The word has been out in the underground for a while, that Pyre are the real deal. And the word on the matter is absolutely correct too. Their debut album “Human Hecatomb” came out in 2014 and it took over the underground Death Metal circles eventually with inevitable force. Never the most popular of names, yet, but often mentioned in the gatherings of the devoted.
Led by twin brothers Dym Nox and Roman Rotten, Pyre seemed to have surpassed the greats of the Russian Death Metal scene already with their first offering. Septory, Bestial Deform and Monastery Dead are all excellent, yet somehow none of them has been able to put together a Death Metal album that is as exciting as Pyre’s “Human Hecatomb” was. And as Septory seems to be on hold, or in hiatus, the number of possible rivals in the scene is now even fewer in number.
After “Human Hecatomb”, Pyre have definitely taken their time on granting the world with another dose of Death. After six long years of wait (Definitely nothing on the scale of Tool, but quite the time still), it’s time to look into a new album again. What has happened in the past half a decade? First of all, the band has been signed to a solid label now. Memento Mori, home of many cult classic Death Metal records, signed Pyre for their new releases. Also, the line-up has been reduced to a trio now, where bass player/vocalist Dym seems to have taken over the drum throne as well. Alright, what about the music then?
The first thing that comes across is the improved musicianship. Dym handles the drums with utter professionalism, giving the album a solid pulse, a backbone to break necks with so to speak. The guitar leads are the other thing that seem to have taken a few important steps ahead in the fields of ideas, execution and arranging. It is easy to say, that “Chained to Ossuaries” is the more mature one of the two Pyre albums out there. When the album opens up with “Impaler the Redeemer”, coming a lot across like early Sepultura, it is easy to grin like an idiot. When “Wreath of Crucifix” adds a bit of Possessed to the thing, the main core of the Pyre sound seems to have stayed a lot in the same format. Thrash Death, with hectic riffs. We all love that, don’t we?
Yet, there are surprises too. “Chained to Ossuaries” also boats some slower headbangers, like “Crown of Death”, or “Ornaments of Bones”, where the later comes even across a bit like a Death Metal Paradise Lost before it launches into something Pestilence could be proud of. Must say my favourite tune would still be “Antae to Nothingess”, a bona-fide moshpit pleaser to boot.
“Chained to Ossuaries” is an album that is easy to like. Yet, there are a couple of shadows of doubt. Even as they come across as more self-assured and professional, the youthful rampage of the debut is no longer there. The music is now heavy and surgical, but maybe a bit on the safe side? There are a lot of riffs there, but maybe the album is lacking the ultimate, final head butt to drop us to our collective knees.
Yet, even with these minor complaints one thing is dead certain, “Chained to Ossuaries” is Death Metal, done in the old way. The focus is on the riffs, instead of drum porn or gurgling vocal vomit. Pyre stands still today on the verge of two genres, like they always have, benefiting from the best of both sides. The song oriented energy of Thrash Metal and the utter heaviness of Death are both there. What we have here is an album easy to listen to repeatedly. It is as heavy as it is moshpit pleasing, making one wish the Covid quarantine would be over real fucking soon. After the long awaited second album Pyre still continues to be the leading act of the Russian Death Metal scene and one of the most promising bands in the European scale in general. Now, let’s hope the next album from them will not take six years to be released.
Rating – 4/5