Every once in a while, a band appears out of nowhere and you wonder why you haven’t heard of them before. This is my experience with Pyrithion, although in all honesty, if I would pay better attention to music news, I wouldn’t have been as surprised as I was over how good it was when I first listened to this album. For those who also have not paid much attention to music news lately, Pyrithion is yet another side project of Tim Lambesis (As I Lay Dying), as apparently Austrian Death Machine wasn’t enough to keep him busy. Personally, I think this project is resulting from Tim’s realization that As I Lay Dying isn’t making heavy enough music anymore and he needed an outlet for that, but then again, I am a bit biased in my views on the direction of As I Lay Dying. Actually, Tim has been quoted as saying something to that effect as well, so I’m not too far off the mark.
For Pyrithion, Tim recruited Ryan Glisan from Allagaeon and Andy Godwin (ex-The Famine and Embodyment) to provide guitars and song writing and then filled in drums and bass using at least one temporary musician. The result of a weekend of recording in Tim’s studio is the three song ep The Burden of Sorrow. Lyrically, one will quickly notice that these songs are a bit darker than those found on As I Lay Dying albums and that was intentional. Unfortunately, this has prompted a lot of internet buzz and rumors around Tim now being a satanist, but that is how things go in this day and age. Tim’s explanation is that for As I Lay Dying, the songs tend to be written to reflect a more personal viewpoint, while with Pyrithion, they chose a more philosophical route addressing some of the larger questions of life. In general, The Burden of Sorrow is focused on the origins of suffering and why does suffering exist. “The Invention of Hatred” questions the origin of hatred – is it something we’re born with, something inherent in our world, or is something we learn and “Rest in the Arms of a Paralyzed Beast” addresses how many of people just drift through life and never question what they believe and why they believe and act the way they do. Given the heavy nature, of the music, the subject matter fits nicely.
Musically, this is death metal complete with blast beats, fast riffs, deep growly vocals and higher pitched shrieking like vocals. One thing I definitely appreciate in “The Invention of Hatred” is the variety in rhythms and tempo changes within the drumming and blast beats. Without those, I would have been bored with this fairly quickly. Some of the vocals are approaching those in the heavier sections of As I Lay Dying sons, which is somewhat expected, but the majority of vocals would be out of place on on an AILD album for sure. There is good interplay between the deep and shrieking vocals and even a decent guitar solo. “Bleed Out” continues with many of the same elements but also shifts toward a song structure more typical for the genre, making it still a strong song, but a bit more predictable and somewhat generic. “Rest in the Arms of a Paralyzed Beast” starts out with a slow intro but then erupts into blast beats, fast riffs and some staccato-like death metal growling vocals. Similar to “Bleed Out” this song seemed a bit more generic than “The Invention of Hatred”. Still high quality and a very strong, pummeling guitar and drum riff about halfway through the song certainly adds a welcome edge to the song.
Luckily, the weekend session that produced this three-song ep also led to more songwriting, so hopefully we’ll be seeing a full-length release at some point in the future. While two of the songs feel a bit generic, they are still very strong and certainly mark Pyrithion as a band to watch in the future.
1. The Invention of Hatred
2. Bleed Out
3. Rest in the Arms of a Paralyzed Beast
Tim Lambesis – vocals
Ryan Glisan – guitar
Andy Godwin – guitar
Record Label: Metal Blade Records, April 2013
Lyric video for “The Invention of Hatred”: