Pyrrhon - Abscess Time review
|Release date:||June 2020|
01. Abscess Time
02. Down At Liberty Ashes
04. The Lean Years
05. Another Day In Paradise
06. The Cost Of Living
08. Human Capital
09. Cornered Animal
11. The State Of Nature
12. Rat King Lifecycle
Not only is Pyrrhon's Abscess Time one of the most vicious extreme metal albums lately, but it's also the only album I know to sample anything from Network other than the infamous "I'm mad as hell" speech.
I called this "one of the most vicious extreme metal albums", and vicious is a word that gets thrown out a lot, as well as brutal, chaotic, bludgeoning. All those buzzwords. But Abscess Time really feels like that, in the sense that it's actually quite painful and unpleasing in a way. This is really not the type of album you can just put in the background, it gets your attention no matter how much you don't wanna let it. Pyrrhon have always been a band to demand (and deserve) attention, getting mine through their spectacular 2017 album, What Passes for Survival. But even on that album I could still call Pyrrhon a death metal band, as much as they had a technical/progressive/avantgarde/hardcore side as well. Now I can't say I feel the same way about the Pyrrhon we have on Abscess Time.
Throughout the nearly one hour runtime of Abscess Time, there still are some bits I guess I could call death metal, but even those often feel closer to either technical death metal or brutal death metal (complete with gutturals), sometimes reminding me of a similarly brutal and forward thinking album in the latest Afterbirth. And through that album somehow managed to make brutal death metal feel sci-fi and progressive, Abscess Time makes everything it touches feel more disgusting. A lot of it is very technical, but in a way that is clearly bordering more on avant-garde or something like the free jazz metal of the latest Behold The Arctopus or the tech black of Krallice or the jazz/avant/black/death in Imperial Triumphant, and with it quite often bordering on hardcore in energy and chaos, it often borders on something like mathcore, without really being mathy in itself.
A lot of its energy is also due to the production itself, handled by dissonance extraordinaire Colin Marston (guitarist/bassist for Behold The Arctopus, Dysrhythmia, Gorguts and Krallice), who was involved either as a producer or performer on every album I name-dropped so far. Despite feeling absolutely heavy and chaotic, and the production making it feel suffocating, it doesn't do this without making sure everything is perfectly audible and discernible within said chaos. The noise rock-inspired sound goes hand in hand with the techy/jazzy/hardcore sound that the band creates to make everything that I called extreme about this album actually be extreme. If Pyrrhon's previous albums were already not very accessible, this one is downright confrontational.
Considering the runtime, I expected to run out of stamina much faster, which usually is the case with albums this extreme and this fast, but something about their songwriting made Pyrrhon make an album that is both really hard to listen to and really great to listen to. The surprisingly groovy bass, the explosive energy, the unpredictability of it all, the changes of pace, and just the sheer talent that went into this. It's fun to dissect all the noise rock, progressive metal or death metal influences that went into making this sound, but this feels like a sound that no one other than this band with this producer could've made. And how many other metal albums are really that oppressive anymore through something other than their runtimes? Abscess Time is that in spades.
I was also lucky enough to give a peek to Angry Metal Guy's review of the same album, which also gives more insight about how specific and hellish the lyrics on this record are (since you will have a hard time deciphering them yourself), so here is some reading material about the world we live in and Pyrrhon make music about. Oppressive music for an oppressive world. "The world is a business" indeed.
||Written on 15.07.2020 by|
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