Pyrrhon – The Mother Of Virtues

pic Caroline Harrison

pic Caroline Harrison

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 12 Jacket (Gatefold - Two Pocket) [GD30OB2-N]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.

https://www.facebook.com/pyrrhonband

http://pyrrhonband.bandcamp.com/album/the-mother-of-virtues

9/10

RingMaster 28/03/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Electricjezus – Грязь поколений

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Hailing from Russia Electricjezus creates a monster of a sound, a heavy expanse of weight and sonic oppression which absorbs the essences of multiple flavours and turns them into one exhausting corrosive pleasure. Their debut album Грязь поколений (translated as Mud Of Generations) is a consumptive introduction of their intense presence, a raw and merciless release leaving one drenched in their textured onslaughts and full promise.

Electricjezus is the two man project of Ruslan Frolov (guitar/bass/vocal) and Oleg Skorohodov (drums), two musicians who have reaped the seeds of their influences such as Melvins, Electric Wizard, Earth, Jucifer, Today Is The Day, Sunn O))), Monarch, Flipper, Dystopia, Pantera and many more , and twisted them into their individual forging of post rock, sludge and doom metal, black metal, hardcore, stoner and a further plenty of loud whisperings of other flavourings. With successful shows under their belt across cities such as Moscow, the Moscow region, and St. Petersburg, the pair entered the Go!Monkey studio in Dmitrov and recorded their debut album live using only analog equipment spanning years in age and from across many countries, the caustic, organically raw, and carnivorous results rife upon the release. With songs sung entirely in Russian, and an intriguing potent veining of audio samples from horror movies throughout, the album eats at the senses and oppresses the safety of thoughts and emotions. It is not the easiest listen to come across but one which lingers and inspires rich eager reactions.

As its title suggests, the album is a thick dirty expanse of sonic intrusion which starts with Корм. The track opens with an excellent film sample soon skirted by a resonating impacting bass provocation and sonic carving of the air whilst rhythms wait patiently to unleash their venom. As it moves forward a groove is equally just itching to expel its heart but first a filthy rub of expressive malevolence grips the ear before interchanging with its counterpart to tease and mistreat the senses impressively. Into its stride the instrumental gallops with a stoner urgency to its sludgier breath and continues to incite the senses with fluid and incendiary shifts in energy and enterprise. The abrasive air of the track adds to the pleasing scrub upon the ear and littered with the melodic flames of imagination and great synth crafted extras from guest musician Sasha Selezneff, it is a storm which pulls the senses right into its live heart.

Connected by a bedlamic soundbite the opener passes on to Петли обмана another track which immediately engages intrigue and appetite for its hungry intensity. Harsh squalling vocals bring another raw uncomfortable additive to the album and within the prowling course of the song, scars with insidious malevolence. A black metal embrace through the vocals especially, lays intrusive shadows within the piece whilst its successor Улицы twists it all again within an infectious beat inviting rampage. With the vocals enclosed in a seemingly secluded environment, like they were recorded in the bathroom compared to the hallway for the music which for most releases this would just fall flat, upon Грязь поколений it all adds to the villainous and satisfying experience.

The following intensive title track with its epic soundscape in length and malicious pressure upon the senses, the blink and be consumed swift attack of Плеть культуры, and the predatory Бассейн, all immerse the listener in their violations of sonic invention and rapacious greed. The last of the trio is a stoner/sludge/hardcore punk confrontation speared by a tempting groove and acidic blues lilted guitar, the rasping punishing vocals feeding on the passions and sore senses with further thrilling results. It is hard to pick a favourite track on the release but certainly this steps forward boldly with each deliberation.

The album ends with Все позволено, the song a furnace of sonic fortitude and flesh peeling grooves. As throughout, the guitar is a scything blade across the ear, its abrasive edges searing and cauterising the senses at every turn whether in a slow laboured intent or an urgent annihilation, whilst the drums chain and slap with unguarded treachery. The song is a great end to a great album. Its coarse breath and dirty touch will not be for all but for those it does enflame, the album pushes Electricjezus forward as one exciting prospect.

