Still riding on the wave of last year’s full-length, The Mother of Virtues, Brooklyn deathsters Pyrrhon are back with a new EP, Growth Without End. They’ve got the same production team in the fold, but have moved to a different label—Handshake, Inc.—which better showcases “on the fringe” artists. And on the fringe is precisely where this EP lies; it’s nasty, extreme, noisy and forward-thinking, so if you were a fan the last time out, you’ll probably really dig this one.
Growth is definitely a continuation of The Mother of Virtues, but bumps up the extremity and takes a step further into the void. Throughout its five tracks and maddeningly-short runtime, the guitars are ultra-angular—almost jazzy in their complexity and free-form chord ranges. The drums range from alien-like speed to lumbering pace and flip on a dime, and the bass is yet again very audible, lending a dense low end to the chaos. If you were wondering about the vocals: yes, Doug Moore is still all over the place, going from singing to screaming to growling as effortlessly as before.
“Cancer Mantra” kicks the EP off with grindcore-like intensity and growled death vocals fighting back and forth with higher-pitched screaming. This track showcases just about everything Pyrrhon has to offer and jams it all into a two minute package. Simply a mind numbing opener, and one best served extremely loud.
“Forget Yourself” and “The Mass” continue the extremity in much the same fashion, pushing the boundaries of their mostly unclassifiable sound with one complex section after another. “Viral Content” is somewhat of a slowdown that reminds me of some of Voivod’s slower work, with the guitars slithering their way up and down the high and low notes. The slower sections bookend a short, vicious attack on the ears in the dead center of the track.
“Turing’s Revenge” closes the EP with a fantastic opening section of death metal, complete with deep, aggressive growls, then fades into noise rock oblivion and spoken-word vocals. One last Napalm Death style barrage and it’s over….entirely too soon.
If the extreme appeals to you at all, you’ll be hard pressed to find anything better to do with 15 minutes. Growth Without End is death metal without inhibitions. It’s grindcore in its extremity; it’s noise rock aroud the edges; and it’s progressive in never shying away from being absolutely dissonant and complex. Almost impossible to stick a genre tag on, Pyrrhon continue to do what they want. I have to give them props for staying true to their vision, and I’ll be here impatiently awaiting the full-length follow-up.