Pyrrhon Growth Without End 01After naming The Mother of Virtues 2014’s best album, it can be unambiguously inferred that I have quite the soft spot for New York’s strangest and most horrific four-piece, Pyrrhon. After Relapse dropped them from their roster earlier this year, citing, of all things, a “lack of commercial success,” the group was quickly snatched up by underground micro-label Handshake Inc., who are doing the world a service by releasing the new EP, Growth Without End. It’s fucking nuts.

The goal of Growth Without End, according to vocalist Doug Moore, was to record a more grind-influenced EP, essentially a collection of “Oracle of Nassau”-length songs focused more on speed and chaos than groove and atmosphere. As it stands, or rather, sits in a crumbling pile, this EP runs for about 14 minutes, but you’ll need to spend a few hours on it to really figure out what’s going on. Between the uncontrolled war crime of “Forget Yourself” and the pestilential disgust of “Turing’s Revenge,” there’s a lot on display here.

Perhaps more conspicuous than ever are Pyrrhon‘s lyrics, which solidify Doug Moore’s place as death metal’s best writer. All of the pent-up Malthusian horror of The Mother of Virtues has been refined into an even more personal and disturbing attack on the psyche, folding a morbid fascination with the machinations of cancer into a stream of comfort-dissolving retches. Growth Without End bombards with a constellation of maladies, from the physical (“Cancer Mantra”), and mental (“The Mass”), to the historic (“Turing’s Revenge”) and sociological (“Viral Content”), all composed of a thousand novae of condensed fear and malice.

Pyrrhon Growth Without End 02

Instrumentally, Growth Without End proves even more indecipherable and overwhelming than The Mother of Virtues; the songs are shorter, faster, and more intense, the longest and slowest, “Turing’s Revenge” is still under five minutes and well beyond allegro. Group improvisation still plays a leading role in several songs, with Dylan DiLella’s supremely heterodox guitar work flying the twin flags of atonality and dissonance over Erik Malave’s prominent and melodically integral basswork.

Despite a discouraging setback, Pyrrhon are pressing forward with their most extreme material yet; it is not in their nature to die. And so they press on reciting their own cancerous mantra: “Always keep growing and changing. Never stop spreading.”

Rating: 4.0/5.0
DR: 9 | Format Reviewed: 256 kbps mp3
Label: Handshake Inc.
Release Dates: Worldwide: 06.02.2015

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  • Dr. Scorpion

    This is Bruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuyyuuuutal!

  • Tentacles

    Yes, yes, yes! I am not often in the mood for something like Mother of Virtues, but when I am there’s nothing else can scratch that itch. The sample track is awesome – absolutely monstrous. Relapse are gonna regret this…

    • Howard Dean

      I think the appeal for music like this is niche-level enough that it will never sell well. It may appear on an internet reviewer’s “Best of…” list, but it’ll never sell out in a large (Relapse-sized) pressing. Relapse is interested in what will sell. Pyrrhon will be better served on a smaller/independent label.

      • Kronos

        Agreed. It’s obvious that someone at Relapse is a kindred spirit and keeps trying to get weird and innovative bands onto the roster (these guys, Hope Drone), but unfortunately they do have to pay heed to their bean counters.

  • Rob

    This is excellent, as expected.

  • AlphaBetaFoxface

    Was awaiting this review excitedly, such a good release. Terrific review!

  • thomas wildeman

    Original and a glimpse into possibilities for death metal. Essential for serious death metal listeners. Right up there under Gorguts’ fantastic Obscura.

  • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

    It might be the vocals doing it, but this almost sounds like an unholy union of Pig Destroyer and Negativa. Cool stuff.

  • El_Cuervo

    These guys are always interesting. Good write-up

  • sssgadget

    Pretty chaotic…not sure if I will like it..

  • If things don’t work with Handshake, it would be a nice add to either Profound Lore or Gilead. Perhaps The Flenser too.

  • tomasjacobi

    I think it’s cool that a band like Pyrrhon exists. We need bands who push the boundaries and experiment with the formula of metal.
    Having said that, I can’t stand to listen to them for more than 20 seconds…

    • Wilbur Teegrus

      I feel the same way. Mother of Virtues was too chaotic for me, and from the sound of this, it’s maybe even more difficult!

  • Luke_22

    This band is fucking crazy and also one of the most innovative bands in extreme metal. The Mother Of Virtues was an extremely challenging and rewarding listen but it’s not an album I regularly reach for. The EP format seems perfect for these guys, still plenty of dense shit to absorb and decipher but in a more digestible run time. Great stuff.

  • In spite of my current boredom with most extreme sub-genres of metal, I really like this EP. I don’t even know why or how to explain it.

    • Hubert

      Reading this made me a happy goat.

    • Óðhinn

      Oh, I’m gonna bring up that you like this EP during our regular debates often.

      …Nah, just kidding. Glad you like it Jay. :)

  • 517H

    Wow, dude. I hadn’t read your 2014 top 10 (apologies) so just hearing about this band now. This is crazy shit. Although I prefer my metal in the vain of Wretched, this is a full frontal assault on the cranium and worth every second. Awesome

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    They’ve certainly bounced back quickly from being dropped by relapse.
    I hope relapse are feeling stupid for losing a quality band from their roster.

  • Pacal

    Is this the “more” you hinted at in the Sentinel Apocalypse review?

    • Kronos

      Not yet.
      You will know when it arrives.

      • Pacal

        The suspense is killing me!

  • Óðhinn

    Great review Kronos. Thank-you very much.

  • Doomdeathrosh

    You, good sir, have me terribly curious! I be going to listening this brutality!