Grab the album as Name your price release @ http://electricjezus.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Electricjezus/575252375818127

8/10

RingMaster 21/04/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Bastard Of The Skies – Tarnation

Challenging for nastiness album of the year Tarnation from British metalers Bastard Of The Skies is a thick corruption for the senses, a mugging of emotions through massive towering riffs, even heavier intensity, and a sludge driven enveloping noise of the highest order. Though the album arguably does not trigger the fiercest passions as some other similarly gaited releases it is impossible not to be impressed and in awe of the power and craft behind and fuelling the intrusive colossus.

From Blackburn, Bastard of the Skies has left immensely destructive and provocative sounds since forming in 2006. Across two albums, an EP, and a split release with Catatomic earlier this year, the quartet has cultivated and evolved their impactful sound and invention to, in the album Tarnation, create a monstrous and fully welcome violation. Released via Future Noise Recordings, Tarnation churns the insides into a swamp of primal energy to match the malevolent sounds within the release. It is corruptive, destructive, and the instigator of animal pleasure and eagerness to take part in the fully impactful corruption. The band has destroyed audiences with their towering sound, sharing stages with the likes of Orange Goblin, Harvey Milk, Kylesa, Baroness, Today Is The Day, Black Sun, Lazarus Blackstar, Volition, Conan, The Sontaran Experiment, and Undersmile for the fullest respect and acclaim, the album simply shows the band is just as powerful in the studio, the sound driving the album a raw and living brutal entity.

Drug Monarch is the first blow to the ear, its lurching discord driven melodies and dehabilitating riffs a barbed introduction. The tight hypnotic groove which pervades throughout the Sepultura like grind is magnetic and fires the consuming intensity to deeper depths within. The corrosive start is then elevated to another venomous height by the brilliant A Punch In The Fucking Lungs, the track a ferocious undulating furnace of abrasive energy and numbing riffs. The rhythms vibrate through bone with the only respite coming in the brooding oppressive slower moments when the song is even more predatory, its heavy whispers intimidating and startling.

The guitars of Matt Richardson and Rob Beesley are scathing and scraping bestial elements throughout though their use of sonic razors and disruptive melodic trespass is just as impressive and sapping.  The likes of (Roasted In The Depths Of The) Sloar and the slowly crawling malevolence that is Repugnance find the guitarists scything through the senses with acidic precision within an avalanche of brute force energy, whether a rabidly paced or insidious lumbering envelopment their might and craft is merciless and erosive on thoughts and emotions.  Add the pit borne unsympathetic growls of Richardson alongside the crushing basslines of Claire Horrocks and restraining beats of Matt Aldred and the result is a tsunami of aural and impassioned lyrical hate, anger, and loathing.

From the more rampant early tracks the album switches after the apocalyptic emotion of the startling instrumental title track into a more expansive tar thick devouring prowl of doom and sludge sounds. The songs Bookatee Willalee and Locklear are overbearing and forceful masses to submerge within, their intent to drive away air and light with towering waves of intensity and sonic violation.

The album ends with the too brief but riotous strike of Snapmare, its bruising breath as punishing as its astringent splattering of wrung out melodic squeals, and the tension pushing What Are You Looking At Dicknose which takes its time to arrive fully in the ear but makes up for its tardy yet unsettling slow entrance with a tempest of nasty, pervading, and claustrophobic maliciousness. The closer is a seething body of poison to hungrily consume and be assaulted by, and to end what is a highly satisfying release. Arguably its earlier presence is better than its latter company but there is never anything less than compelling if violent sounds and thrilling invention to be eagerly accepted. At times Tarnation is a testing listen but one which is immensely rewarding and makes Bastard Of The Skies a band welcome anytime to crush, burn, and challenge the senses.

