NYC’s Pyrolatrous bring heavy, volatile black/death metal mix on face-bashing debut ‘Teneral’

One could argue that the current state of affairs, especially here in the United States, should keep most bands working and producing at an alarming clip. There is no shortage of inspiration, and no matter which side you approach things, there should be material for years to come. Unless we all die in a nuclear war, then, shit, we wasted a lot of pain, didn’t we?

Not that the band is necessarily culling the news for inspiration, but NYC black/death metal unit Pyrolatrous note that their lyrical content is mined from personal and social experiences as well as the band’s shared observations of the machinations of life. Welp, welcome to the feast, guys, and considering their nine songs on their crushing debut “Teneral” are this devastating, I’m almost not sorry things are so shitty everywhere just so these guys constantly will have a pool from which to skim. This record, lyrical approach aside, is one you also could put on if you want to have your head caved in and nothing more. These guys deliver the goods, and with all the cool records getting so much hype this year, it’ll be a crime if this one doesn’t enter that conversation. I know it’s going to be a part of mine. Anyhow, these guys—vocalist/guitarist Nicholas Palmirotto (formerly of Hull), guitarist Nolan Voss (also of Anicon), bassist Joe Merolla, and drummer Lev Weinstein (of every fucking awesome band including Krallice, Bloody Panda, Woe, Geryon, and Anicon)—actually got started a half-decade ago, but other priorities got in the way of this thing going full steam. Now that “Teneral” has landed, we have another furious band pitting black and death metal into a pit and used to vent their frustrations.

“From Darkness Reigns Omnipotence” starts this thing with feedback that works its way into punishment, wild cries, and a little bit of melody woven into the madness. The song starts trudging and chewing ground as guitars spiral out of control, and the song rushes away. “Hallowed Ground of the Night” ignites right off the bat, but then the juices are allowed to simmer. Vicious riffs meet up with strong leads, while the pace thrashes and churns away. Gruff growls paint with blood over the strong chorus, while the back end is violent, jerky, and doused with screams. “Eternal Realm” wastes no time as it gets into tricky, punchy rhythms and another nice dose of epic melody. The vocals burn and give off noxious smoke, while a killer solo brings the song to a fiery finish. “Soulless Disintegrator” has a lightning fury and a galloping pace, and the vocals scrape at the skin, and grimy, down-tuned guitars spread doomy horror into the song’s chemical makeup.

“Obeisance and Unrequited Adulation” is a seven-minute dragger that has an animated, angry pace, menacing growls, and later a halt to punishing, calculated violence. The song ignites again later, as guitars spill all over, emotion gushes, and the band shows a terrifying swagger before a flesh-buzzing finish. “Sovereign Terrain” has guitars slicing into flesh, militaristic drumming, and thrashy melodies. As the track progresses, the band unleashes pockets of speed, and Palmirotto wails about “destruction of lust, of longing” as the song clubs mightily over its final moments. “Become the Earth” has a blistering start, but then an unexpected, smoky guitar display adds seasoning, with vocals that match the attitude. It’s a nice, channeled assault that’s peppered generously with razor-sharp guitar work. “Beguile the Shimmering Moon” has a strange presence that’s disorienting, and that strangeness is allowed to fester. Grim growls and demonic howls twist together, while the guitars stab away, and the entire band mashes your senses. Closer “The Marrow” is the longest track, running 8:24 and showing a bit of a different side to the band. The riffs emerge from noise, and the temperature seems a little cooler, but still quite volatile. Some of the guitar work gives off an indie rock sense, though later when everything ruptures, vocals are spat out, the band slams the gas pedal, and the song is given a properly mangled end.

Pyrolatrous may have taken a little while to get off the ground, but now that it has, it has barnstorming debut “Teneral” with which to contend. These guys bring together their impressive pedigree and create music that could destroy worlds, which is fitting since ours might be at any moment. This record is worth going out of your way to hear, especially if you could use a little more pain in your life.

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