Pyrithion – The Burden of Sorrow EP


Put As I Lay Dying frontman Tim Lambesis with two exceptional guitarists and a desire to explore the heaviest sounds possible and you get the impressively tormenting confrontation of Pyrithion and debut EP The Burden of Sorrow. The three track slab of maliciousness is a monster of a violating rampage upon the senses, a trio of songs which are corrosively compelling as they creatively carve up of the senses and then spew out of the debris.

In his own words vocalist Lambesis has said “I have wanted to do a heavier and more traditionally metal band for a while. Being that I own a recording studio, I thought a great place to start was by asking my engineer who the best guitar player is that he has recorded. I wanted to team him up with one of my favorite guitar players growing up.” The result was the bringing in of Ryan Glisan from Allegaeon and ex-The Famine guitarist Andy Godwin, which has subsequently bred  a brutally impacting and equally promising new force to extreme metal. Released via Metal Blade Records, The Burden of Sorrow is an uncompromising and passion igniting furnace of cataclysmic rhythms, ravenous riffs, and sonically driven melodic ingenuity honed into a merciless and quarrelsome tempest of intense pleasure.

The release opens up reasonably restrained for the start of The Invention of Hatred, the guitars coaxing fires from the heart of Pyrithion - The Burden of Sorrow - Singlethe following fury ridden by the expected venomous growls and heavy squalls of Lambesis laying their distinctly intensive weight and presence onto the ear. It is mere seconds later that the track explodes into a torrent of energy and grooved inducement from the guitars, whilst the drums splinters bone with their mighty sinews and the vocals bleed spite and rasping viciousness with every syllable. Arguably there is not a great deal new going on across the surface, though beneath the sonic solo and sparking shards of melodic invention give evidence that there is an underlying uniqueness finding its voice, but as a confrontation and ferocious experience it could not be fresher or more skilfully accomplished, and before the track has laid down its final blow the presence and promise of the project is greedily devoured by the passions.

The following Bleed Out continues the carnal seduction, its hypnotic yet destructive rhythms and impressively varied textures of abrasion driven vocals recruiting the emotions with ease whilst again the guitars rampage and wantonly persuade the passions with insidious devilment and unreserved ingenuity. Neither Godwin nor Glisan try to steal the show from the intent and heart of the songs, but brilliantly stretch and evolve their presence with a craft and invention which is irresistible and strongly imaginative.

Final track Rest in the Arms of Paralyzed Beast lays down its welcome with a subdued and emotive breath, the guitars teasing the air whilst painting a narrative in the mind before hell opens its door to expel another leviathan of intensity and aural abuse. The most diverse of the three songs with a serpentine groove veining the plundering of the senses with intermittent heights of strength but a continual taunting of the ear, the song is unpredictable and magnetic within its ruinous intent. The break into a less consuming stretch which lies in tune with the start allows a breath to be quickly swallowed before the song re-ignites its predatory instincts for a thunderous primal ravaging once more.

Hopefully this is the start of much more to come from Pyrithion, the band not being just an occasional ‘supergroup’, because on the evidence of The Burden of Sorrow we are in for some murderous and exciting times.


RingMaster 17/04/2013

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As I Lay Dying: Awakened

As bruising and titanic as ever, As I Lay Dying unleash their rampaging sixth album Awakened to show why the band are still one of the formidable benchmarks aspiring bands look to emulate. Never less than destructively venomous and a creative explosion of intrusive intensity, the San Diego quintet have brought a towering presence of freshness and inspiring energy to metal over the past decade but with the new album arguably they have dug deeper for even more power and keenly shaped aggression. Awakened may not see the band at the height of their groundbreaking powers but it is certainly is one of the most spiteful, barbed, and muscularly satisfying albums of the year and shows the band rippling with even greater personal invention and merciless intensity.

Released September 25th via Metal Blade Records, the album is the first recorded with The Descendents drummer and acclaimed producer Bill Stevenson (Rise Against, Comeback Kid, NOFX). Looking for someone outside of metal with different ideas and ear to understand and compliment  their own evolved shift in direction with the new material, the choice of Stevenson it has to be said was inspired, the sound on the album crisp without distilling the overwhelming intensity the band always erupts with whilst bringing a sharpness and incendiary presence to the streams of melodic imagination which flare up magnificently throughout the songs. Musically and lyrically the band has ignited deeper wells of vitriolic urgency and energy whilst leaving their previous levels of aggression as the weaker brother to this, possibly their best album to date. As mentioned, strong melodies are rife throughout the release,  their addictive radiation brought with immensely skilled craft for a fully sparking and inciteful effect, its fusion with their natural anger and aural violence immediately and persistently impressive.