https://www.facebook.com/bastardoftheskies

RingMaster 29/09/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Stinking Lizaveta: 7th Direction

US instrumental rock band Stinking Lizaveta have returned with an album in 7th Direction, which is arguably the best instrumental release in a very long time and is easily one of the best albums to be unleashed this year if not the very best. It is magnificent, a masterful vision of imagination, artistry, and storytelling. It is a collection of pieces which tell tales, but your tales, the band offering all the tools and emotions along with an irresistible invitation to write your own script, 7th Direction the perfect vibrant and inciteful canvas of sound and evocation to individual visions.

This their seventh album, follows on from the acclaimed Sacrifice and Bliss of 2009, though all their releases since forming in 1994 have generated an eagerly growing respect and following. Formed by then partners, guitarist Yanni Papadopoulos and drummer Cheshire Agusta, in the basements of West Philadelphia, the pair soon enlisted Alexi, the brother of Yanni, on upright electric bass. Together the trio have created, conjured, spawn, call it what you will such the uniqueness of their sound, a mesmeric and provocative blend of rock, fusing everything from classic, stoner and punk rock to jazz, progressive rock, heavy metal, and so much more. The years have seen them sharing stages with bands such as Corrosion of Conformity, Clutch, Rollins Band, Fugazi, Zeni Geva, Today Is The Day, Weedeater, Hidden Hand, Don Vito, Antikaroshi, End of Level Boss, and Beehoover with each undoubtedly being given a run for their money.

7th Direction is an album which takes infectiousness into addiction status and plays thoughts and emotions like a harp, gently provoking and stroking but at times twanging them for near orgasmic responses. The band writes music which is so fluid it feels like it is simply on the spur of the moment composing, the tracks organic and instinctive as they tease and ignite total captivation. They are also perfectly formed, compact or expansive when the time is right without any unnecessary flamboyance or indulgence at any point. Each song has a facet which is sirenesque whether the flaming guitar invention of Yanni, the heart firing bass strokes of Alexi, or the minimal yet expressive and relentless rhythms of Cheshire, though generally it is all three at the same time, their union a delicious and stirring feast to devour greedily.

    Stinking Lizaveta open the release with the title track and immediately has the passions swelling with its thumping build to an opening crescendo…which is basically the whole song though they repeat the climb a few times to get the juices flowing first. In to its stride or rather emotive sci-fi/noir stroll, the track pulsates with a melodic shimmering which blisters the air on touch alongside the watching basslines and cagey rhythms. It is stunning, a thing of beauty speared with burning flashes of impassioned guitar and tension raising climbs once again.

From the opener alone one would be shouting from the rooftops about the release but this is just the beginning and things just sizzle and brand new memories into the mind track by track. The likes of the following View From The Moon, a heated journey through celestial atmospheres, and the evolving Moral Hazard leave one gasping in pleasure and hunger for more. The first transports one to the theme of the title and easily would make the perfect soundtrack to seventies TV shows like Space 1999 or UFO, without diminishing the quality and stature of the piece. The second is a crumbling upon the senses its flight twisting into a schizophrenic squeal through sonic fires.

Every track deserves a mention but the greatest personal highlights come with the kinetic fury of Dark Matter, a song where shadows and incendiary energies crash and burn whilst a dark snarl prowls as overlord, the hypnotic aural puppeteer that is Z which has limbs and feelings dancing a satanic tune, and One To The Head, another track to fire up every one of the senses with its moody bass tones, tingling beats, and electrifying sonics. Oh there is also the unbelievably magnetic Ten Thousand Hours, a piece which beckons and seduces with a kaleidoscope of persuasive melodic caresses, sonic kisses, and rhythmic wonder.

