(Austin Weber wrote this review of the new album by Pyrrhon, which was released on August 8 by Willowtip Records and Throatruiner Records.)
Pyrrhon occupy a unique place in the death metal landscape. From their inception on, they’ve only gotten stranger, darker, weirder, and more unorthodox, after beginning as an already outside-of-the-norm band but one still recognizable in most ways as a purely death metal group in their early years.
The real turning point was 2014’s The Mother of Virtues, a release that really saw them dive into the deep end of madness and experimentation paired with searing and uncomfortable heaps of dissonance. It was an album that even I struggled to comprehend initially, though countless repeat listens helped, as did seeing them play the material live in 2014, which really helped it click for me even more.
After that, they embarked on a series of EPs, simultaneously pushing the improv. and experimental aspect harder, while also returning to a more “digestible” form of death metal for some of the songs. Given that, I had high hopes and a lot of questions as to what their newly released album, What Passes for Survival, would have to offer. But above all, I went into it knowing not to place expectations on it, since Pyrrhon are an amorphous and ever-shifting beast — and this album holds true to that established maxim.