The Mother of Virtues

First off, congrats to Doug Moore, vocalist for Pyrrhon and former co-scribe at for getting a deal with the mighty Relapse Records, and second, apologies to Doug for not getting around to reviewing the band’s solid debut album, An Excellent Servant But a Terrible Master, released on Selfmadegod Records back in 2011.

Now, on to the considerable task at hand; reviewing a vastly improved and brilliant sophomore album from this New York act. Whereas An Excellent Servant was a blustery, noisy, chaotic tech death/grindcore recor,  it was essentially all bark, no bite and really didn’t stay with you after battering you senseless. However, The Mother of Virtues has seen this relatively unknown quartet explode with experimental creativity and deliver an absolutely batshit insane album that covers a vast range of musical styles, not fitting into any real genre or category.

This evolution into far more experimental pastures, while still in the extreme metal front has many teeth: the weird death metal structures of Gorguts or Ulcerate, the skronky discordant noise of early Willowtip bands like Crowpath and Ion Dissonance,  as well as stripped down grindcore of Defeatist, unsettling cathartic lurches of Starkweather, the experimental, unpredictable psychedelia of early Cephalic Carnage and the sheer techy chaos of Converge and early Black Market Activities sounding bands like Ed Gein and Animosity. Phew! If that’s a lot of name dropping that’s because that’s because there is A LOT going on on The Mother of Virtues. The only single band that comes close to these ears is fellow noisy New Yorkers, Flourishing.

And while that all might sound pretty intimidating, well it is! Yet, Pyrrhon has somehow managed to rein everything into, for lack of a better term, ‘controlled chaos’. The growth of the band is undeniable and at times borders on sheer, unhinged noise, but a sly, deviant sense of restraint and purpose undulates under the caustic discordance. While there is stabs of direct, chaotic vitriolic such as opener “The Oracle of Nassau”, “Implant Fever”, or “Invisible Injury” the band, like the debut prefer longer tracts of nerve wrecking paranoia and tense kaleidoscopes of lurching, staggering riffs and shifty atmospherics which really cement the Starkweather sound.

It’s more rangy, unsettling, slow burning and patiently chaotic numbers like “White Flag”,  “Eternity in a Breath” (the album’s possible standout, with a downright creepy mid section) and closing ten minute title track, where the band has surgically and sonically eviscerated several metal paradigms and created their own staggering, moaning Frankenstein monster (literally).   Moore’s unhinged screams, shout, growls and lyrics add to the trauma. Casual listeners beware, though: this isn’t a quick, easy listen or a summer, windows down album. It’s a gibbering in the corner of a piss filled insane asylum room eating your own peeling skin after main lining heroin and doing bath salts type of album.


[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
March 31st, 2014


  1. Commented by: bast

    Good cover art

Leave a Reply

Privacy notice: When you submit a comment, your creditentials, message and IP address will be logged. A cookie will also be created on your browser with your chosen name and email, so that you do not need to type them again to post a new comment. All post and details will also go through an automatic spam check via Akismet's servers and need to be manually approved (so don't wonder about the delay). We purge our logs from your meta-data at frequent intervals.

  • Moisson Livide - Sent Empèri Gascon
  • Cognitive - Abhorrence
  • Duft - Altar of Instant Gratification
  • Amiensus - Reclamation: Part 1
  • Baron - Beneath the Blazing Abyss
  • Mütiilation - Black Metal Cult
  • Arð - Untouched By Fire
  • Kerry King - From Hell I Rise
  • Trocar - Extremities
  • Vesperian Sorrow - Awaken the Greylight
  • From Dying Suns - Calamity
  • Volcandra - The Way of the Ancients
  • Kosuke Hashida - Justifiable Homicide
  • The Dread Crew of Oddwood - Rust & Glory
  • Six Feet Under - Killing For Revenge