Pylon

Pÿlon - The Eternal Wedding Band (Quam Libet) 2006 

1. "And Thus It Ends..." (2:11)
2. "Anaconda" (3:50)
3. "Falling Into the Sun" (7:14)
4. "Cannibal Coronal Mass Ejection (Black Sunrise/Chaos Theory)" (3:10)
5. "A Walk Through Wonderland" (5:26)
6. "2046" [instrumental] (4:31)
7. "The Cold Mirror/Fields of Sorrow" (7:37)
8. "In from the Futile Fields" (7:53)
9. "L'épée dans mon coeur" [instrumental] (2:07)
10. "Checkmate 64" (2:43)
11. "To My Brethren" (6:09)
12. "Dementia" (2:03)

Ever wonder what it would be like if the 60's psychedelic bands were to re-emerge in the present and become heavy metal bands? I honestly think they would probably be playing DOOOOOOM! Pÿlon are a traditional doom metal band, but the word "traditional" is very deceiving. While the band's sound is most certainly steeped in traditional doom metal, they add in elements that I can only describe as trippy. Sitars, keyboards, flutes, chanting and other experimental elements all add to the mystique of this band. I'd almost describe their sound as a mixture of Saint Vitas and Hawkwind.

The epic length "The Cold Mirror/Fields of Sorrow" reminded me of a band from England called Detritus. This mid-paced metal number features vocals straight off an old pirate ship. Besides the more traditional doom tracks, there are a few tracks that I would describe as stoner rock as well such as "Anaconda" and "Checkmate 64". "Anaconda" in particular sticks out in my mind as a highlight from this CD. The album also features short instrumentals such as "L'épée dans mon coeur" and ""2046", the later of which is a jam that ends so abruptly, I had to go back to my CD to make sure it wasn't a mistake. Opening track "And Thus It Ends" is one that features monk-like chanting and is a dark, ominous dirge. In like manner, the album closes with an ominous number that sounds like several people praying at once. 

Pylon Pylon - Doom (Quam Libet) 2009

1. Renovatio (Renewal & Relapse)  (10:43)
2. Doomstone (9:09)
3. Ho Theos Erchestai  (7:09)
4. In The Shade  (6:26)
5. Beneath, Beyond  (5:43)
6. Dream A Dream  (6:11)
7. De Rerum Sanctarum Una  (2:15)
8. Psych-Icon  (6:40)
9. Hors Des Sentiers Battus  (6:22)
10. Age Of Despair  (1:48)
11. An Angel Tale  (6:26)
12. DeadLove  (6:54)
13. The Void Thereafter  (1:21)

The aptly titled "Doom" is the third album from Switzerland’s Pylon. "Doom" is dark, mostly slow and plodding, fairly heavy and epic.  However, "Doom" is not just a description of the music. According to a quote by guitarist/bassist Jan Thomas, "The title was not conceived as a statement purely about the musical aspect of the compositions; instead, it’s synonymous with the meanings of fate, ruin and divine sentence at the center of the lyrics."

Musically, the band fall into place with such traditional doom bands as Saint Vitus, Pentagram, Place of Skulls and, of course, the fathers of the style Black Sabbath. (These guys need to do a cover of "Born Too Late" by Saint Vitus!) However, Pylon are slightly more musically adventurous than some of those band. They paint a musical landscape with big, sweeping riffs and classic doom-style licks. Though I am hesitant to call them progressive, those aspects are present, especially in songs like "Renoatio" and "Doomstone". Both are epic length tracks, together clocking in at around twenty minutes. On "Renovatio" the band uses pipes and horns and blends them chunky guitar riffs and pounding rhythms. Both songs are are slow and meandering, yet never boring. Likewise, "In the Shade" offers a mixture of heavy guitars that are offset by some clean guitar work and whimsical flutes. "Hors Des Sentiers Battus" is one of the more Sabbath inspired numbers with a guitar riff out of the Tony Iommi book of metal riffing.

Matt Brand's vocals are another unique aspect to the band's sound. Matt sings with a high, clean voice but his vocals sound almost as if he's singing in a dark, lonely church cathedral with heavy reverb or echo most of the time. While that may sound odd, it actually works quite well for Pylon's sound.

While the music of Pylon can fit neatly into the traditional doom style, there is more to this band than just mirroring the past. Pylon are quintessential "Doom".

