This new Pyrrhon album is some hipster bullshit


Recently, some “journalist” on “esteemed” metal blog Angry Metal Guy gave Pyrrhon‘s new album, What Passes For Survival, a 5/5. All I can say to that is, “WTF!” Maybe I’m getting too old, but this vegan, hipster “performance art” just isn’t death metal, y’know? So I did what any real metalhead would do: I left a big steaming dump in the comments for a big steaming dump of a faux clever “album.” And yet, these “journalists,” even the ones at this very blog, keep praising this bizarre piece of pure New York Trash! So here, let me spell it out for you. This new Pyrrhon album is some hipster bullshit.

Here, in case you missed my scathing realism the first time.

That was my initial take, given my frankly excusable lack of back ground (I listen to real death metal, okay!), and I stick with it. This new album, despite the praise heaped upon it, is a heaving tangle of bizarre riffs, quicksand-like drumwork, and drunken growls. The guitars seem to simply pop in and out of thin air, coalescing to hit you with repetitive, terrifying dissonance (as in “The Happy Victim’s Creed”) before vanishing into a very un-death metal swell of bass and drums (see “Goat Mockery Ritual” to hear this decidedly unnecessary guitar technicality) or absconding into what sounds like an angry beehive of buzzing, layered tracks. I mean, yeah, there are some cool solos and tremolo lines, but this is way too much Human Remains and not nearly enough Asphyx! It’s all wanking riffs, full of counterpoint and crazy, squealing atonality, designed to make it impossible to headbang! Is that what you wanted, Pyrrhon? To make an album full of difficult, arrhythmic riffs that just aren’t any fun? Do you need a safe space from regurgitated riffs?

That, friends, is the definition of hipsterdom. But just in case you don’t believe me…

While we’re talking about chasing trends, how about those drums? It’s just Dillinger Escape Plan-baiting, skronky time changes! Where’s the groove? Where are the predictable blast beats and double kick sections? How the hell am I supposed to drum along to this record in my Dodge Stratus when this band keeps throwing in crazy breaks and using way, way too many fills for a death metal record? This off-putting mix of mathcore and brutal death metal is trying way too hard with its technically dazzling performances! Give me one-footed blasts or give me death!

WTF! They look like they sip lattes and work on screenplays in Starbucks!

And don’t even get me started on the vocals! Doug Moore may in fact be the best death metal lyricist around, but there’s way too much “hardcore” in his higher pitched growls! I mean, yeah, the deep gutturals in “Goat Mockery Ritual” are sick, but then he goes and ruins it with unpredictable techniques! Why is he doing call-and-response in “The Happy Victim’s Creed?” Keep that shit in thrash metal! Why is he adding on noisy effects to create a haunting atmosphere  in “The Invisible Hand Holds a Whip?” This isn’t an electronic album! Why does he keep changing things up to deliver thought-provoking screeds on greed and politics through “post-ironic” wordplay and experiments in sonic concrete poetry (oooh, “The Unraveling” actually sounds like it’s unraveling, how “smart”). Nice liberal arts degree, nerd. Ugh, politics. That stuff has no place in death metal! Only some libtard vegan from Brooklyn would scream (not growl!) about fossil fuels and expendable resources. Just sing about gore, dude! And bring the riffs!

Wait, are you making fun of us? Do you think you’re better than me, Doug?

$30 cover for the khaoss magick live ritual
Not Nazis, just into the aesthetic
Library of forbidden lore purchased on Amazon
(For this pleases the Dark Lord)

Up yours, Doug! Up yours for having a band that writes riffs I can’t air guitar to! Up yours for not growling about violence and gore! And especially up yours for being like the bad trend chasers who blend together doom and death metal in a surprisingly seamless way (as on “Tennessee” and “Empty Tenement Spirit”) rather than the good trend chasers who only want to sound like Incantation. That’s the wrong kind of groove! It’s too warm, too fuzzy! I’m not going to headbang to that in protest, despite its uncharacteristic catchiness.

So yeah, I don’t know the back ground of these guys, but they have all the marks of hipster, too-cool-for-school death metal! Nuanced riffs? Check. Interesting vocals? Check. Syncopated rhythms? Check. Lyrics that don’t just offer me escapist fan service? Check. Clever song titles? Check.

