Following a "chance meeting" in a New York
City subway station, Pyrrhon
assembled in 2008. A small arsenal of demos, as well as a full-length entitled "An Excellent Servant but a Terrible Master
," led to the band being signed to big-shot metal label Relapse Records (Dying Fetus
, Cephalic Carnage
). Afterwards, a second full-length called "The Mother of Virtues
" would be released in 2014.
The structures in this album are very unorthodox and rather unpredictable, even by technical death metal standards. It's most important, however, that the band integrates this technicality in a way that doesn't leave you feeling nauseous and overwhelmed. Thankfully, that is exactly what happens here. When the album is fast, the music tends to refuse to stand still, but at a slower pace, it lets the atmosphere sink in while still maintaining its identity. This makes way for a highly artistic and intriguing listen.
the album's high level of dynamic, however, the album still manages to hold its own identity. The best word to describe the sound of this album is 'distorted.' This is technical death metal taken to some of its most dissonant and chaotic levels, with complex drumming, incredibly intricate guitar work, and vehement screams galore. Whether in its quieter or often clamoring moments, the album bleeds twisted heaviness, with hints of jazz and punk tied into the mix for a more versatile sound.
The sound mixing, done by Ryan Jones and Behold The Arctopus guitarist/bassist Colin Marston, definitely helps in this matter. It gives the music this sort of trashy, resonant atmosphere that makes it sound all the more distorted and unsettling. At the same time, however, the vocals and instruments sound clear enough for the songs to still be audible, so the production has a healthy balance.
As if the music itself wasn't wicked enough already, the lyrics are just as unsettling. They seem to delve into themes of self-destruction, social corruption, and dystopian concepts, and they are described in gruesome detail. For an example, in the track "Invisible Injury" dealing with the consequences of extreme beauty treatment, this line is written: "They tell me my body is beautiful, but my innards turn sour as the years tick by, it's a glorious cage with luscious fetters that will bind me until I die." It meshes in with the album's incredibly dark tone greatly.
While we're on the subject, the title track is also a great testament to the bleak tone of the lyrics, as well as the story behind the artwork. Caroline Harrison, who had apparently been creating artwork for Pyrrhon
's records since the beginning, provides us with a cover depicting a bloody figure with eyes all over its skin with hordes of cockroaches surrounding it. The title song focuses on the dystopian aspect of the lyrics in a very disturbing manner, dealing with ideas of birth, religion, fecundity, and sexual pleasure; a fitting concept for some unsettling album artwork.
"The Mother of Virtues
" is straight-up crazed, but most importantly, it's quite enjoyable. All of the elements, including the musicianship and song-writing, coalesce to provide a dark, twisted, and technical album that ravages the ears as well as it bends the mind. That
being said, this record is certainly not for everybody for how unorthodox it is, but those who crave technical metal will likely swarm to this album like cockroaches to a creepy figure with bloodshot eyes all over it. Make of it what you will.
Originally posted on: http://metaljerky.blogspot.com/