20 Best Metal Albums of 2017

Hardcore trailblazers, longform doom and genre-bending savagery: the year in heavy

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Pyrrhon, 'What Passes for Survival'

15. Pyrrhon, 'What Passes for Survival'

A cyclone of controlled chaos, Brooklyn's Pyrrhon turn technical death metal into an unpredictable head-boggle – a savage, blown-out bluster where proggy tricks parade around until they sound like sheer abstraction. Full of turn-on-a-dime time changes, jazzbo chops and dissonant, Snakefinger-style guitar solos, Pyrrhon go to gymnastic lengths to sound totally disgusting. The three-part suite "The Unraveling" – "a lament for the version of America that I read about in history and civics books as a kid," singer Doug Moore told Bandcamp – is a dynamic highlight, mixing math grind, electronic tweaking, blurs of drums and sludge accents. C.W.

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