PYREXIA United States

PYREXIA - Sermon Of Mockery


One of the founding bands of this genre, the legend of brutal death metal, the American butchers of PYREXIA are coming to experience the Battlefield & show all of us why they are, rightfully, considered one of the core bands in their style!!!

With the cult guitarist Chris Basil (Catastrophic) in the lead, these killers formed the band as early as 1990, and not even subsequent line-up changes have managed to damage what they do so well!!! And what is it they do so well? Eliminating all the living creatures with their brilliant brutal music of course!!! So look forward my friends, to an uncompromising tidal wave of sound by the most experienced ones!!!


Formed in 1990 out of the Long Island, NY death metal scene, Pyrexia was created by vocalist Darryl Wagner, guitarists Guy Marchais and Rob Shimonski, bassist Chris Basile and drummer Mike Andrejko. The band in total has recorded three demos, and EP and four full length studio albums over almost 25 years.
There isn’t much information to be found about the bands career in detail and what could be dug up proves one of the reasons why the band has flown under the radar for so many years and this is due to having had close to twenty members over the years. Many of the former members went on to form and play in such notable death metal acts as Suffocation, Hate Eternal, Malevolent Creation, Vital Remains and Catastrophic.

The current lone founding member is bassist Chris Basile.

There has been much debate as to which bands or scene from death metal history influenced and led to the formation of arguably the most extreme and brutal death metal sub-genre Slam metal. The prevailing evidence supports the Long Island death metal bands for being highly influential in producing the blueprint for slam death metal. Pyrexia, Suffocation, Internal Bleeding played brutal death metal and incorporated “slamming breakdowns” into the music with the intention of inciting violent moshpits during their concerts.
Obviously the New York hardcore scene was heavily involved at the time and could also be viewed as playing a large part in the style of these early “slam” bands. I would also say that Dying Fetus from Maryland was one of the more famous bands who began playing death metal in this same style.

The bands debut album “Sermon of Mockery” was recorded and released in 1993 and is considered a classic underground death metal record.
Why, I am really not sure. The production is not too bad for the typical death metal album circa 1993. The vocals are ultra guttural and indecipherable while the guitars see to be trying to mimic the actual classic death metal produced by the band’s legendary neighbors in Suffocation from their debut “Effigy of the Forgotten”. It is very difficult to listen to “Sermon” and not instantly view it as a weak imitation of that seminal album. While there are many other death metal debuts that suffer from lack of production and substance during this beginning era of the genre, “Sermon” is a decent debut if you especially like the old school style of death metal. Nothing fancy and a definite Suffo rip-off but I’ve honestly heard worse.

Sermon of Mockery (1993) - Track Listing:

1. Sermon of Mockery
2. Resurrection
3. Abominat
4. The Uncreation
5. God
6. Demigod
7. Inhumanity
8. Liturgy of Impurity

After touring extensively, the band would begin the revolving door of musicians joining and exiting the band and would record their next album in 1997 titled “System of the Animal”.
This would begin the start of the band changing their sound from what could have been perceived as “early Slam” metal to more of a death-core sound really. Rhyming vocal patterns, breakdowns and chugging riffs and blasting drums becomes their focus on this album and all subsequent records. While it doesn’t open your eyes errr earshot anything new it does sound similar to what the kids are listening to and loving from today’s death core scene. After listening to “System” I think its safe to say these guys may have been a part of the first wave to combine death metal vocals, guitar tunes and riffs with the jumping sound of many death core songs out there today. This album was an impressive step in the right direction from their musically limited debut, although this album was pretty limited as well. The songs are much catchier and the production is better.

