Pyrrhon Surprise Everyone with New EP, Running Out of Skin

Pyrrhon, masters of bafflingly heavy and Linda Blair-esque-headspin-inducing music that can only loosely be described as death metal, seem to be taking a page from the Krallice book of surprising fans with mysterious EPs. So how does this new four-banger stack up against the rest of Pyrrhon’s obtuse discography?

If nothing else, Running Out of Skin seems to eschew any doubt that the band is doubling down on their unique brand of cracked-out, bottom heavy skronkedelia. Across the EP’s four tracks is a single thread, namely the grinding, stone-crunching bass sound, derived both from Erik Malave’s absolutely mangling approach to playing the bass guitar and Dylan DiLella’s Mariana Trench probing riffs that spend as much time in the lower registers as humanly possible. Or perhaps inhumanly, as Pyrrhon continue to apply their strange, bestial approach to structure on the first three songs.

“Statistic Singular” is a proper composition, constructed with intent and purpose. It also features an absurd sonic wall of blastbeats and angular, dissonant chords on the bass and guitar that seem to be interlocked in a spiraling battle to the death. The song feels loose and jaunty, but that’s always been Pyrrhon’s appeal and even brilliance. There’s a genuine complexity that, unless observed carefully, could be mistaken for sloppiness.

The next two tracks, “Ashes to Alveoli” and “Motivational Speaker II,” seem only to continue this haphazard, jarring trend, but the explanation for this is evident in the EP’s description. Both tracks were recorded as unfettered improvisations in studio recorded live and raw. Far more than anything else in Pyrrhon’s discography, these songs sound like unadulterated chaos, the result of a fever dream precipitated by drinking a concoction of Doug Moore’s deepest fears cut with mescalin and gunpowder. The walls of sound and contorting structures double back on themselves as Moore barks and snarls like a rabid wolf trying to hypnotize a nation of pigs. It’s simultaneously mesmerizing, off-putting, and sickening, and I’m sure you already know how much you’ll like it.

The final track is perhaps the most interesting. To close out the EP, Pyrrhon offer an abstruse cover of Death‘s seminal epic “Crystal Mountain.” What’s most intriguing about this cover is how true-to-form it remains while still sounding like Pyrrhon. Structurally speaking, all of the untouchable elements of the original track remain in place: the solos are still gnarly, the drums still gallop along, and the bridge riff still has that shimmering chromatic radiance. What Pyrrhon manages to do, though, is coat everything in a layer of slime and obscenity; the riffs sound slightly more angular, the drums a little more imposing, the vocals a bit more derelict. Little trigonometric bends and guitar accents add the final touches. Chuck Schuldiner had an irreplaceable vocal presence, but Pyrrhon made the wise choice to diversify Moore’s vocal approach and have him growl in an understandable fashion so as not to totally dilute the initial vision. It all works well and successfully translates a timeless piece into a nightmarish brave new world.

Running Out of Skin, ultimately, is a pleasant surprise, one made bitter-sweet by the announcement that this is mesmerizing skinsman Alex Cohen’s final release with the band. If you like what you hear, you can purchase Running Out of Skin on Bandcamp for just 4 bucks. If you want the album physically, pay attention to Pyrrhon’s Facebook, where they’ll be announcing soon how to get one of the limited-run copies from PRC Music.

(h/t Chris H.)
(Photo VIA)

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Published on: March 16, 2016

Filled Under: New Stuff, News

Views: 914

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  • Edward/Breegrodamus™

    You rang, doc?

  • First track sounds like the guitarist threw his guitar down the stairs while the drummer plays along it.

    • Dubs

      That’s not inaccurate.

    • CyberneticOrganism

      We call that “moving day” metal

    • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

      Hahaha. What the fuck am I listening to? Those ain’t riffs, brah.

      • Dubs

        Technically speaking, a riff is just a repeated refrain or phrasing over changing melodies. Within the first 21 seconds, there’s definitely a guitar line that repeats multiple times. It’s not an easily recognizable, headbangable riff, but it’s a riff.

        Whether or not it’s a good riff is subjective. I know this ain’t your style.

        • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

          I suppose. But this honestly sounds like an absolute mess, hell it sounds more similar to Abruptum in parts.

          • Dubs

            I’m totally okay with that. I like metal that’s challenging.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Me too, though my days of “technical” metal of any kind are long behind me.

          • Edward/Breegrodamus™

            Except for None So Vile, KSOFM.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            You get me, bro. You get me. That’s the pinnacle anyway.

          • there’s tons of good metal with emphasis on the technique. i just wish somebody hadn’t went and coined the term “technical death metal” :/

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Of course, names put you in a box.

          • Well, to be fair. A lot of it is technical death metal. Technical for the sake of being technical .

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            ^This.

          • Dubs

            There’s certainly a lot of that out there. I think there’s a difference between technical death metal like what Gorguts plays and tech death like, say, Archspire play.

          • Edward/Breegrodamus™

            Dissonant death metal / skronk versus tech death.

            Molenaar has explained the difference to me between dissonant death metal and skronk a couple of times but without a musical background I’m not sure I actually get it.

          • Dubs

            Skronk applies to a lot more than just metal and has its origin in older stuff, a lot it jazz.

          • Edward/Breegrodamus™

            It has to do with an extended instrumental technique, that much I know remember from being schooled. Molenaar swears a lot of the bands that we bandy about in the FB group as skronk aren’t.

          • Dubs

            Well, I can think of at least one band I’ve seen called skronk that isn;t.

          • Hubert

            which one?

          • Dubs

            Ara comes to mind.

          • Dubs

            “Skronk” n. Term attributed to Robert Christgau by Lester Bangs in 1981’a ‘A Reasonable Guide to Horrible Noise’ referring to music of the late ’70s art-punk movement

          • CyberneticOrganism

            Possibly related (but probably not)

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhU1F7t6pp4

          • Yup, without a doubt Archspire is Tech Death. Gorguts is at least organic sounding.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Where production comes into play too.

          • Exactly! KJU was saying that he didn’t like the production on Origin’s Informis Infinitas Inhumanitas yesterday because it sounded too clunky and raw. I love that! A tech death album that sounds raw and organic is hard to come by these days, and Origin pulled it off by being just superb musicians.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Agreed.

          • “technical death metal” has become a figurative idiom rather than an actual description over the years. an idiom for which i do not care. TL;DR: i hate genres

          • Boss the “Hoss” Ross

            I can see where you’re coming from.
            Genres titles can be beneficial at times though

          • I got no problem with being technical but when it sounds like a masturbatory guitar session without resembling a song, I lose interest.

          • No soul.

          • Dubs

            I feel that. You like what you like, and I’ve got no beef with you. Some days I definitely need a good, solid riff to get me headbanging, and some days I want something I have to sit and actively listen to. Nowadays I find myself more often in the latter, but I can easily go back to Artillery or Doomsday for the Deceiver when I need.

            Or just jam None So Vile and meet in the middle.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Exactly.

          • Dubs

            In fact, that may be my next album this morning.

          • Stanley

            Stanley approves of your name dropping.

          • Dubs

            Well, Odinn posted Doomsday in the comments yesterday, so I was listening to it again and remembered why it’s one of my favorite thrash records.

          • Stanley

            It’s not one of my favorites but it’s definitely a great record. I actually prefer No Place for Disgrace. I think I mentioned that I saw them a couple of months ago. For a bunch of old dudes, I really enjoyed them.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            The leads on that album fucking slay.

          • Dubs

            The prominent bass lines are what tend to catch my ear a lot, but the leads and vox kill too.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Well, Newstead could be a beast at times. The basslines in Hammerhead come to mind.

          • Stanley

            The bass opening to I Live, You Die is magic. I know he didn’t play it, but I think he wrote it.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            No Place for Disgrace is an album I’ve never really checked. A buddy of mine would always go on about the harsh guitar tone.

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            It’s very good. Don’t listen to the re-recorded version from 2014 though. It’s not good.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            I have no plans to, hate when bands do that.

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            It never ends well.

          • Stanley

            I don’t think it’s harsh, but it has a lot of low end, which is surprising for the time. They covered “Saturday Nights Alright for Fighting” and it’s pretty heavy.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Oops, I didn’t mention it in a negative, just mean sounding in general.