Go rip off Deafheaven, you hipsters.

0 out of 5*

No mosh! No core! No trends!

If, for some stupid reason, you want death metal that doesn’t just play it safe, What Passes for Survival comes out tomorrow via Willowtip. If you’re one of those lame cucks who has Facebook, you can “follow” them here.

*No, on the real, this album rules, and you should all listen to it. Pyrrhon remain one of the most forward-thinking death metal bands in the game, and this album is everything they’ve done right over the years distilled into a challenging, absurdly dense masterwork.

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  • AndySynn

    Also, he’s not THAT hot.

  • Ugh, that footnote ruined my immersion on this article

    • Dubby Fresh

      Sounds like you need a safe space.

  • HessianHunter

    It all makes sense if you realize “hipster” actually just means “new thing I don’t like”

  • Slaves BC

    why is doug wearing so many clothes in that promo photo. what is this!?!

    • Stockhausen


      • Jeff Manteiga

        Tonight, we dine on manflesh.

      • The God Emperor of Mankind

        Ok that’s quite enough with the Slaaneshi bs

    • GoatForest
    • Leif Bearikson

      If the CD booklet doesn’t feature nudes, I’m burning it

      • Stockhausen

        Any nudes?

  • Jom Pootersan

    I can’t believe someone would go ahead and make sounds I don’t like!

    • Howard Dean

      To be fair, I think the dude’s comment was responding to the review and it’s treatment of the music (what it said about the album). I think it’s fair for the guy to question their review; if we removed the criticism/praise-related discourse from music (with its argument/rebuttal/etc component), there would be no need for music blogs or reviews. It’d basically be press releases: “Here’s some recorded music. You may or may not like it, but please don’t discuss what you like/dislike.”

      Now, it definitely wasn’t necessary for the guy to go off on the “hipster crap” tirade, as that basically discredited all of his actual, totally legitimate points (and made him look like an idiot).

      • Jom Pootersan

        Legitimate criticism is fine and welcomed as long as it doesn’t devolve into lazy ad hominems, which is often the case.

        • Lone Biker of the Apocalypse

          This comment is dumb. UR dum.


          Maybe this is hipster humor on my part?

          I just dunno anymore…

      • Westpaceagle

        Well said. You are exactly correct- that 5.0 elicited a response, to include insulting poser hipsters. While my opinion about Pyrrhon has changed after a few listens, I think everyone who takes this as some social or political diatribe are the ones who look foolish. Seriously folks, stop reading politics into everything.

  • I am waiting for Westpaceeagle to come and insult everyone for being a bunch of liberal hippy scum (or whatever new “insults” are thrown these days).

    Good review.

    • KJM, Anla’Shok

      SJW cucks!!!

    • Westpaceagle

      Sorry to disappoint – this album is actually growing on me. Like a tumor, but still. It was a snap judgement to what sure seemed like a blatant over score for AMG standards. No apologies for that.

      See my full post- at no time did I denigrate liberals. Or hippies. Or scum. Take it easy brah, not everything has to be political so why make it?

      • Spear
      • gacharicmeatspin

        scoring numbers are trash and dumb to smoke. Especially when they resort to fraction part, that’s how you know they’re sniffing their own butt without even realizing it. It make 0 sense and obnoxiously nerdy readers get butthurt all like “dose that mean this album is 0.23%% better than that one? you done fukd up now!”
        So don’t be either of these guys, they’re wack.

    • Lone Biker of the Apocalypse

      If you read his additional replies on AMG, he definitely comes across as well-reasoned, honest, and pretty fair in his opinion, and even (somewhat) backtracks on his initial reaction. Lord knows I’ve hated some stuff that I thought seemed “phony” or phoned-in for whatever reason that I later came around on.

  • Guacamole Jim




  • Howard Dean
    • Guacamole Jim

      It would seem like the original comment has a narrow definition of what “extreme music” can be.

      • Howard Dean

        I think it’s a fair criticism, since he’s basically saying “I like a lot of extreme metal but this sounds like shit to me.” Everyone does that now and again (I see people do it all the time with certain types of black metal).

        Extreme metal is pretty diverse, and there is always a “next step” in extremity. A lot of death metal dudes that like Pyrrhon probably don’t understand power electronics or harsh noise wall. Everyone has their limits.

