Pyrrhon – Growth Without End (Handshake Inc.)

Sunday, 31st May 2015
Rating: 9/10

After being unceremoniously dropped by Relapse due to poor album sales, Pyrrhon fires back with a short EP that falls in line with last year’s underrated The Mother of Virtues. That’s not to say that the band has grown stagnant, but rather expanding upon the forward-thinking palette and outside-the-box approach to death metal the band has championed. The creepy cell artwork (which if you stare at long enough seems like it can work as some other analogies) and cancer themed topics brought out the nerdier side of this writer, making Growth Without End a mandatory purchase.

Whereas The Mother of Virtues used atmosphere and lengthier tracks to craft their diabolical vision, Growth Without End cuts both considerably. While the spontaneity and improvisation in approach still seems to be present, the brevity of the tracks offer a quick, “get in, destroy, get out” mentality. Surely just as abrasive as anything else the band has done, the grinding approach of “Forget Yourself” and “Cancer Mantra” seems to up the noise quotient and gives the songs a more feral quality to them. The band does slow down a bit during “The Mass” but it never feels any less chaotic than the songs before it and it’s not until “Viral Content” where there is some sort of reprieve from the madness. Featuring some rolling bass, subtle groove, and near-spoken word, it downplays the chaos and ups the creepy factor instead. The album ends with “Turing’s Revenge,” which seems to combine the unsettling atmosphere with barrages of more urgent blasts of noise.

As with other Pyrrhon releases, special attention must be paid to the lyrical content. While the motif of cancer does playfully intertwine with a number of the tracks, Moore pens these topics into a more open-ended and interpretive piece. They are the type of lyrics that demand the listener to do some research if needed (such as “Turing’s Revenge,” based upon mathematician Alan Turing). Even the seemingly straight-forward “Viral Content,” about the spread of misinformation on the Internet, has multiple layers of depth that can be analyzed. Most rich though, are the cancer motifs, which can be extrapolated into a rather sinister view of humanity and our doings as cancerous (“Always keep growing and changing, never stop spreading”). The levels that one can personalize and interpret the lyrics are commendable and not otherwise seen in this genre, let alone the musical scene in general.

Pyrrhon have concocted yet another vibrant winner with Growth Without End. Challenging, both musically and lyrically, the band is without peer in regards to the depth of their material. Truly ground-breaking stuff.

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