[Live Report] Pyrrhon + Department of Correction + Nagasaki Birth Defect + Brainshit @ The Unicorn (London)

With the worst timing possible, Pyrrhon started to tour Europe just before being dropped by the label that released their second album, Relapse Records. A blow like this would make most band drop their plan and try to assess their situation but not Pyrrhon who continued with their plan and kept on playing to promote their album and signed a deal for an upcoming EP. Pretty impressive, and that’s without mentioning the music.



The first band onstage tonight plays to a sparse crowd but offers a solid but unmemorable grindcore. The most competent part of their duo is the drumming with some effective pummeling and a varied delivery. The riffs on the other hand don’t shine and leaves a void that the vocals can’t fill. Too bad but there is some potential in here.

Nagasaki Birth Defect

This Scottish trio is not big on songs, yet, but they are at least original and quite funny too. It’s not often that you can appreciate the bond between musicians and laugh at their joke as they are a quite secretive and shy bunch in general. This band on the other hand has plenty to share in-between and during songs. The drummer is definitely focused on grindcore but the bassist could join Burnt by the Sun and the guitar part are too varied to be solely associated with one style, or even extreme metal as a whole. Despite the material not being too catchy, The Nagasaki Birth Defect has something going for them that most band lack: A desire to do their own thing and not fit anywhere. Hopefully they’ll continue on this direction and find a fitting voice because there is quite a lot to appreciate here, even without the jokes.

Department of Correction

Like most french band outside of their home country, Department of Correction are not very talkative but there are here to do just one thing: grind. Despite their claim after show that they didn’t play as tight as they could, they demonstrate a very strong ability to stay fast and brutal during their half an hour long set. There is not much to distinguish between the beginning and the end of a song but it doesn’t really matter when you play that fast. There are no melodies to be found here, just some brutal grinding in the vein of early Magrudergrind or Kill the Client. As an added bonus, the singer uses too microphone at the same time which probably helps him to push his vocals to the front but also provides some visual entertainment when he alternates between one and another depending on the type of vocals. Pretty impressive and quite enjoyable.


On a Tuesday night, the americans didn’t attract a big crowd at the Unicorn and it’s a shame that more people didn’t come to witness such a beautiful set. Pyrrhon lives in a world dominated by cult bands such as Gorguts or Starkweather but they bring their own take on that unique type of extreme metal and nail it home. Not only do they play perfectly their convoluted material mixing complex death metal à la Gorguts with a snake like groove reminiscent of Starkweather but they also leave some room for improvisation like a free jazz band. Although jazz and metal have been very close since the beginning, most extreme metal bands aren’t very good at being free and rely too much on unmovable structures to let their material breath. Pyrrhon on the other band possess some very strong riffs and a great sense of progression but also leave room for improvisation. From the singer with his Anselmo like stage presence to the incredible chops of the drummer, every member shines by creating an incredible noise that is as coherent as it is deep. Bands as talent as Pyrrhon are really rare and should be treasured. Sadly, much like Starkweather, Candiria or Gorguts, they have a hard time finding an audience that gets their originality. Hopefully, Pyrrhon will have more luck in the future and get the chance to play to larger audience because their music deserves it.


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