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Byyrth - Echoes from the Seven Caves of Blood

Echoes from the Seven Caves of Blood
by Chay Johnson at 06 March 2018, 3:29 AM

Californian duo BYYRTH are unleashing their second highly anticipated album, if it qualifies for that title at a compact 28 minutes long, “Echoes From the Seven Caves of Blood” may be comparatively short but it certainly takes no prisoners and doesn't ease up on the listener from the dissonant chord intro on “Blood Warfare” to the noise ridden gloomy conclusion on “Shattered Soul”. But whilst, this album is not short of uncompromisingly brutal sections, there is also few groovier and more Punkish sections as exemplified by “Call of the New Legion” that do add a nice atmosphere of progression amongst all the density of the production.

“Vampyric War Children” is a slower song which is again a nice bit of variety, and features guest vocals from Meyhna'ch of MUTIILATION fame. The atmosphere of this song in particular really suits the Lo-Fi production style as it really leaves room for the dissonance and darkness to emanate forth from the murky guitars and plodding drums.  Meyhna'ch's clearer and almost moaned vocals also create an eerie counterpoint to the heavily distorted screaming of BYYRTH's vocalist. As with all the vocals on this album they are quite reminiscent of the anguished Lo-Fi screeching of traditional Black Metal and whilst on the rest of the album they do work for the most part, I think choosing to go this route with this particular song the slower tempo lets them breathe and come in to their own as a result.

“Abhorent Eons” is an oppressively dark noise-scape of leering vocals and dissonant guitars that works well as an atmospheric break to set the mood of the album and showcase the terrifying bloodlust of BYYRTH. It's well put together, disturbing, and unpleasant and in the best possible way. “Cry of the Wurdelak” has the staple recipe of dissonant chords and thundering walls of noisy drumming topped by the dense distorted vocals, but does break into some melodic and eerie synths and vocal layering that nicely break up the song and add another dimension to some otherwise uninteresting riffs.

The following track “I Dare Not Wake” has a decidedly punkish drum beat to push the momentum to a nice middle ground between the blast sections and the slower open sections of dissonant melody. It's not a bad track and has a memorable main melody and nicely arranged repeated lyrical lines towards the end but doesn't really do anything of its own to make it stand out amongst the other songs.

The intensity of “Unhuman”'s, verse sections is a moment of manic darkness that does work better than the rest of the more intense songs on the album, and doesn't fall too far into obscurity because of the contrasts of the slow sections and clean intro of the song. “Shattered Soul” is a good closer to the album, with a very well put together outro of tense chord progressions that underlies a dark and somber melodic guitar part, a regrettably rare feature on this album. The noisy fade and of the guitars and vocal tail were a good choice to end the album on but I do think they do peter out to soon and do not give the listener to endure long enough in the uncomfortable misery of BYYRTH's final offering.

While not a bad release and whilst I think BYYRTH have a clear of stylistic goal and target audience in mind, there’s doesn’t really seem to be anything they’ve done differently and I find myself wondering what the point of the album is. Aside from maybe one stand out track I think it is quite forgettable in its entirety, it wasn’t badly executed by any means, but I think it may have fallen into the trap of trying to make its own way by the genre it identifies as rather than the music contained within.

Some passages of the distressing vocals and eerie synths have a fantastically dreary quality that puts me in the mind of XASTHUR or the like, but I feel it relies too much on the production style and choice adjectives to try and achieve the mood and is a little let down by the actual songwriting.

Songwriting: 4
Originality: 4
Memorability: 4
Production: 5

2 Star Rating

1. Blood Warfare
2. Call of the New Legion
3. Vampyric War Children
4. Abhorrent Eons
5. Cry of the Wurdelak
6. I Dare Not Wake
7. Unhuman
8. Shattered Soul
Lord Tragg – Drums
Lord II – Vocals / Guitars
Record Label: Iron Bonehead Productions


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Edited 28 March 2023

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