Armoury of God Pÿlon - Armoury of God (Quam Libet) 2011

1.   The First Church (8:04)
2.   The Worm Within (5:27)
3.   In From The Funeral Fields (6:16)
4.   Gravestar (9:23)
5.   Hollow Sky (8:45)
6.   Cosmic Treasure [instrumental] (3:01)
7.   I Lyki Stin Kardia Mou [instrumental] (1:38)
8.   Hunter Angels (5:47)
9.   In Serpent Tongues (6:17)
10. Somewhere In Nowhere (4:30)
11. Death Is All Around [instrumental] (7:31)

Armoury Of God" is Pÿlon's fourth full length album and their third in a trilogy of albums that began with "The Eternal Wedding Band" in 2996 and continued with "Doom" in 2009. As with those albums "Armoury Of God" continues the band's proud traditional of slow, heavy, sludgy doooooom metal. Pÿlon dish out mostly epic length songs built around the plodding, heavy riffs, haunting vocals as well as the occasional up-tempo moment, acoustic guitar part, haunting keyboards and even an atmospheric ambient number titled "Cosmic Treasure". As with the first two of the trilogy, the lyrics reflect spiritual themes with a heavy Christian influence. 


Harrowing of Hell
Pÿlon - The Harrowing Of Hell
(Quam Libet) 2012

Pÿlon - The Harrowing of Hell (Deluxe Edition) (Roxx Productions) 2013

DISC ONE
1. Gethsemani [instrumental] (2:44)
2. Psalm 139 a (4:43)
3. The Stream Of Forgetfulness (6:38)
4. Psalm 139 b (6:22)
5. Returnal Etern (10:50)
6. You Have Been Warned (5:43)
7. Paranoid (4:05)
8. Golden Voice (4:21)
9. Lines (9:13)

DISC TWO 
1. Anaconda (3:50)
2. Falling Into The Sun [remix] (7:44)
3. 2046 (4:31)
4. To My Brethren (6:09)
5. Doomstone (9:09) 
6. Ho Theos Erchestai (7:09) 
7. Beneath, Beyond (5:43) 
8. An Angel Tale (6:26) 
9. The First Church (8:05) 
10. In From The Funeral Fields (6:17) 
11. Hollow Sky (8:46)

Side Sorrow
1. Gethsemani [instrumental] (2:44)
2. Psalm 139 a (4:43)
3. The Stream Of Forgetfulness (6:38)
4. Psalm 139 b (6:22)

Side Doom
1. Returnal Etern (10:50)
2. You Have Been Warned (5:43)
3. Paranoid (4:05)

Swiss doom-mongers Pÿlon unleash their fourth full length record titled "The Harrowing of Hell". The album was initially released only as a limited edition, numbered vinyl. However, in 2013 Roxx Records in the U.S. released the album in CD format as well.

The album features a few guest musicians including My Silent Wake/Seventh Angel's Ian Arkley and Sin Starlett's Reno Meier. Reno has solos on the instrumental "Gethsemani" as well as the songs "The Stream of Forgetfulness” and "Psalm 139a". Ian Arkley has solos on "Psalm 139b" and "You Have Been Warned". As well, Nomad Son vocalist Jordan Cutajar handles the vocals on two songs, "The Stream of Forgetfulness" and "Psalm 139b". His vocals stand in stark contrast to Brand's, and remind me a bit of Messiah Marcolin of Candlemass fame.

As would be expected from Pÿlon, the sound is traditional doom metal with some stoner rock and non-traditional instruments thrown into the mix. The album opens with "Gethsemani", a slow, heavy instrumental that blends and acts as in intro for "Psalm 129a". The Psalm concludes at the end of the first side of the record with "Psalm 139 b". Really the entire "sorrow" side of the album flows together and should be heard from beginning to end, not as individual song. Side "doom" features the epic length "Returnal Etern" and a cover of Black Sabbath's "Paranoid". This cover is given a full Pÿlon doom overhaul complete with some flute playing.

The 2013 Deluxe Edition on CD contains two brand new songs added onto the end of the album as bonus tracks. "Golden Voice" is a super-slow plodding doom track while "Lines" is an epic-length track clocking in at over nine minutes long. This song is a bit more experimental, opening up with some ambient space noise before trudging along into sludgy, Gibson SG-driven doom. As well, the first 100 copies of the deluxe version contains a bonus CD comprised of songs from the band's last three records. To new fans of this band, this CD will give them an idea of what to expect from the band's back catalog. For longtime fans such as myself, the band has included one remixed song, "Falling Into the Sun", which is a 2013 remix by Raphael Angst. As an added bonus, those who pre-ordered or were lucky enough to get an early order in, also received a Pylon signature guitar pick. 

My Silent Wake/Pylon My Silent Wake / Pÿlon - Empyrean Rose (Roxx) 2013

My Silent Wake
1.   Tower Walk [instrumental] (2:23
2.   Tearing Worlds Apart (7:46)
3.   Mirrored (2:30)
4.   NDE Part 2 (13:10)
5.   Welcome To The Village [instrumental] (4:36)
Pÿlon
6.   Doomstone 2013 (7:07)
7.   Droid (4:37)
8.   Falling Into The Sun (7:12)
9.   By Loving Forces (8:40)
10. Golden Voice (4:15)
11. Post Tenebras Lux [instrumental] (1:02)

"Empyrean Rose" unites UK band My Silent Wake with Swiss band Pylon. Though both bands are generally labeled doom metal, their sounds and styles are very different from one another.

My Silent Wake are a blend of styles, instruments and textures. To describe them as doom really doesn't do them justice. The five songs included here have elements of doom metal, but there is so much more going on. The opening track "Tower Walk" is a mellow, acoustic guitar instrumental with a celtic feel.  "NDE Part 2" sounds like Hawkwind with the addition of a death metal vocalist. "Tearing Worlds Apart" is a heavy number, though even this songs has peaks and valleys. There are times when the song is heavy and driving and other times when the mood of the song is light, and atmospheric. This is pretty much true of all of My Silent Wake's songs. My Silent Wake's contribution to this EP ends with an ambient number titled "Welcome to the Village". The song features church bells ringing and the sound of birds chirping as an underlying, dark feel builds with keyboards. My Silent Wake are less about doom and more about creating moods.

Pylon are straight-foward doom metal with a nod to bands like Candlemass and Pentagram. "Doomstone 2013" is a newly recorded version of the song that was originally recored on their 2009 album "Doom". The song features vocalist Jordan Cutajar who also laid down some vocals on the band's last album "The Harrowing of Hell". Jordan's vocals really add something special to Pÿlon's sound. Guitarist Matt Brand lays down vocals for the remaining tracks. "Falling Into the Sun" is one heavy song. Though the song moves along at snail pace, it's heavy and churning, almost like a slow moving locomotive. This song is actually a remixed version of the song that originally appeared on the bands 2006 album "The Eternal Wedding Band". "By Loving Forces" and "Golden Voice" are both along the lines of "Falling Into the Sun"; slow, heavy, dark and doomy. The EP ends with a short, somber guitar instrumental titled "Post Tenebras Lux".

Despite the vast style differences between these two bands, the songs on "Empyrean Rose" still flow well from beginning to end. The entire album paints a somber mood with a musical tapestry. I found myself enjoying it as a full album rather than two short EPs. 

Homo Homini Lupus Pÿlon - Homo Homini Lupus (Roxx) 2014

1.  Crowned 3:22
2.  Al Ha'har 11:44
3.  Saligia 5:40
4.  Ils se donnent du mal  3:42
5.  Crucifer 6:19
6.  The Curse Of Eden 6:21
7.  South Of Heaven (5:34)

Pÿlon (apparently pronounced PEE-LOAN) have been a busy band, this being their fifth full length album in nearly as many years. I was thoroughly impressed with their last full length album "Harrowing of Hell" and "Homo Homini Lupus" is easily as good, if not better than that album. With only seven songs, it would appear on the surface that this album is merely an EP, but with three songs clocking in at around six minutes and one clocking in at nearly twelve minutes, this can hardly be considered an EP. Perhaps the most immediately noticeable improvement is in the vocalist. Jordan Cutajar was brought in as a guest on a couple songs on "Harrowing of Hell". On this album he becomes the band's only vocalist. His voice reminds me of Ronnie James Dio at times, though in no way is he a clone. 

The album opens with "Crowned", a galloping heavy metal track that reminds me of early, classic Trouble. This is heavy metal! The follow-up track sounds more like what I expect from Pylon; slow, epic, doom metal. The song begins with some somber, almost haunting clean guitars and ambient church bells before the slow, churning, crushingly heavy guitars grind the listener up and spits them out. The song has a worshipful, spiritual atmosphere about it. It also features a verse in Modern Hebrew. "Saligia" is an up-beat tune driven by a double-bass beat. Somehow this more upbeat song blends well with the slower, doom metal that the band usually cranks out. "Ils se donnent du mal" is a return to the slow, crushingly heavy, traditional doom metal while "Crucifer" is a slightly more upbeat, galloping heavy metal number. "The Curse of Eden" is another slower, haunting doom number. Perhaps the biggest surprise on "Homo Homini Lupus" is the cover of Slayer's "South of Heaven" featuring Stryper's Tim Gaines on bass guitar. This seems to be an odd pairing of Stryper and Slayer, but it sounds fantastic nonetheless. The original song lends itself well to the slower, doom style of Pylon and Cutajar vocals are simply oustanding. 

Pÿlon have truly found their sound on Homo Homini Lupis. Not that their first four albums were bad, in fact they were quite good. However, with this album they have found a sound that is truly brilliant. Heavy riffs, clever arrangements, intelligent lyrics and the addition of Nomad Son's Jordan Cutajar on vocals proves to be a winning combination.

The first 100 orders of "Homo Homini Lupus" came with a bonus insert autographed by the entire band. 

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