          • Stanley

            Oh, nomenclature. Where would we be with out it?

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Words are dumb.

          • GORAK HAS THE RIGHT IDEA!!!

          • Dubs

            Hammerhead is the track that sold me on the record, actually.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Killer fucking opening song.

          • Dubs

            I really like the leads in Der Fuhrer too.

          • Stanley

            Der Fuhrer FTW, minus the long intro.

          • Stanley

            Hasn’t Odinn posted every youtube video ever? lol

          • Dubs

            Hahahahaha

          • Edward/Breegrodamus™

            Abruptum sound like a band I need to check out.

          • Dubs

            They’re cool. King has namechecked them before, and I cosign.

          • You’d probably like em. Later shit is real fucked up.

    • Edward/Breegrodamus™

      Brand new interview with Doug Moore (came up on my newsfeed) where the interviewer describes Pyrrhon as “Deicide falling down a flight of stairs”. WEIRD.

      https://delayanddistorsion.wordpress.com/2016/03/16/interview-pyrrhon-like-deicide-falling-down-a-flight-of-stairs/

      • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

        Well, I guess Tyree nailed it, hahaha.

    • Eliza

      Isn’t is beautiful?

  • Celtic Frosty

    That Death cover is tight

    • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

      What the fuck are they tuned to?

      • Celtic Frosty

        Destruction

        • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

          Hmmmmm. Maybe.

      • CyberneticOrganism
        • this fuckin movie. i went through my whole life thinking 5 stars is the most a film could receive. upon seeing Fury Road, it’s like some cosmic being whispering in my ear “6 stars is actually the maximum, and you’re witnessing it right now”

          • CyberneticOrganism

            It’s beautiful

          • Edward/Breegrodamus™

            It was a good movie.

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            It was so good.

          • Eliza

            It pains me that I haven’t seen this movie in theater.

          • watch and report back to us Eliza! 😉

          • Eliza

            I’ll wait until it comes out on HBO.

          • CyberneticOrganism

            It’s on there now!

          • Eliza

            It’s not over here though.

          • I have not seen this yet. I’ve heard nothing but good things about it.

          • the less you know about it, the better

          • I haven’t either.

        • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

          Movie slayed.

        • This movie will forever have a place on my Iphone so that when I’m bored at work I can witness it.

      • Dave Vincent’s Perm

        Probably AGCFAD or some other insane quadruple drop thing.

        • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

          Damn. Dumb.

    • YourLogicIsFlushed

      I typically don’t love this skronkyness, but with a little more recognizable structure forced on them by it being a cover, I like it much more.

      • Dubs

        Pyrrhon are probably the spazziest of the skronky bands around right now.

  • Thanks, señor W!

  • Boss the “Hoss” Ross

    I’ve seen this about 20 times on my bandcamp feed, guess I’m gonna have to check it out now.

    • Edward/Breegrodamus™

      Do it, Boss.

      • Boss the “Hoss” Ross

        I will after work. From Dubs exquisite writing I gather this to be an album I need to pay attention to.

        • Edward/Breegrodamus™

          He’s an exquisite writer, no argument there. It’s almost a little sick.

  • CyberneticOrganism

    I love the greasy, grinding tone Marston is able to coax out of a bass. Almost every one of his records has that growling distorted bite sitting right behind the guitars and turning everything to gray sludge.

  • The bass is really front and center on that first track. I love how it’s just wandering around and is independent of everything else. Somehow it still fits in.

    • CyberneticOrganism

      “I do what I want.”

      – the bass

      • Hubert

        A friend of mine theorized that the bass player of Pyrrhon must be a cat, considering the lack of fucks he is giving.

  • Eliza

    Interestingly neat stuff here.

  • Stanley

    Calling Blackbeard. Pirate. Darkbeard. I hate teasers like this, but it is sounding good.

    https://youtu.be/v3TkTKP8SNs

    • Dubs

      This is a band I like.

  • Waynecro

    Awesome review. Thanks! The “Crystal Mountain” cover is really interesting. I fucking dig it.