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Pyrexia - Unholy Requiem

Unholy Requiem
by Katharine Hassett at 07 September 2018, 8:59 PM

PYREXIA is a death metal band hailing from New York City and formed in 1990 by guitarists Guy Marchaise and Rob Shimonski, vocalist Darryl Wagner, drummer  Mike Andrejko and the only remaining original member, Chris Basile. Over a period of over 25 years, the brutal death metallers have released three demos, an EP, a compilation and five full lengths that have earned their place as quite possibly pioneers of the current rise in the ¨slamming¨ style of death metal. This is a genre that is clearly influenced by New York Hardcore in general, and bands such as SUFFOCATION, DYING FETUS and INTERNAL BLEEDING have heavily impacted this subgenre. PYREXIA has had their ups and downs in terms of being active (largely due to many lineup changes), but this does not take away from their importance to the rise of slam metal.

The five piece is back at it again, with a large improvement in production quality on ¨Unholy Requiem.¨ From the horses mouth himself, founder Chris Basile: ¨The story follows a man who loses his wife and performs a sort of blood ritual out of desperation to get it back. What happens next is nothing short of an abomination."

The sound certainly fits such a dark tale, as ¨Angel of Gommorrah¨ plows right into a beatdown that will instantly call to mind a signature sound known to SUFFOCATION. It is made apparent as the album goes on with non stop intensity that the quintet wanted to focus more on grooves rather than pure slam, and this is exemplified on ¨Moment of Violence,¨ containing catchy grooves not at all unlike DYING FETUS. The raspy gutterals fit the brutal flair quite well on ¨Path of Distain,¨ a vicious assault clearly meant to inspire violent mosh pits. ¨The Fall of Eden¨ is a dissonant and sinister sounding song that grabs the listener by the throat with pure melancholic riffage. The penultimate track brings on the slam with plenty of blasts and tremolo picking to bring one of the most chaotic tracks on the album, the final track having much of the same effect – chock-full of skank beats and groovy breakdowns to flesh out a fitting end to the bands overall sound.

¨Unholy Requiem¨ is a clear step up for the death metal veterans and the improved sound quality makes the constant pummeling go down easier. It is a triumphant return for a band with a recent very unfortunate and unspeakable past which one can only hope fans will not have reflect on the band itself, as they have a long history of releasing staple albums in the brutal death metal scene.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Angels of Gomorrah
2. Blood to Ash
3. Moment of Violence
4. Path of Disdain
5. The Annointed
6. The Fall of Eden
7. Unholy Requiem
8. Wrath
Chris Basile - Guitars
Shaun Kennedy - Bass
Alex Cohen - Drums
Jim Beach - Vocals
Danny Trapani - Guitars
Record Label: Unique Leader Records


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