Pyrrhon – The Mother Of Virtues (Review)

PyrrhonPyrrhon are an unusual Hardcore-influenced Technical Death Metal band from the US and this is their second album.

They kickstart proceedings with an entry track that would do Converge or Cephalic Carnage proud. The Oracle of Nassau explodes out of the speakers all frenzy and bile, and for 1:25 it proceeds to annihilate everything. In complete contrast the next song White Flag starts off slow and menacing, and lasts for a much longer 9:42.

The vocals are screamed static attacks or brutal guttural growls, depending on the mood of the singer.

The music is technical, involved and very intricate. The instruments twist and turn and play all manner of elusive riffs; the listener is submerged in a lake of discordant dissonance that somehow manages to satisfy in spite of the multiple disparate elements being unleashed.

This is the clever thing though, as each instrument by itself is exploring its own path but everything gels together for the benefit of the wider picture in ways that you wouldn’t expect. The songs manage to be exploratory and experimental while remaining coherent and delivering a completed whole.

Angular riffs, wilful bass, schizophrenic drums and daemonic vocals collide to create a challenging and ultimately involving listen. The songs owe about as much to the violent Hardcore background of bands such as Converge, Botch and The Dillinger Escape Plan as they do to Technical Death Metal.

Pyrrhon strike me as having a combination of sounds from bands as diverse as all of the previously mentioned ones, as well as having elements of bands like Uphill Battle, Gorguts and Today Is The Day.

If you’re looking for a new band to obsess over who are not your average band then say hello to Pyrrhon. This album is a must.

Embryonic Devourment – Reptilian Agenda (Review)

Embryonic DevourmentBrutal and Technical Death Metal from the US.

Oh but this is a quality blast. Reptilian Agenda is interesting and inventive Death Metal, with all kinds of rhythms and creative moments. The songs are alive with reptilian malice and slithering slime.

The band have plenty of technique and their delivery is flawless. It’s instantly apparent that this is not run-of-the-mill Death Metal and as the album progresses this is confirmed in every song. Like Origin and Cephalic Carnage trading blows; riffs chop and change, twist and turn, only to be devoured by some sudden flare up of technicality and then vomited back up in a hail of brutality. The songs just kill everything in sight.

The vocals are uncompromising growls that also have a wet, fleshy feel to them. The verbalisations of a warm, (reptilian), corpse?

The sound does the music justice and the drums in particular sound immense and provide the glue that holds everything together, even though they appear to be inhabiting a different world to the hugely impressive guitars sometimes, it all holds together.

31 minutes of interesting and spirited brutal music. What are you waiting for?

Lichmistress – Singularity (Review)

LichmistressThis is the recently released first demo from Polish band Lichmistress, and it has made an impression!

At two songs and 10 minutes in length this sets the scene for the future as Lichmistress introduce us to their particular brand of brutality and depth.

As The Bowels of Darkness open, (see what I did there?), we get a deluge of filth and blasting, at least initially anyway. Brutality and pignoise vocals lead into an extremely satisfying breakdown-style section with some nice guitar squealing going on. I like the bass, and calmer segments also.

It quickly becomes apparent that the band have more talent than simply for bludgeoning the listener; they also show an appreciation for feeling and texture amongst the bone-pounding riffing and carnage. It may only be the first song but already we’ve had plenty of variety, some calm-amidst-the-chaos, melodic segments and a relaxed solo. Nice stuff.

Second song Serrated Blade Procreation fades up into a sexy, bass-heavy grinding riff before getting all kinds of grooves on in ways that would make Decapitated proud. Decapitated being raped by Cryptopsy with Cephalic Carnage standing on the sidelines just watching. Yes.

The quality of the guitars on this should not be underrated. Sliding and technical yet simple and catchy – a great combination.

The production is serviceable but could be better, but as this is a demo that’s to be expected and does not hinder the enjoyment of what are two exceptional tracks.

I can’t help but be extremely impressed with these songs. If they can keep this level of quality for a full album and combine that with a professional sound then their first full-length should be amazing.

Death Metal is alive and hungry.

Sulaco – Build & Burn (Review)

SulacoInventive, modern Grind is what Sulaco have in store for us here, with the odd dashing of Death Metal thrown in for good measure. Think longer-song-style Grind, rather than the shorter-song-style. Like somewhere between Cephalic Carnage and Gorguts or Gorod. Only not quite like that…

This is harsh music and not for the unwary. Choppy, changing, discordant guitars lead the way challenging the listener at every turn, while the drums both set the pace and hold everything together. Needless to say these are skilled musicians who know their Grind, which is only to be expected as they contain a now-former member of Brutal Truth.

The vocals are mostly halfway between a scream and a more hardcore-style shout, which immediately gives the band more of an individual slant than a lot of generic Grindcore bands. It works well here and complements the harshness of the music with an almost Drowningman-type intensity that adds an extra layer of depth to the tunes.

With plenty of ideas, some sharp technicality and the odd flourish of melody and sustained aggressive Metal this is a most enjoyable album.