        • Dubby Fresh

          HD, I wouldn’t expect you to dig most of this album, but the two doomier tracks “Tennessee” and “Empty Tenement Spirit” kind of remind me of Fleshpress.

          • Howard Dean

            I just tried Tennessee. Definitely doomier than I expected. The first half of the track was pretty decent.

          • Dubby Fresh


          • more beer

            Damn Dubs that was harsh, I approve.

          • Dubby Fresh

            Not actually meant to be harsh. HD’s been around long enough that I have a pretty good idea what he likes and doesn’t like.

          • more beer

            No not to HD I meant the article.

          • Sgt. Al Powell

            The man is hurting! He is alone, tired, and he hasn’t seen diddly-squat from anybody down here.

            Now you’re gonna stand there and tell me that he’s gonna give a damn about what you do to him, if he makes it out of there alive?
            Why don’t you wake up and smell what you shoveling?

        • Guacamole Jim

          Yeah, that’s definitely fair. I love some extreme metal and hate some. I guess any genre labelled “extreme” is bound to be polarising, and individual preference would be much more at play than something more accessible.

        • Stockhausen

          When a category is called “extreme” music or “progressive” music, it unfortunately puts a pretty low ceiling on those words. You get used to the hallmark sounds of the genre, and anything that stays true to the word but not necessarily to the characteristics long associated with the sub genre tends to be divisive. Even if Pyrrhon were doing random atonal nonsense over pointless breaks and angry yelling, that fits the “extreme” bill just fine. So why shouldn’t bands go off and explore that direction? When they do, it’s more than ok to not like it and leave it at that.

          (This is what I would say to Westpaceeagle, not as a response to your comment)

          • Howard Dean

            I honestly don’t even think he’s saying that it isn’t extreme metal, just that he thinks it sucks (which he backs up with valid grievances, though he does it without tact and with a rather stupid cultural angle). He’d have been fine if he just stuck with a musical criticism.

          • Stockhausen

            Yeah I didn’t mean to insinuate that he wasn’t calling it extreme, just that it seems nonsensical to be “all about extreme music” but write off Pyrrhon as random junk garbled together. He totally doesn’t have to like it, but his criticisms sound a bit like “I like extreme music but don’t like this because it’s extreme music.” Then that goes back to my point of most of what we call “extreme” music being content to stick with more traditional formulas, and it sounds like that’s what this guy is looking for. All in all, I’m concluding that I’ve spent a somewhat absurd amount of time analyzing a stranger’s thirdhand thoughts on the internet.

          • Westpaceagle

            Haha thanks man. It is absurd. And as I have said that was a pretty snap judgement which has totally mischaracterized as some sort of political thing. Honest question- is it not ok to make fun of hipsters in metal? Is that a real rift now? I pretty much assumed that they were fair game. Not really sorry about that, you know?

            But musically, Pyrrhon has my full interest. I will look forward to hearing the full album. If this is the future of metal I will be a bit upset, but there is no denying that the general state of things is pretty stale when it comes to DM. Vektor was my AotY last year and people reacted the same way, so in no way am under the delusion that my way is the only way. I and reserve the right to change my opinion on something.

            Anyway a little controversy is a good thing, especially on an internet blog. You’re welcome ToH!

          • Stockhausen

            Hey, thanks for chiming in! We’ve been having some fun over here with the comment but the to TovH community really does enjoy digging and and discussing things, and I’m glad you didn’t come in with guns blazing. And on that note, I think all people in metal need to be made fun of at some point. I love metal to death, but the whole genre is absurd and it needs some self-awareness. We can say serious things with the music and also laugh at the stereotypes it creates in the fanbase.
            I’m glad the album is growing on you, I definitely think we need more bands like Pyrrhon. I don’t think they’re the full future of metal, but bands like this create a good balance with the traditionally influenced bands, which I think will always be around. But who knows, maybe a trend will start in 10 years that combines Incantation with Pyrrhon and it’ll be the greatest sound ever. Weird blends are what led to that magnificent beast of a Vektor album last year.

          • Westpaceagle

            Cheers man, I couldn’t agree more with all of that. I am certainly glad that I went back and chewed on those sample tracks, and if it wasn’t for some back and forth on the boards I never would have. This certainly wouldn’t be the first time I have been dead wrong about a band or an album. So its all in good fun, and at the end of the day I am all for whatever promotes metal in general!

          • Ted Nü-Djent ™

            How does it feel to be ‘toilet’ famous?

          • Westpaceagle

            Is that how it is supposed to be written on my resume? If this is my 15 minutes of fame than I must say it is over rated.

          • Ted Nü-Djent ™

            You mustn’t be as starved of attention as I.

    • you’ve got your opinion, sam v above has his, they don’t all have to be the same. I love that we can discuss them like adults on this blog without resorting to name calling and bigotry. the day that changes is the day I get off the toilet (but I don’t see that happening!)

      • Stockhausen

        That changes today, you lilypated cur.

      • Howard Dean


  • You can never have enough Human Remains because there’s so little to begin with. I like the tracks I’ve heard thus far off this. Gots to peep it and get more familiar.

  • sam v

    Lol about time someone calls out hipster bs. This album sucks, amg smoking crack. 5out5 my ass

  • Stockhausen

    I tried to circle pit to this album in my bedroom but it’s a horrible album for that and now I’m somehow stuck inside the wall in my neighbor’s house I don’t understand how but he’s pretty pissed pls send help.


      • Stockhausen

        He has a knife now, I think he misunderstood.

    • Sir Ukkometso The Based

      Have you tried killing your neighbour?

      • Stockhausen

        Killed him about an hour ago, now he’s even more pissed.

        • Sir Ukkometso The Based

          Oh shit man, I’m sorry.

  • Dave Shellenberger

    “Maybe I’m getting too old, but this vegan, hipster “performance art” just isn’t death metal, y’know?”

    Lol. This was great. Nice write up.

    • I have a neighbor named Dave Shellenberger. Sweet

  • Westpaceagle

    Haha that is awesome! No apologies for snap judgements and over the top takes- this is an internet forum the last time I checked . And at no time did I criticize vegans. Or liberals. I only mocked hipsters, and unless the whole world has gone crazy that is perfectly acceptable, if not mandatory.

    As I have posted and edited since, my initial take is not holding up, and I am strangely compelled to listen to this more (or at least the promo tracks available). I will even pay money for it- which is more than I can say for a lot of the streaming/blog crowd.

    Good on you W. I am happy to have provided some source material for your creativity to run with, even if it was a little long winded- biting satire is better when its not a 7 course meal.

    Anywho cheers and well played! I might just have to check in here from time to time and offer more expert feedback.

    • Dubby Fresh

      Thanks for stopping by, dude. Obviously I had to embellish a character. Glad the album is growing on you!

    • Kronos


  • Ted Nü-Djent ™
  • Kronos

    What a load of shit! I’ll have my grisly revenge, Toilet!

  • Kyle Reese

    More unlistenable shit recommended by the Toilet.

    • Dubby Fresh

      That’s unlistenable shit fronted by beefcakes, I’ll have you know. No ugly dudes allowed.

      • Kyle Reese

        I listened to three or four – I don’t know, they all ran together. And it’s noise punctuated by cool moments. Even Artificial Brain was like this for me. It did not invite me back for repeat listens after four or five times. Also, disclaiming the satire at the end. Jonathan Swift didn’t write an afterword saying “jk, don’t eat babiez people.”

        • Dubby Fresh

          The number of comments from metalheads who missed the point on Facebook would seem to indicate we’re dealing with a crowd playing with less marbles than Swift’s audience.

          • Kyle Reese

            Hm. Unsurprising. While the headline invited me to rush to the comments section, I wanted to see him go all in on trashing some band. Then it became apparent – from over the top trashing to the music not quite warranting the trashing – that it was rather tongue-in-cheek.

            Me as President: “My Fellow Americans…I had a thought…you’re kinda stupid, huh?”

    • Sgt. Al Powell

      Want a breath mint?

  • Morbidly Obese Angel

    Saw that comment on AMG. Wish I could shake your hand, but upvoting the comment will have to do for now. It’s not everyday you see someone going against the hivemind that is the Angry Metal Guy comment section

    • Sgt. Al Powell

      Christ, man. Can’t you see what’s happening? Can’t you read between the lines?

  • Marvel Mills

    I honestly kept second guessing myself whether this review was somewhat serious or totally tongue in cheek

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