Sometimes I’ll find an album that gets rave reviews across the board, and because I’m a negative asshole at heart I feel the need to give this album a spin to see if the praise is founded. Sometimes it is; Radiohead’s Kid A got positive reviews across the board and it’s one of my favorite albums despite my initial caution simply because of those reviews. Most of the time, however these albums don’t live up to the hype; What Passes for Survival by Pyrrhon is one such album.
Now I’ll openly admit I’d never heard of Pyrrhon before this album. Doing some quick Googling shows me they’ve been a band since 2008 and have released 3 studio albums. I like to think I’m pretty caught up with the underground metal scene but these guys completely fell under my radar, and for good reason; this album is bad. This album is arguably the biggest amalgamation of extreme metal genres I’ve heard and it just doesn’t work. This is not to say that mixing genres can’t work well; personally I’m a fan of the blackgaze trend in which black metal and shoegaze are melded together. However that simply isn’t the case for Pyrrhon.
I’ll start with the vocals: these are the most uninspired death metal vocals I’ve ever heard. It’s as though they heard a Pig Destroyer album and decided to ape their two vocal styles. As if that isn’t enough, they sparse in these occasional bits of singing that sound like a rip off version of Greg Puciato of the Dillinger Escape Plan. Speaking of the Dillinger, much of this album is a clear steal of their style. The unorthodox time signatures, the guitar tones, the solos, the erratic drumming; it’s all straight ripped from Dillinger Escape Plan. But the band didn’t just want to do that, so they decided to steal some riffs from Cattle Decapitation as well. I don’t want to judge the band’s entire catalog as I haven’t heard their first two releases, but they clearly had zero creative or original ideas for this album.
I’m just disgusted with myself for sitting through this album several times to give it a fair judgment and the reviewers who gave it praise. This is the most uninspired album I’ve heard in a long, long time. This is blight on the extreme metal genre. This album has no reason to exist. It contributes nothing to the extreme metal scene and is nothing but rehashing of ideas that were done better by better bands. Pass on this at all costs.
Check it out here, but don’t buy this shit.