To say 7th Direction is brilliant seems an understatement, the songs mentioned and every one of the six not covered simply ingenuity from the deepest well, it is that good. Stinking Lizaveta show they are still the true heart and leaders of rock n roll and if after this album there are still those unknowing or disbelieving there is no justice in music for sure.

http://www.stinkinglizaveta.com/

Ringmaster 17/09/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Enabler: All Hail The Void

Stripped bare, relentlessly violated, and left a gibbering wreck on the floor, no not a scene from an entry within the Hostel movies franchise but the course and aftermath of the annihilatory bliss that is All Hail The Void from the Milwaukee-based extreme metallers Enabler. To call it an assault is to underplay its ferociousness and merciless intensity but within the violent hurricane of sound there is a creative brew of imagination which without attention can almost go unseen. Given focus the release emerges as one of the more exhilarating albums to corrupt the ear this year.

All Hail The Void is not an easy listen but nor is it so harsh that it offers nothing for those with more melodic veins to their tastes. Enabler unleash a storm of hardcore, punk, crust and varied flavours of extreme metal  but spearing it all are some of the most delicious and addictive grooves and hooks you could wish for. Ok they come with a caustic rub for the senses as intrusive as the aggression but they are as sweet as the cruellest pain and equally addictive.

Formed in 2009 by vocalist/guitarist Jeff Lohrber (Harlots, Eyes Upon Separation, Trap Them, Today is the Day, Shai Hulud), Enabler persistently has drawn increasing attention with their powerful sound. Consisting of guitarist Greg Thomas (Misery Signals, Shai Hulud, The Risk Taken), bassist Amanda Daniels, and Andy Hurley (Racetraitor, Kill the Slavemaster, Fallout Boy, The Damned Things, Earth Crisis)on drums alongside Lohrber, the band through the release of splits with the likes of Drainland and Ambassador Gun, and their EP’s Eden Sank To Grief and War Begins With You (both re-released together on the album Year One CD), have twisted metal inside out, gathering extreme flavours into their own fury of creativity. All Hail The Void is a mighty continuation of their staggering sound and a real treat.

Released July 16th via Southern Lord, the album captures the imagination from the start, the emotive strokes of a lone guitar at the beginning of F.A.T.H. an irresistible invitation for the ear even with the brewing intensity lurking behind it. A gentle start full of drama the song soon explodes into a knee buckling force of aural vengeance as riffs bruise the ear and sonic melodic scythes blister every surface they come in contact with. Like being trampled underfoot by a raging bull in the tight streets of rural Spain the track leaves one breathless and drained, senses grabbing for some kind of security though the chances of safety are destroyed as the following song The Heathens soon crushes any bones and sinews left intact. An equally vindictive piece of songwriting and its eager realisation the track contorts synapses with vicious melodic scrapings and a rampant groove intent on submission. With drums pummelling and laying bruise upon existing bruise whilst guitars flay the air mercilessly Lohrber spews unrestrained anger and spite with the strongest accuracy, the combination of all like in the opener quite glorious.

The excellent Speechless with its hypnotic dirty sonic groove and prowling bass from Daniels which intimidates with every note continues the impressive start. It is a riot of insatiable energy and twisted riffs which ignites every favourable spark within. More punk than hardcore it is another of many possibly destined to be classics on the release.

Though the album barely exceeds the thirty minute mark it feels much bigger and certainly has a titanic effect on the body. Tracks like the title track with its stalking riffs and taunting groove, the unpredictable They Live, We Sleep with its sonic blinding of the senses and haunting sanity twisting melodies, and especially Save Yourself, are all mesmeric violations which rupture and fire up every part of their recipients. The latter of the three is the best song on the album, a nasty stomping brute of a song with destructive grooves so addictive they leave one with permanent whiplash.

All Hail The Void initially came over as an impressive album but its persistence on the ear and our increasing insatiable desire to keep returning to it saw it evolve into one of the hungriest and fully satisfying intrusions of the year, and Enabler a band which should be in the ear of everyone.

