posted on 1/2011 By:
A young new death metal project hailing from New York, Fever Kingdoms is Pyrrhon’s first official release aside from a demo distributed at shows in 2009. And you’d be hard pressed to realize that this is the band’s debut release just from hearing it, because this is professional quality work, both instrumentally and compositionally, and it has the potential to appeal to large number of people in today’s metal scene.
Pyrrhon plays a technical and complex form of death metal, without necessarily playing “tech death” as most people know it today. The musicianship is very busy and complex, and the songwriting follows suit, but the band retains an ear for heaviness and ear-catching riffs that harkens more closely to the classic work of bands like Gorguts and Atheist as opposed to more modern, sterilized incarnations of the style. While the instrumentation is often frenetic and flashy, the outfit primarily plays in a solid mid-tempo, allowing the quality of the riffs to properly shine through without being buried in overbearing speed. Vocals (handled by Metal Review’s very own Doug Moore) run a satisfying gamut between gruff bellows and screeching highs and accentuate the meticulous dexterity of the backing instruments nicely (the chorus to “God’s Parabola” is especially crushing), making for songs that feel unified beyond just laying growls on top of the riffing compositions. Despite the abundance of odd time signatures and frequent tempo changes, the music on Fever Kingdoms rarely feels soulless or impersonal, and this vigor keeps things interesting even when the riffs and drumming are at their most head-spinning.
Perhaps the only instances where the band sounds somewhat out of their element is during their fast blasting segments. The blastbeats themselves don’t purvey a sense of speed very effectively, and it causes these moments to feel more disjointed and confused than when things are played at more of a mid-tempo. As a result, the riffs that are layered atop the blasts tend to come across as blurrier and less intense than the more stable material that surrounds them. But considering the abundance of infectious hooks and engaging musicianship crammed into these five songs, this is a mild criticism, especially considering Pyrrhon doesn’t deal in blasting tempos nearly as frequently as many technical death bands.
Fever Kingdoms is an impressive and intriguing debut from this fresh new outfit. Pyrrhon maintains a consistently intense and invigorating atmosphere despite their complex and demanding arrangements, and that’s no small feat in a style as rigid and challenging as they choose to play. The band is currently in the process of recording their debut full-length album at the time of this writing, so if you’re a fan of intricate and technically engaging death metal with some legitimate grit and power behind it, keep a keen eye on these guys.
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