Thursday, March 14, 2013

Pÿlon: The Harrowing of Hell (2012)

Skeptic, Convinced

Most metal fans are immediately skeptical of (or hostile to) Christian bands. Even I, as a Christian myself, harbor that skepticism. But if there’s one metal genre where the followers of Jesus have proven their worth, it’s doom.

The reason for this is simple. As atheist metal scribe Josh Haun once noted, “So many modern doom bands embrace the dark side, and it seems they missed the entire point of Black Sabbath (both the song and the band). Ozzy and Co. weren’t happy to see Satan standing before them, they were fucking terrified.” That’s the reason Trouble were accepted, and it’s the reason you should give Pÿlon, and their vinyl LP (or digital download) The Harrowing of Hell, a chance.

The Swedish three-piece play a style of traditional/epic doom that lies somewhere between Candlemass and fellow Christians Trouble. As with both of those bands, the vocals are an unusual clean style that may be a turnoff for some listeners, but grows on you after a while. It’s slow and quite simple doom, which occasionally adds in some keyboards. The (presumably overdubbed) lead guitar work is excellent, playing melodies that go along perfectly with the rhythm guitar. The record has variety, too, from the music/then vocal/then music dramatic songwriting of “The Stream of Forgetfullness” (sic), to the fearful “Returnal Etern,” to the ominous yet sorrowful “You Have Been Warned,” the latter of which contains a nearly tremolo-picked riff.

They certainly don’t reinvent the wheel. What they do superbly is capture the supreme fear that started the genre. And then they throw a cover of “Paranoid” at you that’s slowed down and rearranged such that it’s hardly recognizable. The record is worth checking out for that alone.

The Verdict: 4 out of 5 stars

This review originally appeared on

No comments:

Post a Comment