RingMaster 10/07/2012

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The Great Sabatini: Matterhorn

The new EP from Canadian grind metalers The Great Sabatini leaves a dirty big permanent indentation on the senses and psyche that is as welcome as it is destructive and intrusive. Matterhorn is no release to get your quick fix of infectious and undemanding pleasures from for it is a crippling, desensitising, and cruel intrusion that is far more rewarding and extensively satisfying. The EP leaves one grasping for a safety point, a ledge to use for some resemblance of security but the  eight tracks that make up the release only whip  away the balance and sure footing time and time again. It is not an easy listen but it deeply exhilarating and worth every single violation it delights in swamping its recipients with.

Formed in 2007 the Montreal quartet of Steve, Sean, Rob, and Joey (Sabatini) create sounds that have found themselves drenched in or pulled from the combined might of grindcore, math metal, sludge, noise rock, and progressive metal. They then twist them into a precise yet seemingly chaotic and openly oppressive dehabilitating corruption or as they call it and themselves, “swamp trench arithmetic.” Their first year saw the release of their debut EP Burning Wilderness and plenty of shows plus a coast to coast Canadian tour the following year, early evidence of the band work ethic. First album Sad Parade of Yesterdays arrived late 2009 supported by a North America tour, the band all the while picking up a formidable underground following and acclaim. Over the past years they have supported the likes of Coliseum, Today is the Day, Fuck the Facts, Threat Signal, Psyopus, and Bionic gaining further momentum if not yet the breakthrough their sounds deserve. The 7” single Napoleon Sodomite of last year accompanied what is an insatiable gigging regime the band seems to have but it is with Matterhorn that one feels they might at last find their deserved place in the attention and thoughts of the bigger musical world to stand nearer to the likes of Unsane, Today Is The Day, Botch and Converge.

Released through No List Records, Matterhorn attaches itself to the ear with rumbling riffs and a predatory bass in the opening City Limits. Soon it sidesteps in pace and tone into a caustic and intimidating questioning of the senses. It is a thick and muggy assault that takes its time like a jabbing boxer, finding the weak spot and bruising it with a towering intensity and seismically sonic probing. The vocals are coarse and intrusive to combine with the not so much brutal but heavily demanding sounds.

Zacios follows with again an opening fingering and teasing of the already inflicted wounds. Once inside it quickens its energy with concussive rhythms and a groove that winds tighter and tighter around its victim. It is raw with the baritone bass licking its lips as it prowls the song and the guitars cutting through with direct and intrusive melodic acidity. Nothing is clear cut in sound or intent with everything coated in feedback and filth dripping distortion but nor is it impossible to hear and enjoy the individual elements that make up the tsunami of intensity, the production perfectly appreciative and understanding of the sound.

The band throws one off kilter a little with Invisible Door, or rather lulls one into a sense of relief with its ambient soothing and beautiful yet disturbed atmosphere. With an emotive piano leading the way with estranged sampled voices and a marvellous distressed sax in the background the song takes one to a back street world, a place of shadows which then suddenly lurch out from the brilliant Null And Void. The song is the highlight of the release, muscular, threatening and opposingly vibrant, the track a persistent aggressor that leaves a breathless and grinning wasted wreck in its wake.

The closing duo of songs Wagons and Sad Parade of Yesterdays finish things up just as impressively. The first introduces itself with an ethnic like beckoning before expanding into a scorched mesh of incisively cutting guitars and overwhelming impactful energy. The closing ten minute Sad Parade of Yesterdays is the most impressive if not the favourite on Matterhorn. The track reflects the EP title in its massive heights of quality and invention from the band. The most progressive and stirringly open song it brings all the impressive elements of the band to a full and breathtaking journey.

Matterhorn is accompanied by free digital release The Royal We EP produced by Topon Das of Fuck the Facts which offers more of the same excellent and challenging sounds. The Great Sabatini takes your senses and thoughts to leave them floundering, whimpering and enthralled not to mention deeply satisfied.

RingMaster 21/04/2012

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