Approaching a full forty years on from 1980—arguably the greatest year in metal history—it can be vanishingly difficult in the here and now to find bands who can summon up the true elixir of traditional heavy metal in all its gory glory. Certainly, there have been manifold variants of this supernatural force in the last four decades, yet for all the power-metal diversions and Pro-Tooled machinations that have crossed Riding Easy’s transom, the blood-simple formula of steel-plated grandeur and street-level grit remains mystifyingly elusive.
Lucky for everyone therefore, that the Cypriot denizens of darkness Mirror have returned. The brainchild of former Electric Wizard and Satan’s Wrath bassist Tas Danazoglou, Mirror’s second album sees them building on the heroic vibrations of their self-titled 2015 debut, summoning forth nine triumphant anthems that are equal parts lethal and life-affirming. Deftly avoiding the lure of pastiche and parody, Pyramid Of Terror arrives once again at the cusp of an audial era in which the widescreen sweep of late-’70s rock, á la the cinematic splendor of Dio-era Rainbow, crosses swords with the stripped-down panache of the NWOBHM—somewhere akin to a danger zone between first-two-albums Iron Maiden and the occultist allure of debut Angel Witch—to set passions dramatically ablaze.