Pyrrhon are an experimental death metal outfit. Their new EP Growth Without End is a short burst of violent energy. The chaos almost never lets up from start to finish.
Let’s start with the strongest two tracks. When Pyrrhon want to, they can create really weird, interesting new stuff. The two closing tracks showcase this ability. “Viral Content” starts with a a strange churning bass riff with some spoken word vocals. It is the creepiest thing I’ve heard all year.
The song then keeps building until it has a minor explosion into extreme noise. The burst is intense, but doesn’t last longer than it needs to before returning to the original idea. Upon the return, there’s a lot more going on with atonal and microtonal ideas pulling the song apart. It always feels on the verge of falling apart or reaching climax again.
This song is really well made. It is highly experimental, yet keeps grounded around a single idea. It flows in and out of tonality. It has a clear sense of progression, and overall achieves exactly what it sets out to do: keep you unsettled. We’ll return to why I think the first few tracks are less successful at this in a bit.
The last track is also great for much of the same reason. Time gets all messed up with various tempos, pauses, and time signature changes. This works to keep the listener unsettled. The song closes with moments of heavy grooves and harsh guitar sounds over it.
The best way to describe why I love this track is that it is somehow the audio equivalent of watching an image get stretched and distorted. But maybe the image was something surreal to begin with. You can’t quite grasp what ties it together, but it still has a firm sense of a single thing getting distorted and pulled in all directions.
This is what I mean when I say Pyrrhon are making interesting and innovative music. I’m not sure I can think of anyone else that has achieved such a strange experience.
Now let’s talk about the first few tracks. They are extreme, chaotic, and fast. They clearly have riffs that tie them together, but I feel less of a sense of unity surrounding them. These tracks have much less innovation. They sound more like a band trying to be as harsh and chaotic as possible.
They aren’t bad, but it comes across as a sound that many bands could have produced as opposed to the final two tracks which are uniquely Pyrrhon. KEN Mode or Psyopus come to mind, though neither fits perfectly. The constant loud chaos isn’t as unsettling as the final two tracks, because it becomes noise after a while.
Overall, I like the EP, but don’t love it. I’ll give it a 8/10. Here’s a sample: