Review: Pyrexia ‘Gravitas Maximus’

Today we’re going to discuss a band that formed in 1990, is from New York City, and who deals out death metal supremacy. The band in question is named Pyrexia, and their new album, Gravitas Maximus, comes out tomorrow, December 10th, 2021 through Unique Leader Records.

Pyrexia ‘Gravitas Maximus’

I’ll be honest, I have never listened to anything these guys have put out, so Gravitas Maximus is my introduction to the band. I also have not gone into their back catalog at all, as that can sometimes ruin a band that is new to me, but older to everyone else. So, let’s just jump into the new music, and go from there.

Pyrexia comes out swinging with the first track, a slice of brutality that cuts deeper than Dexter’s knife. We Are Many is loaded with samples from the 1973 film called The Exorcist; even using the ‘What an excellent day for an exorcism’ quote that my old band used on our 2003-ish demo, which brings back fond memories.

The music is a demanding display of precision, utilizing heavy riffs that float between death metal and hardcore, along with a thunderous rhythm section. If you can make it through this first offering without whiplash, then you have the neck strength of Cannibal Corpse legend, George ‘Corpsegrinder’ Fisher.

The vocal work is a force of its own, deadly in all the right places, and as merciless as the music is. I hear quite a few different styles in them as well, some are reminiscent of ex-Cannibal Corpse growler Chris Barnes, while others conjure up a serious John Gallagher (Dying Fetus) vibe, amongst other vocalists of equal status.

The Day The Earth Shook (Survival Of The Fit) is also an impressive bit of songwriting. Pyrexia is able to create something that is beautifully heavy, yet they don’t have the need to be fast in order to accomplish that. The intro has the fastest tempo along with a Kataklysm feel to it, but it’s the verse sections that grab my attention the most. That slower tempo is backed by solid drumming and is perfectly fit to the song as a whole.

The music is a demanding display of precision, utilizing heavy riffs that float between death metal and hardcore, along with a thunderous rhythm section…

As with every song, the vocals are amazing. I’ve loved death metal since the early 90s, and the vocal performances can either make or break a band for me. The classic era bands set the stage for the newer acts and are still the type that I look to when I hear new music in the genre. Pyrexia has that vocal aspect nailed down, and I’d imagine they have influenced countless other bands.

Art Of Infamy is another one of the songs that I feel are the heaviest of the heavy, and the best of the best to be found on Gravitas Maximus. The intro has the repeated sound of a shotgun being cocked, and another sound that seems to punctuate the shotgun. This doesn’t last long before a beefy riff takes over, one that has all the elements that make this band so good. The verses are venomous examples of ferocity. Every member attacks their instrument with purpose, and the performances are instances of God tier songwriting and playing; the vocals are straight out of the Dying Fetus playbook, guttural brutality defined!!!

Gravitas Maximus comes in as the eighth, and final, track, and gloriously punishes the listener for a brief 2 minutes and a half minutes. Despite being so short, this song is as unrelenting as any other on the record and is the ideal album closer. The intro feels fast, but that’s only because of the superb double bass drumming, as the guitars are more in line with something Earth Crisis may have written; this also sets the tone for the rest of the track. That’s one of the things that I love about this album, its decidedly death metal, but also brings in other influences that make for interesting listening.

Pyrexia‘s Gravitas Maximus is one of those records that I find myself listening to on repeat, and after hearing it I’ve decided that I do need to dig into their older material, as I feel that I’m missing out on some of the best death metal to ever exist. This band crushes everything in their path, and I highly recommend that you all go to check out any of their music, past or present. Enjoy!!

Label: Unique Leader Records
Band Links: Facebook | Instagram

Scribed by: Tom Hanno