Artist: Pillars Of Cacophony
Release Date: 20/08/2021
Are you ready for some science themed dissonant death metal? Because that’s what Austria’s Pillars Of Cacophony are bringing to the table with their debut album Parerga. The album was released on August 20th on Tetratogen.
The project was almost entirely created by Dominik Bulfon of Seduced but features a vastly different sound and style. Parerga is a concept album about the smallest units required to form life, pathophysiological processes and the pits of despair and agony that hormone driven beings are prone to fall into. The album art was created by Tetratogen (which if you weren’t aware is run by Max Winter aka Dr.Winter) who also happened to contribute the opening track under his Violență Domestică project.
The music itself is a captivating and unusual style of death metal that while being primarily dissonant features some interesting progressive elements and some fleeting moments of melody. There are also black metal influences at play here and there that make things that much more interesting. The clean spoken word vocals featured throughout the album are a nice touch and help to build on the album’s underlying themes and concepts. They almost fill the role of a narrator helping to tell the story that the album is laying out. They also throw in some powerful and impactful shouted vocals here and there as needed
The album’s theme is taken very seriously and if you pay attention to the lyrics you’ll find passages such as:
“Cytosolic inclusions of lysosomal origin
Caused by inhibition of catabolic processes
Lamellar bodies piled with non-degradable cargo
Destined to prevail in a dysfunctional state”
“The law of the simplest explanation
Referred to as Occam’s Razor
Law of parsimony, preferable to complex ones
As they are more testable
Entities should not be multiplied without necessity
Select the simplest”
This cold logical scientific focus pairs well with both the instrumental elements and the vocals on the album. Vocally we have a deeply guttural style that could just as easily work in a brutal death metal setting or in OSDM. We also have a rawer, shrieked style that draws on those black metal influences. Guitar wise there’s a high level of technicality present but it’s presented in a slow to mid paced dissonant manor. This adds to the cold calculated feeling of the release. Drum wise there’s a wide variety of styles and patterns at play but overall things are paired perfectly with the guitar work on the album. From fast paced flurries to unusually timed rhythmic patterns it’s a sold spread. When you throw those clean vocals into this complex mix it makes the whole thing that much more complex.
Overall, I really enjoyed this release. It was unusual and distinctive both instrumentally and lyrically and I believe that the band truly managed to do their album concept justice. If you want some unique and interesting death metal to listen to this weekend, then I recommend giving this a spin.
Listen to and order the album: