Despite the fact that both experimentation and atonality have become more widely accepted within the confines of death metal thanks to the likes of Gorguts and Portal, few bands are truly pushing boundaries and obliterating eardrums quite like Pyrrhon. Hailing from Brooklyn, this four-piece definitely lit a fire under the collective ass of extreme music last year with their sophomore LP and abrasive nightmare, The Mother of Virtues. With their constantly unpredictable and relentlessly caustic sound, one could argue that the band owes just as much to Brutal Truth’s brand of grindcore and even the noise-rock tendencies of Swans as it does groups like Immolation and Ulcerate. Now that the band has been released from Relapse Records, Pyrrhon saw it fitting to come back in almost no time at all with five tracks of some of the most challenging and extreme metal that has been released in 2015 so far.
Growth Without End’s brevity is perhaps its single biggest strength. At just fifteen minutes, the EP successfully encapsulates every aspect of the band’s previous sonic explorations, but kicks the speed up to 11 and has an even more immediate presence. “Cancer Mantra” is perhaps the band’s strongest song to date, which seamlessly melds the swirling and chaotic riffs of Dylan DiLella and Erik Malave with vocalist Doug Moore’s almost hooky vocal patterns and atypical lyrical content. While most of Grow Without End does touch on the classic death metal theme of disease, Moore’s vocals are sometimes retched in such a way that borders on spoken-word which really helps separate the band from some of their more strictly-brutal peers. It’s just as essential to the band’s style as their cataclysmic instrumentals.
Make no mistake; Growth Without End’s sound is almost completely impenetrable and could turn off even the most staunch fans of extremity in metal, especially by the final, improvisational collapse of “Turing’s Revenge.” It’s quite easy to get lost quickly in the band’s never-ending barrage of time signatures and bizarre chord changes. They’re on the forefront of a new brand of technicality that may take years to settle into the fabric of the style, so it may take a while before their quirks become widely respected. It’s not often you’d see a group in this scene talk about the issues behind media oversaturation and fleeting attention spans like in “Viral Content,” or creating a more depressive atmosphere in “The Mass.” Sure, it’s still about dying, but Growth Without End always feels fresh and innovative.
While the band is still treading on similar ground that The Mother of Virtues certainly trampled all over, Pyrrhon have undoubtedly refined what they’ve arguably already mastered and should be one of the bands to keep an eye out for in death metal’s cacophonous renaissance of the past few years. While it may suck to wait for the band’s almost inevitable legacy in the underground become fully developed, it’s sure cool see it developing right now. Here’s to many more years of the band always growing and changing, and with any luck, to never stopping spreading.
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Pyrrhon’s Growth Without End gets…