April 6, 2014

Filthy Music Review - 'Pyrrhon: The Mother of Virtues'

Pyrrhon – The Mother of Virtues (2014)

Relapse Records 

Review by Trevor Proctor

New York progressive, twisted, extreme death metallers Pyrrhon (pronounced peer on) have just released their debut album on their new label, Relapse Records. The Mother of Virtues is the follow up to 2011’s well received release An Excellent Servant but a Terrible Master; an album released via the Selfmadegod label to much critical acclaim. 

Consisting of nine tracks and clocking in at close to an hour The Mother of Virtues is a complex, chaotic listen with elements of elaborate death metal, jazz, psychedelic sections and darkened vocals. Pyrrhon consists of Dylan DiLella on guitar, Erik Malave on bass, Alex Cohen on drums and Doug Moore performing agonised, traumatic vocals – the album was recorded by Ryan Jones and mastered by Colin Marston who has previously worked with bands including Gorguts and Krallice. This was never intended to be easy listening and takes the listener on a devastating journey into the darkest, most twisted recesses of extreme music.

The album kicks off with a brief yet ravaging instrumental opener, The Oracle of Nassau but the track which follows, White Flag, is a much slower, more demented affair. A slow doom influenced bass line starts the track, keeping the pace slow and twisted, Moore’s vocals throughout sound both deranged and angry, riffs spiral here and there, creating a level of unpredictability that pervades both this track and the album as a whole. The pace of the track quickens after three minutes, propelling the listener into a dissonant, hectic mid-section that to some may sound like disorganised chaos at first listen, giving way to another slow passage that serves to heighten the atmosphere created by Pyrrhon. 

There is nothing conventional or predictable about this or any track on the album, to some it may sound too busy or hectic at times but each and every listen helps the listener understand Pyrrhon’s aims and see what they have achieved. Balkanized is another track that takes a few listens to comprehend and understand, a track peppered with irregular yet very technical guitar work and anguished vocals, it sounds like the musical creation of a group of mad men, yet beneath the chaotic surface lies a depth of technicality and musicianship many others should aspire to achieve. 

Eternity in a Breath is another standout track, one that’s a bit less chaotic and technical than the others; across its eight minute duration the pace never quickens to that of the other tracks but it still manages to capture your attention as it slowly drags you through the maniacal genius that is Pyrrhon. The constantly changing sounds, speeds, atmospheres and heaviness across The Mother of Virtues make for a different musical experience each time you listen to it.

Thankfully the production of the album is exceptional, any lower standard would have made this a much harder listen; as it stands this is not an easy listen nor is it instantly accessible, but the more listens you give it the more rewarding and astounding it becomes – no doubt the intricacy and complexity of this album will sail right over some listener’s heads, leaving them unable to understand or take in the excellent musicianship and vision on display throughout. Yes, at times there’s a lot going on and at first it may be a difficult album to absorb but give it a go, you’ll find it well worth the effort. 


1. The Oracle of Nassau
2. White Flag
3. Sleeper Agent
4. Balkanized
5. Eternity in a Breath
6. Implant Fever
7. Invisible Injury
8. The Parasite in Winter
9. The Mother of Virtues

The Mother of Virtues is available now from Relapse Records. 

No comments: