Pyrrhon – What Passes for Survival album review
Genre: Dissonant Death Metal
Album: What Passes for Survival
Release Date: August 11th
Record Label: Willowtip Records
Well, well, well... New York dissonant death metal masters haven’t released a full lenght album since the abominably awesome The Mother of all Virtues (2014). In the meantime, the band released 2 EPs Growth Without End (2015) and Running out of Skin (2016). Finally, after 3 years break they bring forth the new material under name What Passes for Survival. Bands like Pyrrhon always surprise me. Even though I always think that they cannot push the boundries of music any further, I end up being wrong. Totally wrong. For a 30 seconds into record, I must say that Pyrrhon always brings something new on the table. Happy Victim’s Creed starts with this ultra noisy intro that comes with a message: I DID WHAT I DID... YOU DON’T LIKE IT, YOU KISS MY ASS! And then the sonic meatgrinder starts rolling!
I would like to see the faces of people who came across Pyrrhon’s music for the first time. At first, pretty neat riff comes into place but all of the sudden the song transforms into a thousand-headed monster. You might have an impression that the random noise is coming through your stereo. Doug Moore’s vocals blend with chaotic riffs and rancid drumming. The song then gets into a short breakdown and then it builds into even more bestial mode with dozzen of sick sounding guitar slides, neurotic solo and bass hammering. These chords are made to make you uncomfortable! The song stops for a few seconds, and then the dual vocal attack leads the way to its end. Invisible Hand Holds a Whip sounds as if Pyrrhon’s guitars were used as some sort of jojo that defies the laws of physics. Really, the band counldn’t get more suitable vocals for the overall mayhem and destruction that riffs spew off. The solo in the middle of this tune reminds me of a Lightning Bolt’s evil twin of some sorts. Rattling vocals and bestial drumming carry the song to the end. It really seems like every song is more sick and twisted than the previous one. Goat Mockery Ritual definitely has one of the coolest song titles I’ve heard in a while! These riffs are whipping! The vocals are either ultra gutteral, or frantic sounding. And then this tune enters groovy dissonant mode. Guitar solo could’t be more disturbing! Right after, blast beats and gutteral screams domiate the scene. Here and there you can hear some conventional death metal riffs but that’s only for about 10 seconds or less. The song ends with epic sounding clean vocals which are to be heard for the first time on this record. And by the way, these lyrics are heavy as fuck:
Oh It’s the old rot of Rome
Dolled up in goat horns and a gas mask
And croakin’ out turgid liturgies
I got your old time religion right here!
Tennesse is the first song where the band had dropped the ball. It starts with dark sounding bass tune and chilling chords. Everything’s so slow, and for a moment, you might think that the band’s on lithium. But that don’t mean Pyrrhon has cast all the noise aside! The bass is really shining in this one! While the song is half way through, riffs are getting really slow and Doug’s vocals are piercing through your ears! In a no time, everything is pumped up and ground is shaking again! These riffs are powerful enough to awake Cthulu, the sleeping one! Trash Talk Landfill starts with a sample: Life is like a sewer...What you get out of it depends on what you put into it! An then, all hell is break loose! Man, these gutteral vocals would scare the shit out of every living creature in the forest! Guitar riffs are just like hooks cutting deep into your brain! You just think that they can’t do anything crazier than what you’ve just heard and they prove you wrong! Over and over again! The midddle of the song is an equivalent of a trash can rolling down the street...can’t get more metal than that! And yeah, this solo is like: FUCK YOU, DIMEBAG! The Unraveling: Hegemony of Grasping Fears, a two and a half minute state of art, dissonant death metal. The Unraveling: Free at Last would make you rip apart your straight jacket with such ease (hence the title!). Rancid guitar attack will make you bang your head! The Unraveling: Live from the Fresh Corpse may be the shortest tune on this record, but it should not be underestimated! The album ends up with 12 minute long epic - Empty Tenement Spirit. This one really is mesmerising! The emphasis in this one is put on pinch harmonics and wicked chord progressions. This state of calmness is interrupted by ghoulish outbreak of almost out-of-tune sounding riffs. The song itself is really progressive with a lot of unpredictable twists and turns. Crushing breakdown’s similarity with Negativa’s Tadeum Vitae is striking!
I must admit that the production on this album is really well executed! The live feeling is what makes it shine so bright! No plastic engineering is the real deal! The songs themselves sound as if there is no structure at all, but that’s where you’re wrong kiddo! I would love to see tabs for this album. It would make Bach scratch his head quite a bit! I would give this piece of art to some musicologists to analyse it (I’m sure they’ll commit suicide!) With bands like this, you don’t get any compromise, they do it their own way, from beginning to the end! Plus, they don’t conform to the rules...’cause there are no rules! Every song is as twisted and unpredictable as a roller coaster ride. At the end of this review, I went outside just to check out if there weren’t any black holes in the sky or if there’s an apocalypse going on. What Passes for Survival is a nice way to torture your loved ones! This band is definiton of chaos! They evoked the spirit of Steeve Hurdle, that’s for sure! My dissonant urges are satisfied. Congrats!