REVIEW – Pyre: Human Hecatomb

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  • Bio: n/a
  • Label: Chaos Records
  • Release Date: October 6th, 2014
  • Genre: Death Metal
  • Website: Visit Website
  • Rating (out of 10):

In the world of Metal, the name Pyre is one that you’ll find more than a single search result for. There’s a Power Metal group loosely active in the United Kingdom, a Black Metal group from Germany (which seems to be the longest running), and there was even Black Metal Pyre from the United States located in El Paso, Texas. In 2011, we were able to tack yet another onto the growing list, but this time a Death Metal group from Saint Petersburg, Russia. Formed in 1991, the four piece consisting of members from Drama, Internal Damage and Chamber of Torture unleashed their debut EP Ravenous Decease through Blood Harvest Records in 2012, which was followed up with a split twelve-inch through Soulseller Records with the band Entrapment. For 2014, we find the group signed with Mexico’s Chaos Records to issue their debut full-length effort, Human Hecatomb. But is it something well worth looking into, or is it simply not that engaging an album.

“Merciless Disease” introduces rich, dirty buzzing from the guitars at a decent mid-tempo that is gruesome, but the chords and drum beat often create an infectious groove that encourages headbanging along in a fun manner rather the serious tone the lyrics to this one, as well as the band in general, can often weave. That very element is proven towards the end when things pick up, taking on a much heavier edge that has far more aggression and bite to it than you would have expected from the four minutes prior. That upbeat sensation is also found on “We Came to Spill Thy Blood”. The strong two-step in the chorus elevates the simpler melodic riffs that make up the main verses to more of a gothic atmosphere that at times, like with the solo, touches a Heavy Metal vein.

While it’s enjoyable in moderation, not everything on Human Hecatomb exists to come off upbeat and fun, thankfully. “Far Beyond the Unknown” is a much more serious venture. The additional complexities in the drum patterns that line much of the song work perfectly against the tighter riffs that go hand in hand between the bass, lead, and rhythm chords. The slower introduction is kind of uplifting before all this though, only dropping speed again to limp towards the finish line during the rather Doom Metal influenced passage that carries on through the final solo. “Last Nail In Your Coffin” starts off blistering with simpler chords performed at a similar pace, though it shares the length with slower, grim material that has the potential to sound disgusting from time to time when emphasizing more on melody than groove. The same can be said for “Possessed”, which you could argue carries an At The Gates Melodic Death Metal sound circa Terminal Spirit Disease. The vocals even take on that familiar screaming approach with an echo effect that becomes pretty obvious towards the end.

PyreThere’s also “Under the Death Reign” that sticks to this madness. While it starts out a bit slower, not too long in you find tight, intense chords with blistering drums, primarily focusing on the bass kicks to establish the speed at which things progress. It does creep along towards the end for the solo, but even that ends up surprisingly impressive thanks to the emotion felt during the performance. Admittedly the feedback right after it is just overkill with how long it goes on, piercing your brain like an ice pick trying to cause a migraine. This is a stark contrast to the previous song, “Flesh to Poles”. The rich buzzing guitars only go so far in this ly slower paced offering that treads the line between Death Metal and Doom Metal. The instruments themselves do sound fairly rich, especially when the speed picks up, but for the most part it just sounds like your typical Autopsy cut with an uninspiring presence from everyone by vocalist Dym Nox, who sadly isn’t in this track all that much.

Human Hecatomb is a well constructed and executed album, but it really isn’t anything that new or fresh. This Russian example of Swedish influenced Death Metal packs plenty of hard hitting tracks, as well as a couple that seem geared more towards just having fun than commanding musical brutality, with only one to speak of that doesn’t quite have the same impact as the rest. As the number of bands using the Pyre name continue to grow, they also continue to stand out for one reason or another, and this one is no exception. If you enjoy dirty sounding Death Metal that offers up a decent amount of variety without ever really breaking character, Human Hecatomb is something that will definitely intrigue you.

PyreDigital review copy of this release provided by Chaos Records
via Transcending Obscurity PR.