The first quarter of 2014 has borne witness to numerous jaw-dropping, Kleenex requiring albums and it is with great mirth that The Mother Of Virtues can be added to this list. Phantasmagoric and foreboding in their delivery, Pyrrhon have constructed a blood-curdling goliath of a record. Though it comes in at an ADHD unfriendly 54 minutes, this album should come with a statute requiring it to be listened to numerous times. It is simply too much to comprehend without them.
Getting right to the point, this record simply reeks of menace. Before the album closes with the topsy-turvy onslaught of it’s title track, the journey from point A to point B strays from the beaten path and instead crosses time, dimensions and even universes. Granted, fairly flowery language for a review but the full on out of body experience that being plugged into this record creates is something all together other-worldly. The nerve twitching shrieks of guitar and voice that ‘Balkanized’ rolls out would make the coolest customer alive ill at ease in the comfort of their own home. The delay laden guitars that flood The Mother Of Virtues appear to break away on a tangent from the rest of the material but instead become their own entity, fading in and out of the song but always present.
Sporadic passages of doom, held together by droning bass and glacier paced drums, do not slow the record’s momentum down one bit. They serve to pull the listener in and leave hairs on end while ritualistic chanting commands from below, as found in the multifaceted ‘Eternity In A Breath’. Fleeting moments of grind and thrash merely ooze into the next surrealist lament with blast beats and over distorted guitars fight with an overpowering bass. What could be construed as ‘jam band’ territory, with each member of the band seemingly doing whatever the hell they want, is merely a byproduct of the progression that each individual track takes. Every nuance of cacophony feels natural and there is not a wasted note or drum hit to be found.
Not surprisingly, for a death metal album so closely rooted in lavish, surreal soundscapes there are some serious Mike Patton vibes that rear their charming head: the, almost disguised,vocals in ‘Invisible Injury’ could have been lifted out of a Fantômas session. The bands reliance on the bass to keep a song afloat in murky, murky waters is reminiscent of Mr. Bungle. Pyrrhon have channeled the absurd ideas of Mr. Patton and converted them into a profoundly depraved product, succeeding where countless others have tried before.
As with Artificial Brain’s full debut earlier this year, the production of this album can be recognized as a vital unnamed member of the band. Were the guitars too fuzzy or the drums too machine like, The Mother Of Virtues could have been a shambles. Instead, there are perfectly balanced instruments and a drum kit that sounds like it should be played during the end of the world. Pyrrhon are the proud creators of what many might pass off as experimental garbage, but for those who can appreciate the twists and turns of trailblazing death metal, this grimy New York troupe look set to open the third eye’s of all who bear witness. A bona fide superlative record.
Pyrrhon – The Mother Of Virtues gets…