System of the Animal (1997) - Track Listing:

1. Confrontation
2. Downsized
3. System of the Animal
4. Closure
5. Purging the Nemesis
6. Day One
7. Unscathed
8. Go Fuck Yourself

Here is where things start to get tricky as far as trying to intelligently write about this band’s career. There would be a ten year gap in between albums from Pyrexia after “System of the Animal”. From what I have gathered, many of the musicians left and went on to form and work with other musical groups while the last remaining member Chris Basile moved over to guitars as well as stay on as bassist. For whatever reason, Pyrexia was put on hold during this time and Basile and a few of the “System” lineup linked up with Obituary guitarist Trevor Peres to form a death metal group called Catastrophic.

After the debut album from Catastrophic, (If you like Obituary style death metal, check out Catastrophic) Chris Basile would regroup Pyrexia with another new lineup and in 2006 the band would make their comeback and a year later would release their third major album, “Age of the Wicked”.

This is where I first heard Pyrexia. With a new vocalist in Eric Shute but sticking to the previous album’s formula of heavy, crunchy riffs and breakdowns “Wicked” is the best album the band offered up until this time. There are catchy songs and lots of grooves to bang to in this one and new vocalist Shute personally becomes one of my favorite vocalists due to his performance on this album. You can hear most of his enunciations but he is capable of low cookie monsters and blood curdling screams. The rage and intensity put forth by this guy is something to behold. If the production and drum sounds were better they really would’ve turned some heads in the underground death metal scene. “Irony” is such a track that will get the blood flowing if thats something you look for in extreme metal. Anyways, yet another step towards rocking wth the big dogs of the genre but as stated earlier the production is seriously lacking here and the fact that they would wait six more years to release new material speak to the lack of consistency throughout their career.

Age of the Wicked (2007) - Track Listing:

1. The Wicked Rise
2. Prey the Weak
4. Irony
5. Shackles of the Mind
6. Season of Anguish
7. Song of Hate
8. Life Long Hate
9. Ode to Brin
10. No Apologies

So as falling in line with the usual elongated time lapse in-between albums for Pyrexia, 2013 would be yet another “comeback” for the band as they added a new drummer in Doug Bohn and would finally find a decent studio to record in apparently but the production of this album is by far the best of their career. Chris Basile and Doug Bohn wrote all of the music for the album while epic and violent vocalist Eric Shute once again is at the helm and is pissed off as ever. The new album titled “Feast of Iniquity” was high on my list that year of anticipated records just because I had been a fan of these guys for awhile and saw the potential if they could just finally get their shit together.

Well this was what I had hoped for but it was a bit anticlimactic. I say the because while the albums a really good groovy riff happy death metal record with one of my favorite angry ass vocalists but due to so many excellent bands putting out stellar records in that six years Pyrexia were absent from the scene, “Feast” does nothing new that fans of death metal have not heard before. And while I am not one of these hyper speed tech death fanatics that is always looking for the next Necrophagist, Origin, or Obscura clone to come out and show us all how fucking fast their fingers move across a fret board, I do like to find new and original death metal and this album doesn’t really show us anything new. It is still a killer record and it is most definitely Pyrexia’s most mature and strongly developed album. I fucking dig it and I have a feeling that if many of you have not heard of them, you will too. I’m looking forward to new tunes from this band but now that vocalist Eric Shute has been recently arrested for allegedly stalking and murdering three men. Im not sure what that means for the band. Most likely Chris Basile will find another group of badasses to keep the banging and delivering slabs of quality death metal to hungry fans like myself.

Feast of Iniquity (2013) - Track Listing:
1. The Pendulum
2. Infliction
3. Death Wish
4. Cocoon of Shame
5. Cryptic Summoning
6. Thy Minion
7. Wheel of Impunity
8. Panzer Tank Lobotomy
9. Born of a Jackal
10. The Feast


Release date Release name Media
2018 Unholy Requiem Full-length
2013 Feast of Iniquity Full-length
2007 Age of the Wicked Full-length
1997 System of the Animal Full-length
1995 Hatredangeranddisgust EP
1993 Promo 1993 DEMO
1993 Sermon of Mockery Full-length
1992 Liturgy of Impurity DEMO
1991 Demo 1991 DEMO


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