Some reviewers as the new album nears its arrival have accused Awakened as lacking the passion found in earlier albums, something which is hard to agree with from the opening track Cauterize alone, the song a riot of guttural bile from Tim Lambesis and bone crumbling riffs which insistently spray anger and emotion from its dark heart. An unrelenting onslaught with the ever outstanding bass of Josh Gilbert snarling with the menace of a pack of wolves within the overwhelming guitar skills of Phil Sgrosso and Nick Hipa, the track leaves one breathless and sets one up eagerly for the even better violations to come. Maybe the fine melodic veins, especially the warm vocal harmonies alongside Lambesis, distil some of the barbaric acrobatic sounds for some, but truly they only enforce the acidic nature and manipulative skill of the band even further.

The stunning A Greater Foundation pounds on the already emerging wounds with magnetic and perpetual excellence, its spine of rifling rhythms and corrosive riffs layered with blistering sonics and vocal caustic tones. It is an irresistible corruption which in every aspect leaves the senses smarting and grinning from the given trauma. The annihilatory drums of Jordan Mancino show no qualms about snapping synapses in to splinters with his beats though it is offset by the great combined vocals, the clean vocals of Gilbert more prominent than ever on the album, bringing a Billy Talent like feel to the insatiable outrage.

Tracks like the wonderfully sizzling Wasted Words with its predatory groove and belligerent riffs, Whispering Silence with a whisper of U2 to its melodic opening and sonic scorching, and a bear of a track in No Lungs To Breathe, find the band further exploring their new evolution of ideas successfully and impressively. These and to be honest every song on the album are impossible to offer any real obstacle up against to deny full acclaim upon them, yes maybe other bands are also producing similarly fuelled and quality material not to far apart in sound but it is hard to think of any releases as dramatically striking.

The hungry and ferocious Defender is a further peak on the album, the bass finding an even deeper growl to its breath whilst the guitars burn with a furious fire in their belly and sheer strength in their play. Not the most barbarous song on the album to be fair it is still as powerful and piercing as any other with its razor sharp invention and gnawing riffing.

Awakened is without doubt one of the highlights of the year, an album which even the diehard fans who may have been wary of the newer melodic feel will devour with ease and greed. As I Lay Dying is still showing all how it is done and keeping that bar of excellence very high.

RingMaster 22/09/2012

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Austrian Death Machine – Jingle All The Way

After a year of a constant conveyor belt of sounds consuming the ear from impressive to car crash the new EP from Austrian Death Machine is a fun and enjoyable explosive blast of extreme and intense sounds to bring the festive period in. Though the EP has no actual Xmas tunes within it the three tracks are as is the band’s usual brief inspired by the Austrian/American heavyweight Schwarzenegger and his film output. For the Jingle All The Way EP, the songs are themed by the festive film of the same name, a movie best forgotten but with the great fun songs on the release it can be allowed one more brief flurry of attention.

Austrian Death Machine is the side project of As I Lay Dying vocalist Tim Lambesis, who brings in extra spice with guest contributions. To this point his project has ensured attention through the two albums Total Brutal and Double Brutal and previous holiday release A Very Brutal Christmas. It is fair to say not everyone has taken to Lambesis’ brutal and uncompromising comedic silliness but after months of serious intense sounds and attitude from hundreds of releases the EP and band are a splash of freshness and enjoyment to leave a definite smile bursting from ear to ear. This is not to say musically the band is less than determined as the release lets fly with riffs that pummel as relentlessly and violently as can heard anywhere and offer up an addictive varied creativity that make the songs more than simple gimmicks.

First track ‘I’m Not A Pervert’ is a thrash fuelled metalcore assault with cutting guitars and punishing riffs plus some scorching solo work by Jason Suecof and Eyal Levi all thrusting forward the Ahhnold impressions from Count Your Curses vocalist Chad Ackerman and lyrical frivolities inspired by the man’s pursuit of a Turboman Doll. It crushes just as effectively as it works on the humour receptors to ensure the track has a definite longer life than just a passing piece of novelty.

The same can be said about the entire trio of thundering songs. ‘It’s Turbo Time’ splatters the senses with a punk soaked hardcore attack and red hot guitar solo from Mark MacDonald who also adds his skills to third track ‘Who Told You You Could Eat My Cookies?’.  The second song with Ahhnold ‘played’ by Josh Robert Thompson is a no holds barred ear bashing, a track that is swiftly abusive with an air punching anthemic feel as the big man closes in on his ‘Xmas Grail’. Great fun with a final gag at the ends that tickles if not inspiring enough to breakout full blown chuckles for, it is hard to resist the song and its simple eager rough charms.

As mentioned before ‘Who Told You You Could Eat My Cookies?’ finishes off the EP. Taken from the Double Brutal album the song is a surge of great guitars and rampant riffs and music that without the lyrical content and theme would be taken very seriously. The metalcore chants of ‘cookies’ on each play never fail to get one joining in and scarring the throat.

Jingle All The Way does not offer anything new musically but is of a high quality that one would expect from Lambesis. It is importantly extreme fun matching its dominating harsh noise and taken as such is a gem that can be enjoyed over and over again. In fact it might well be the very tune to get us through that chaotic time called Christmas with a perpetual grin thanks to Austrian Death Machine.

RingMaster 09/12/2011 Registered & Protected


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