Pyrrhon - White Flag (off The Mother of Virtues, 2014, Relapse)
I wrote about this album for the final issue *crying emoji* of A Short Fanzine About Rocking (buy it here), and seriously, any word I can throw out about this album, the sooner we can get Pyrrhon to play London.
“I saw the future coiled up inside!” shrieks Doug Moore at the beginning of Pyrrhon’s Relapse debut The Mother of Virtues with a voice full of dread. The world Moore squeals, croaks and heaves about on Mother is an incredibly bleak one, but different from the otherworldly hell one expects of death metal. Instead of hellscapes occupied by gore and battle streaked invocations, the band’s New York rots. Pyrrhon’s New York bears the marks of an ugly history and an unsteady future, informed by dank surroundings and technological effluvia. The thematic ambition of the band’s album calls for Moore’s strong lyrical content to be parsed – from moment to moment, you can be presented a surreal rundown of paranoiac imagery or bluntly effective turns of phrase. An American public’s voices turn “digitally remastered” into background noise by tech distractions; an “ocean of bones” lays underneath the depths of polluted cities; political and social tensions simmer uneasily towards confrontation on a track pointedly titled “Balkanized”. Musically, the band stretches across various types of extreme music, presenting elements of technical death metal, grindcore and the noise scene’s more metallic spectrum. The technical proficiency is meant to unsettle more than impress, an impression given by the way Mother blasts out of the gates before settling into the daunting, nine minute ‘White Flag’ (above). It’s an unusual listen - and at times garbled with too many ideas - but it’s hard to turn away, even as it becomes queasier and more disturbing.
This isn’t technically a respite from plugging my own work since the album cover is in the YouTube video, but this is a particularly insightful review of the Pyrrhon album. LISTEN.