PYOGENESIS - A Kingdom To Disappear
What I mostly remembered about Pyogenesis is how two ex-members made a really big fortune in the Nineties with their pop band Liquido, and while Liquido is no longer around, Pyogenesis are still a thing today, even though guitarist and singer Flo Schwarz is the only remaining original member. But still, there is a lot of determination going on with that guy.
Pyogenesis were founded in the very early Nineties, and released their debut album Sweet X-Rated Nothings in 1994. There were traces of death metal and gothic metal but also more unusual ingredients like pop and alternative rock. The band was busy in the second half of the Nineties and the early millennium but went on hiatus in 2002 after their album She Makes Me Wish I Had A Gun. Thirteen years later, they rose up from their ashes with A Century In The Curse Of Time, the first part of their Victorian trilogy, which is now succeeded by its second instalment A Kingdom To Disappear. And frankly, apart from the Steampunk flavoured cover artwork and the fancy box-set, I donít really hear any Victorian traces, except if the bandís idiosyncratic and still very playful approach can be interpreted as a sign of the late 19th Century. But better ask historians about that.
When I listened to the bandís debut recently, it made come up nostalgic memories, but I had to admit that somehow it was a little immature and hadnít really withstood the test of time. But since then nearly a quarter decade has past, and the new and improved Pyogenesis still do what they did best, except in a more adult way. The album begins with the intro Sleep Is Good, played on keyboards and performed by choral chants, which will recur later on a lot on the album. The first regular song Every Man For Himself And God Against Them All is also the albumís first single, and also the best track Pyogenesis have ever recorded. Starting out like a furious death thrash metal song, not even half a minute later the vocals become soulful and mourning, melodic and melancholic, and deliver a melody that will never leave you again. This sounds a bit like the early Galactic Cowboys, with less Beatles and more Seventies rock thrown in for good measure. The following I Have Seen My Soul is the albumís second single, and follows in that direction. The band doesnít use only melodic and growl vocals, but there is also the raw and unpolished soul rock touch that is quite unusual in the genre. Just listen to this songís chorus which begins very smoothly before the vocals turn fiercely wild. The title track is even catchier, but another highlight, making this trifecta the bandís best creative output ever. The following New Helvetia is an acoustic ballad, and shows that Pyogenesis are just not that interesting when they stick just to one genre on a song. The first half ends with Thatís When Everybody Gets Hurt, a nice pop song that also lacks the aggression of the first three tracks. Still itís a good addition for a band that hopes to maybe get some airplay on regular radio stations.
The albumís second half starts with two more typical Pyogenesis tracks, We (1848), which is more melodic, and the more aggressive Blaze My Northern Fire which even flirts a little with the black metal genre. The concluding Everlasting Pain is a little something over thirteen minutes long, and while I usually enjoy band indulging themselves, this sounds too much like a throwaway Type O Negative track with just too little variety to justify its length.
In conclusion, it must be said that Pyogenesis occasionally show themselves from their very best side ever, but maybe lack the focus to make it work throughout an entire album. And still, so many other bands are only a shadow of themselves are more than a quarter century in the business, whereas Pyogenesis still manage to surprise in a very positive way. New guitarist Gizz Butt used to be a long time member of British punk band English Dogs, whereas Pyogenesis mastermind Flo Schwarz has already produced a lot of punk albums, so that there is even an unexpected punk connection. A Kingdom To Disappear might not be punk in sound, but definitely in attitude, so that narrow-minded metal fans might steer away, while those looking for something beyond the trodden path will definitely be served well.