Released: 2014, Relapse
Reviewer: Helias Papadopoulos
New York’s extreme metallers Pyrrhon just released their second full length sonic behemoth, oft-suffocating, baleful album, THE MOTHER OF VIRTUES. This is the great follow-up to the pile driving, heavily tight debut album released in 2011, AN EXCELLENT SERVANT BUT A TERRIBLE MASTER. A rather playful, guitar-only intro sets up a sudden full-band bash, the rhythm section hammering out a doleful beat beneath an ascendant dark electric and chaotic mythical theme.
Indeed, THE MOTHER OF VIRTUES takes you on a harrowing journey into the darkest corners of musical extremity. This album is a nice piece of technical death metal demonstrating their aural adventure into music genres from psychedelic rock and jazz/fusion to guttural death tunes.
After the opener profanity, “The Oracle of Nassau”, we are landed in the doom metal field where the eleven-minute-bomb “White Flag” begins slowly and heavy but soon the tunes are turned to another crazy, frenzied and frantic melodies of death. After that, the (almost) mid-tempo “Sleeper Agent” becomes the soundtrack of chaos and the proof of what the band can do and the only proof of being aware of conduct and write a song with too many different sounds, tunes and atmospheres. The next song, “Balkanized” is fast with many slow parts with a Meshuggah-ladden mood. “Eternity IN A Breath” begins with a sneaking and crafty riff (only a guitar as interlude) and the other instrument are coming by slowly. This is another slow but heavy and fastly taking song. “Implant Fever”, “Invisible Injury” and “The Parasite In Winter” continue the well-known technical way to frenzied and weird tunes with a deeply jazz/fusion structure (even the darkness cannot let you see!). The closer title track is nothing more but great almost twelfth ending of this chaotic.
THE MOTHER OF VIRTUES is the absolute dose of technical and experimental death metal in the likes of Gorguts, Ulcerate, Cryptopsy, Portal, Deathspell Omega, Today is the Day. As lately Gorguts came back with their own masterpiece, so did Pyrrhon with THE MOTHER OF VIRTUES. This encompasses in totality what the Pyrrhon sound is by using different textures and an unbiased perspective to take listeners on a journey. It's impossible to catch everything on the first listen as the complexity will become more familiar with each new visit. Pyrrhon's relentless sound will suck you in and not let go as it travels through your veins and contaminates your mind.