Published Jun 25, 2020New York's Pyrrhon continues its journey of uncompromising brutality and mutated musicality with its fourth album, Abscess Time. This disorienting barrage thrusts the band's alien brand of technical death metal into a noisecore torture chamber.
The title track opens the album like a free-jazz ensemble getting jumped by a sludge metal band. It's a strange start, even by Pyrrhon's standards. Demented weirdness returns on deeper cuts like the spastic noise rocker "Overwinding." Likewise, "Solastalgia" rolls in the mire of vocalist Doug Moore's insane shrieks punctuating paranoid guitar drones, while "State of Nature" draws more from the Jesus Lizard than Gorguts.
Pyrrhon remain just as mind-bending during death metal-leaning tracks like lead single "Another Day In Paradise." A sample from the 1976 film Network leads to a salvo of guitarist Dylan DiLella's angular riffs and drummer Steve Schwegler's rhythm breaks. Riffs remain decipherable, if unorthodox, while Moore's voice drops into familiar brutal death metal gurgles. Still, Pyrrhon makes an art form out of teetering on the edge of total collapse.
Pyrrhon subverts the tech-death trope of sampled drums and sterile guitar tones with a brittle, raw timbre. DiLella and bassist Erik Malave often play distinct, separate parts, further separating multifaceted cuts like "Down at Liberty Ashes'' and "The Lean Years" from the crowd.
Pyrrhon's controlled chaos increases the impact of grindcore bursts like "Teuchnikskreis." The one-minute track leaves little breathing room between its pinch harmonics and pig squeals. Moore panting like a rabid animal during "Human Capital" sums up this album's unchecked ferocity, as does his opening death rattle in "Cornered Animal." While far from easy listening, this album remains impressive in its dexterous onslaught.
"The Cost of Living" reveals Pyrrhon's secret weapon: scare factor. The song is nothing short of terrifying as it builds from Moore's phlegm gurgling and DiLella's lone guitar strains to walls of disjointed percussion and hellish distortion. "Rat King Lifecycle" manages to throw every approach mentioned so far into a cavalcade of sonic debauchery.
Abscess Time finds Pyrrhon bristling with brazen artistry. The band has only become less friendly to unsuspecting audiences, but this album is replete with bizarre rewards. (Willowtip)