Pÿlon are a doom outfit from Switzerland and their recent releases have been ‘Armoury Of God’ (2011) and ‘The Harrowing Of Hell’ (2012). They also appeared alongside My Silent Wake on the split album ‘Empyrean Rose’ (2013). The latest offering is their sixth full-length album, ‘Homo Homini Lupus’ (2014) which appears via the U.S. label Roxx Productions.
‘Homo Homini Lupus’ is loosely translated from Latin as ‘man is a wolf to [his fellow] man’. Other translations show it as “man is man’s wolf” and is often used when describing the horrors of which humans are capable of inflicting on each other. The album contains six original compositions and one “unlikely” cover song. Also Jordan Cutajar (Nomad Son) takes over on vocal duties.
They open with a relatively fast romp for a doom outfit. There are some slower intersections, but it leans into heavy metal territory more than I would have been expected. “Praise the LORD, my soul / all my inmost being, praise his holy name / Praise the LORD, my soul / and forget not all his benefits.
The pace slows towards a trudge (as they head back to their doom roots) in the truly epic ‘Al Ha’Har’ which features a verse in Modern Hebrew. But then they go up-tempo with power metal guitar (thinking of Judas Priest) in ‘SALIGIA – A Cry Of The Doomed’.
This is followed by the stormy instrumental of ‘Ils se donnent du mal’, which leads into a mid-paced galloping riff in ‘Crucifer’. But it maintains an ominous feel with an atmospheric middle section. “Hearken to the winds serene which waft o’er Jerusalem / Hearken to the winds redeem and caress the New Jerusalem”.
They come back to their traditional sound in ‘The Curse Of Eden’. It also features scorching (and soaring) guitar solos that lift it out of the doom mire as they pursue the second coming of Christ.
Matt Brand was recently interviewed by TMR and stated “I wouldn’t call it a Christian band, since I think that only a person can be a Christian, not a band. And the bass, guitar and drum player are not Christians. I am a Christian and since it’s my band I put some Christian / biblical themes in the lyrics and concept. So it’s actually more Christians in a metal band. But I don’t have a problem if the band is labelled a “Christian / white metal band”. I want to spread some positive thoughts with my music that even if we live in a dark world, there is light that can be found in God through Christ.”
So after all the biblical themes, they cover Slayer’s song about all the hell that goes on Earth ‘South of Heaven’. It also features Tim Gaines of Stryper playing bass. Most people will know about Slayer’s reputation and their disagreement with Christianity. I think that covering this song sends mixed messages from Pÿlon as they try to straddle the christian and secular scene.
Reviewed by Peter John Willoughby
2. Al Ha’Har
4. Ils se donnent du mal
6. The Curse Of Eden
7. South Of Heaven (Slayer cover)
Matt Brand – Guitar
Oliver Schneider – Guitar
Andrea Tinner – Drums
Jordan Cutajar – Vocals
Reto Hardmeier – Electric Session-Bassguitar
“Natural Songbirth” (2004)
“Th’ Eternal Wedding Band” (2006)
“Armoury Of God” (2011)
“The Harrowing Of Hell” (LP) (2012)
“The Harrowing Of Hell” (CD) (2013) [review]
“Empyrean Rose” – My Silent Wake / Pÿlon (split) [review]
Record Label: Roxx Records, June 2014
An Interview With Swiss Doom Metal Band ‘Pÿlon’ [Jan. 2014]
Video below ‘Saligia’