragon’s Wings”.  The complex and challenging “Luftpanzer (Air Tanks)”.  The heartfelt tribute “Echoes of Peter Steele”.  The spacey and relaxing “Arcturian Sunset”.

Check out Kevin Estrella at PyramidsOnMars.com and support the artist!

3.5/5 stars

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