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What a mess of an album... - 42%

Lane, April 8th, 2012

When a band is out-of-ordinary, a listener usually falls in love with them or cannot stand their music. New Yorkers Pyrrhon are that kind in nature with their warped death metal. 'An Excellent Servant but a Terrible Master' is the band's debut full length album, after a demo and an EP releases.

Pyrrhon's gimmicky rhythms are the first thing to strike, right on beginning of the opener 'New Parasite'. Add to that some discordant guitars that play seemingly random notes and stuff, I knew it wouldn't be easy for me to listen to this album. Thankfully they turn into tech death metal, which is even a bit catchy, plus Voivod-esque part (both guitars and vocals), that also saves a lot. Definitely a hard-to-get opener, let me tell you. 'Glossolalian' is a tech death song without much of catchiness in it. It's just messy. Messiness is a trademark of the songwriting. Too much mathcorey for my liking. Most of the songs include good parts, but then they turn into incoherent compositions. 'Idiot Circles' is a point of light among more messy songs, as it is not without some truly noteworthy heavy riffage, vocals and drumming, not forgetting its more captivating nature. Yeah, the song might be somewhat straighter, but heck, it works for me much better than quirkier shit!

The guitars, as mentioned earlier for being discordant, are frantically played. Both muted deathy riffing and open stringed "jazzy" stuff can be heard, and also quite a lot of dissonant string bending. The bass plays a big part on the record, meaning there are bass guitar passages and other ways to bring it forth. The drums... Well, they are very much varying. Anything from blast beats to groovy rhythms and technical peculiarity. The vocals are angry and throat-rippingly intense with some lower growling and Jeff Walker-esque snarl. The lyrics are about the state of this world and humans, with somewhat Orwellian atmospheres. The sound is very clear and suits for this kind of music. The Colin Marston production does not lack sof heaviness or other nuances, so points for it.

I find this album to be a messy and too much "out there", if definitely different from usual. So, if you are tracking down for music that does not follow the laws of straightness in anyway, you may find this to be a gem you've been hunting for years. But consider yourself warned. Gives me headache, this...

(originally written for ArchaicMetallurgy.com)