If an unstoppable pestilence sets its sights on our souls let us hope it comes in the same manner as The Mother Of Virtues, wrapped in corrosive beauty and seductive ugliness. The new album from US progressive death metallers Pyrrhon is a destructively bedlamic onslaught of deathly malevolence, tortuous psychedelia, psyche searing experimentation, and irrepressibly addictive. It is not an easily accessible or comfortable experience, arguably the most painfully contagious and intrusively crippling of the past year but deep in such creative adventure and vicious intrigue that if it connects it is equally one of the most rewarding pestilential offerings too.
Brooklyn hailing Pyrrhon was formed in 2008 apparently after a chance meeting on a subway platform. Since that moment the quartet of vocalist Doug Moore, guitarist Dylan DiLella, bassist Erik Malave, and drummer Alex Cohen has been twisting and challenging sounds and senses. The band’s 2010 debut EP Fever Kingdoms was the first of their releases to receive wide and strong plaudits, the acclaim increasing when their first full-length album, An Excellent Servant But A Terrible Master, was released a year later via Selfmadegod Records. Intensifying their sounds and invention over the next couple years, Pyrrhon set about creating their new sonic torment The Mother Of Virtues. Tracked and mixed by Ryan Jones (Today is the Day, Mutilation Rites, Wetnurse) and mastered by Colin Marston (Gorguts, Krallice), repeating his work on the band’s previous releases, the Relapse Records released album consumes and suffocates the senses and reality with a rigorously diverse maelstrom of extreme metal, a torment to awaken nightmares and ignite impassioned slavery to its toxicity.
From its first breath the album is savaging and twisting ears and imagination inside out, opening track The Oracle of Nassau cursing with sonic rabidity and an annihilatory ravishment. Rhythms and riffs converge in a torrential tsunami of spite and eager decay, strangling senses as guitars and vocals unleash their scourge upon the wounds. The track spews enterprise and vitriol with every searing note and poisonous syllable, creating the perfect threat and welcome into the belly of the beast.
The following White Flag opens on probing beats soon joined by a stalking bass riff. Instant intimidation within a cavernous ambience engulfs the imagination, its scenery caustically painted and expanded by the initial graze of guitar which soon evolves into a bestial predation. The track prowls with a doom bred lilt and noise sculpted breath, constantly lashing ears with acidic ventures and ferocious intensity. It is a thoroughly compelling and merciless proposition, a black hearted contagion of jazz spawned rhythmic bombardment courted by animalistic riffs and synapse stripping ingenuity from the guitars, all governed by the guttural spewing of Moore. It is primal and quite bewitching, especially the stretch of melodic elegance which whispers for a brief moment at the eye of the storm.
Sleeper Agent accelerates the hunger of the rabid appetite in place by its appearance, the delirious mania of guitars and rhythms frisking then violating everything from ears inwards. Searching deep, as with all tracks, there is an order and sensibility to the unleashed viscerally driven plague, but you sure have to dig deep and with determined energy to unveil the additionally potent intent. The track is outstanding, preying on the disorientation and suffering already expelled previously with relish, as does next up Balkanized. The first single from the album firstly lays down a few seconds of cyber coaxing which is then thrust aside by a roving throaty bassline and an anarchic squall of flesh scything guitars and groaning vocals. More violent than its predecessor but employing a similarly ‘lighter’ weave of erosive invention, the track lurches and leans heavily on the senses with sounds which combine like a pack of voracious predators.
Both Eternity in a Breath and Implant Fever spiral deeper into the depths of mind and emotions, the first an invasive merger of serpentine ambiences and rapacious rhythmic enticement which casts its own growing vindictive spoils over the listener the further into its dark festering depths you go. Its successor is not as dirty as the previous song but certainly is not a light of hope and hope either, the encounter lyrically and musically a warning and warring menace. The pair turns the cerebral battleground darker with their own individual hues of inventiveness and voracity whilst Invisible Injury churns up their landscapes with its own specific institutional mayhem.
The album is completed by the exhaustive brilliance of The Parasite in Winter, a track which is lighter on the touch but heavier in the animosity with a sonic design that is mouth-wateringly infectious and barbarically controlling, and the closing epically severe soundscape of the title track. Over ten minutes of noise dementia and rancorous exploration which is all quite ingenious and thrilling, the track alone tells you all you need to know about the brilliance and nastiness of Pyrrhon.
The Mother Of Virtues will undoubtedly only be for a certain psyche or should that be masochist but if band and release find favour in your artistic aberrations and according to the press release if you have a taste for the likes of Gorguts, Ulcerate, Cryptopsy, Portal, and Deathspell Omega, then you just might be listening to an album of the year front runner.
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright
Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from