(Our old friend Black Shuck provides this guest review of the excellent new demo by Kentucky’s Pyromancer.)
Greetings, denizens of the infernal region. Popping in here once again to put the spotlight on another underground band worth getting to know.
Pyromancer are a two-man black/death metal band from Lexington, Kentucky, consisting of Master of Graveyard Torment on drums and Conquerer Horus on guitars. The band have no bass player, and switch off on vocal duties, with Torment performing the high shrieks while Horus does gutturals. Their first demo tape, Demo MMXV, has been released via Grim Winds Records.
The demo takes the grim, lo-fi atmosphere of second-wave Norwegian black metal bands and combines it with the aggressive bestiality of bands like Archgoat. When Master of Graveyard Torment is shrieking over Conquerer Horus’ tremolo riffs the band sounds very traditionally black metal indeed. However, thanks to Torment’s relentless drumming, the music is fierce and fast rather than gloomy, and when Horus takes a turn on the mic, deep, distinctly un-Norwegian growling fills the air.
I feel as though a lot of blackened death metal bands tend to start with death metal as a base and build from there, with brutality and technicality being a large focus of the music. Pyromancer, however, are black metal at heart. The emphasis here is definitely on the evil sound. The guitars are dark and menacing, and Horus’ low vocals tend to be employed when the music is at its most sinister, evoking a demonic, “welcome to Hell, mortal” feel.
“Conjuring the Flame” starts off heavy, with a slow, dark chug of a riff that sets the tone for the malevolence to come, before turning into one of the more aggressive songs on the tape. Savage guitars combine with fast, precise drumming to give the song a truly hellish feel, and Torment’s high vocals drip with hate.
“Barbaric Wrath” is probably the most black-metal-sounding track, beginning with four booming tom hits that lead quickly into a fierce tremolo riff. However, the song also devotes equal time to doomy guitar passages accompanied by cavernous roars from Horus, bits that would sound like Hooded Menace if the drums weren’t still beating away. It ends strong, with a minute-long outro of slow, powerful guitars and imperious drumming, and then immediately picks up speed, jumping into the black-n-roll head-nodder of “Inferno”
“Abyssal Crucifixion” is my favorite track on the tape. It’s a non-stop mine cart ride to Hell, with frantic riffing and blasting drums from beginning to end, a punishing track that refuses to let up until its lust for blood has been sated. The tape ends with “Violent God,” a song not quite as aggressive, but still excellent, with a driving opening riff and a particularly good moment near the end of the song where the drums go a little extra nuts and both vocalists have at it.
One thing I really appreciate about this demo is that although it is definitely a cohesive whole, no song sounds very much like another. Given that a lot of black metal tends to get very repetitive over the course of a whole album, it’s refreshing when each song brings its own distinct flavor of darkness to the table. Here, each track is memorable, and I could remember which ones they were after only a listen or two. But the songs are also all connected by the palpable atmosphere of evil that permeates the entire tape, and the differing compositions work well together to produce a single unit. I’m looking forward to seeing what these guys do with a full-length album.
Thus concludes my half-lucid ramblings. Bandcamp and Facebook pages are below. Have a pleasant day.
Quite a blistering release. Thanks for turning me on to this.