By now, it’s no secret Pyrrhon dropped their Running Out Of Skin EP this week and if you missed out, rectify that immediately. More of their scathing, improvisational style of death metal is always a good thing. This particular release was recorded live in studio and fully captures the heart and soul of what this band is all about. It’s unorthodox, jagged, mind bending, and all that in just three songs. But to cap it off, we also get a gritty Death cover that (no surprise here) the band absolutely owns.
Since its beginnings, death metal has seen numerous branches and splits from the original sound. This is natural of course, all things must grow in order to survive and reach as big an audience as possible. Gorguts is one of those bands that very early on went off on a beautifully inspired tangent that still to this day amazes me. But Pyrrhon hits another level of extremity and exploration as they delve deeper into thick, heady improvised arrangements. “Motivational Speaker II” is an impromptu jam session that has a mind of its own. Each instrument seems to be in its own space, but it’s the soaring bass work here that really stands out and caught my ear the moment the song started. It’s relentless throughout and when paired with the guitars and drums taking the beating of their life, this track as a whole is Pyrrhon. Simply put, their abilities astound, which is one of among many reasons this band has been one of my favorites since Fever Kingdoms came out in 2010.
“Statistic Singular” could have easily been on Growth Without End as it shares the same manic pacing and psychotic feel. But also the dark lyrics recall the death theme from “Turing’s Revenge” but from a different, less prophetic angle. So, let’s boil it down to the bone: the band has extremely great songwriting skills, are exceptional at coming up with compositions others only dream of, and conjure up some of the densest death metal I’ve heard in ages. Check mark, on all accounts.
As if that’s not enough, they do a terrific job on Death’s “Crystal Mountain”. Really a ballsy pick because this is one of those songs that if done wrong it could lead to failure from the onset. But Pyrrhon, never scared of a challenge, make it their own. The main riffs are dead on but dirtier, the vocals are grittier and of course the percussion hits all the highs and lows with ease. And yet again, the bass tone carries more than its weight. This is one of those covers that not only gets it right but pays amazing tribute to the original artist. I’m sure if Schuldiner were still here he would not only approve but would love it.
With one composed track, two totally improvised tracks, and a refreshing cover, Pyrrhon continue to push the boundaries of outer limits death metal on Running Out Of Skin. The undeniable fact here is, they are also pushing their own limits which is in and of itself an anomaly. It’s easy to say ‘this album is our heaviest yet’ but Pyrrhon don’t buy into that hype. Instead they pulled a Krallice with this one, releasing it with no warning, no advances or anything and are in striking distance of number one on Bandcamp. The band continues to get tighter (if that’s possible) and this EP is a shining example of that. So please do yourself a favor and pick this one up, you will not be disappointed.